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The Complete Guide to Unemployment Benefits in Colorado

Learn about unemployment benefits in Colorado, including eligibility requirements, the application process, weekly benefit amount, and more.

Colorado Unemployment Benefits: How to Apply and What to Expect

Unemployment benefits are a critical resource for individuals who have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. In Colorado, unemployed workers can apply for Colorado unemployment benefits through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

The unemployment benefits in Colorado are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to those out of work due to no fault of their own, such as a layoff or reduction in work hours. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, applicants must have earned a certain minimum amount of wages during their base period.

There are specific eligibility requirements and application procedures that must be followed in order to get Colorado unemployment benefits. 

Colorado Unemployment Services

Website cdle.colorado.gov/unemployment
Phone 800-388-5515
Apply Online File a Claim
Weekly Certification File a Weekly Claim
Appeal a Denial Request a Hearing
Find a Local Office Office Directory
Report Fraud https://cdle.colorado.gov/fraud-prevention
Coronavirus Updates COVID-19 Updates

What are the unemployment benefits in Colorado?

Certainly, here are some of the key unemployment benefits that are available to eligible individuals in Colorado:

  • Monetary Benefits. Colorado's unemployment insurance program provides monetary benefits to those who've lost their job, which is never their own fault. The amount of benefits depends on the claimant's earnings in the base period. 

  • Extended Benefits. Colorado may offer extended unemployment benefits to eligible individuals in times of high unemployment. This can include an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits beyond the regular 26 weeks.

  • Job Search Assistance. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment offers a variety of resources to help individuals find new employment opportunities. This can include job search assistance, training programs, and career counseling.

  • Health Insurance. In some cases, individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits in Colorado may be eligible for health insurance through the state's Medicaid program.

  • Workforce Development Programs. The state of Colorado offers workforce development programs, such as the Colorado Workforce Centers, which provide assistance with job training, resume building, and job placement services.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits in Colorado?

To apply for unemployment benefits in Colorado, you can file a claim online through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website. You will need to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number and employment history, as well as details about your reason for unemployment. 

After you submit your claim, you will need to certify each week that you are eligible to continue receiving benefits. You can do this online or by phone. Carefully follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that your application is processed in a timely manner and that you receive the full benefits you are entitled to.

How much unemployment benefits can I receive in Colorado?

In Colorado, the maximum benefit amount is $649 weekly, and the minimum is $25. The amount you can receive in benefits is calculated by taking 55% of your average wage weekly during the base period. For example, if your weekly wage during this time was $800, you would be eligible for the weekly amount of $649 maximum.

There is also a maximum amount of the total benefits that you can receive, which is calculated as 26 times the weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of your base period wage. For example, if your weekly benefit amount is $500, the maximum total amount of benefits you can receive is $13,000.

How long can I get unemployment benefits in Colorado?

The length of time that you can receive unemployment benefits in Colorado depends on various factors, including your employment history and the current unemployment rate. You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks, but this may be extended during times of high unemployment. 

You must also continue to meet Colorado unemployment eligibility requirements and certify each week to continue receiving benefits. Keep track of your benefit payments and the remaining duration of your benefits to ensure that you can plan your finances accordingly.

What happens if I remain unemployed after my benefits run out in Colorado?

One option is to apply for additional unemployment benefits under the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. This program provides additional weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular state benefits. Still, eligibility for this program is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on factors such as the unemployment rate in the state.

Another option is to apply for other forms of financial assistance, such as food stamps, housing assistance, or cash assistance. The Colorado Department of Human Services provides many programs to assist individuals and families in need, including the Colorado Works program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

If I worked in a different state but lived in Colorado, which state's unemployment benefits might I receive?

If you worked in another state but live in Colorado and are now unemployed, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits from both states. This is because the unemployment insurance benefit system is a joint program between the federal government and individual states, and each state has its own laws and eligibility requirements.

In most cases, if you have earned wages in multiple states, you must file a claim for unemployment benefits in the state where you worked rather than the state where you live. This is known as filing an "interstate claim." Once you file your claim, the state where you worked will determine your eligibility for benefits based on that state's laws and regulations.

If you are eligible for benefits in the state where you worked, you will receive benefits according to that state's benefit amount and duration. If you are not eligible for benefits in that state, you may be able to file a claim in the state where you live and receive benefits based on that state's laws and regulations.

Can I get unemployment benefits if I leave my job voluntarily in Colorado?

If you leave your job for a reason that does not qualify as a good cause, you will likely be ineligible for unemployment benefits in Colorado. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • Leaving your job because you are a victim of domestic violence

  • Quitting your job for health reasons

  • Terminating your job because your spouse has been transferred to a new location due to military orders

If you believe that you have good cause for quitting your job, you should file a claim for unemployment benefits and explain your reason for quitting.

What happens if I refuse a job offer while receiving unemployment benefits in Colorado?

If you refuse a job offer while receiving unemployment benefits in Colorado, the Colorado unemployment office may disqualify you from receiving further benefits. However, there are some circumstances where refusing a job offer is acceptable, such as if the job is not suitable based on your skills or if the working conditions are unreasonable. You will need to report any job offers that you receive while receiving benefits, and failing to do so may result in the loss of benefits. 

Can I get unemployment benefits if I am a part-time worker in Colorado?

A part-time unemployed worker in Colorado may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they have lost their job or had their hours reduced. The benefits that you may receive will depend on your earnings during the base period. If you earn more than your weekly benefit amount, your unemployment insurance benefits may be reduced or eliminated. Additionally, you must continue to meet eligibility and work search requirements, including actively seeking work and keeping open availability. 

What happens if I make a mistake while certifying for my benefits in Colorado?

If you make a mistake while certifying for your benefits in Colorado, you should contact the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment as soon as possible to correct the error. Depending on the nature of the mistake, it may result in an overpayment or underpayment of benefits, which may need to be corrected through repayment or adjustment of possible benefits. 

Failing to report a mistake or providing false information in a fraudulent unemployment claim can result in penalties, loss of benefits, and even criminal charges. Review your certification information before submitting it. Promptly report any errors or changes to your situation to avoid complications with your possible benefits.

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