Colorado Unemployment Benefits – How to Get the Benefits You’re Owed

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says it's trying to prevent fraud in the system. But it's making it harder for thousands of Coloradans to get the unemployment benefits they're owed.

Colorado unemployment benefits are available for individuals who have lost employment through no fault of their own and who meet minimum eligibility requirements set by state and federal law. The specifics of eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, and benefit amounts vary from state to state. To qualify for Colorado unemployment benefits, you must have earned at least $2,500 (including tips) in your base period and be able to work and actively seeking work.

If you are not sure if you meet the Colorado requirements for unemployment, you can use an online calculator to determine how much you could receive. You must file a weekly or biweekly claim for benefits by phone, online, or by mail, and you must be registered with a workforce center. In order to continue receiving unemployment benefits, you must file your claim each week and provide proof of continuing eligibility by providing a weekly activity report, showing that you have searched for work during the week you claim, and that you are available and actively seeking work.

Colorado Unemployment Eligibility

Unemployment benefits in Colorado are provided by the state and are paid through a special fund. Employers must pay a tax to this fund, and monies from this are then used to provide temporary compensation to workers who are unable to find work. In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must meet the designated requirements.

Traditionally, in order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own and earned wages during a specific 12- to 15-month period called your “base period.” However, during times of high unemployment, the state may offer extended benefit eligibility to help people who have already run out of their regular 26-week benefits.

What Disqualifies You for Unemployment in Colorado

What Disqualifies You for Unemployment in Colorado?

To maintain eligibility for UI benefits, you must continue to file regular weekly claims each Sunday. You must also certify that you are available for work and willing to accept any suitable job, and you must report any earnings (including self-employment and commission wages) that you’ve received in the previous two weeks. If you are unsure of how to file your claim or have questions about the process, you should contact the Department of Labor and Employment for assistance.

It’s also important to know that you must actively seek work in order to receive benefits, and that means registering with your local workforce center or Connecting Colorado each week and submitting job search documentation (such as copies of completed job applications). Failing to do so could disqualify you from receiving benefits.

Colorado Unemployment Appeal

Colorado is different from most other states in that it requires the labor department to adjudicate all employers on a claim, rather than just the most recent employer. This adds to the processing time and makes it harder for workers to get the benefits they deserve.

The Colorado workforce center also offers services to help you find a new job, such as resume writing assistance and training programs. If you’re denied unemployment benefits, you can appeal the decision. You can do this online, by phone or in person.

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