How To File For Unemployment Benefits In Colorado

unemployment benefits colorado

Every state provides unemployment insurance benefits to employees who have been laid off from work without fault of their own. There are differences among states for eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details. Following is the Colorado unemployment compensation eligibility process.

Eligibility Requirements For Colorado Unemployment Benefits

Employment and Labor Department determines eligibility for unemployment benefits on a case-by-case basis in Colorado. To collect unemployment benefits in Colorado, applicants must meet the following three requirements:

Minimum earnings must have been earned in the past

In order to increase revenue, a lot of people seek the Colorado unemployment benefits while they earn from other sources thereby making it pretty difficult for people who have real problems to apply and get these opportunities.

To be eligible for this benefit, your minimum earnings must be dated back to six months or more. Plus you need to ensure you have adequate evidence to support your claims.

The Colorado law defines being unemployed as not being your fault: 

The pandemic was a tough time for everyone. A lot of companies had to shut down their activities and this made companies to retrench their staff. Indeed, this is a one-off situation that doesn’t always play out, however, it is counted as part of the reasons.

But this doesn’t stop the fact that many people get fired from their positions for different reasons. However, when you get fired for making a mistake or failing to adhere to your company’s core values, it’s totally your fault.

An active job search and the ability to work are essential:

Getting unemployment benefits in Colorado is a great idea when you only have to sit at home and do no work. However, that daydream would be crushed because you must be able to express your ability to work to get these benefits.

Additionally, when you’re seeking these benefits, you should be able to show how serious you are about working. A can-do attitude and a desire to work would be very helpful to you because they will show that you’re not a lazy person.

Do You Meet The Minimum Earnings Requirement?

A lot of states try to create a process that ensures that a large part of the unemployment benefits are given to the right beneficiaries. 

There are a lot of scenarios wherein people tried to cheat the process by faking papers and materials, but with strong requirements put in place, you can be sure that you will merit this position if you are qualified for it when you apply.

Most states determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits based on your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period.” 

The Colorado base period is thought of as the four prior calendar quarters of the year before your claim is filed, as it is in most states.

Are You Out Of Work Through No Fault Of Your Own?

In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be unemployed without your own fault. However, you can still get an opportunity to get these benefits if you’re willing to take the slim chance at succeeding. 

Gaining Unemployment Benefits After a Layoff

You can still apply if you lost your job through layoffs, a reduction-in-force (RIF), or a reduction in size.

Gaining Unemployment Benefits After Being Fired

You won’t necessarily be barred from receiving unemployment benefits if you were let go because of a lack of skills or that you were not a good fit for the job. To become disqualified, your conduct would have to rise to the level of “gross misconduct.” For example, if you got into a physical fight with your employer, that may qualify as gross misconduct.

Getting Unemployment Benefits After Quitting

Unemployment benefits won’t be paid if you quit your job without good cause. In order to satisfy the good cause requirement, you must leave your job for any of the following reasons:

  • The area had been the subject of domestic violence, so you had to leave.
  • A coworker or the employer harasses you personally or the employer fails to stop it
  • Conditions of work that are hazardous, or
  • a medical condition.

Amount And Duration Of Unemployment Benefits In Colorado

During your base period, you can receive between 50% and 60% of your average weekly wage if you are eligible for unemployment benefits. For your weekly benefit amount, the CDLE applies two different formulas and pays you the highest of the two:

To figure out the weekly benefit amount, divide the highest two consecutive quarters’ wages by 26, then multiply that number by 0.6. Your benefit amount will be $561 per week, capped at that amount.

The second formula divides the total amount you earned during the base period by 52, then multiplies that number by 2. An amount of $618 is the maximum weekly benefit amount.

In most cases, benefits are available for up to 26 weeks; however, in times of high unemployment, extensions may be granted. 

How To File A Claim For Unemployment Benefits In Colorado

If you are seeking unemployment benefits in Colorado, you can submit your claim online, by phone, by fax, or by mail. At the Department of Labor and Employment’s website, you can find filing information and contact information online. If you want to continue receiving benefits, you need to request payments every two weeks. A workforce center must also be registered.

A CDLE representative will send you some documents after receiving your application, including a Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits that shows the cost and duration of your claim.


How long does it take to get unemployment benefits in Colorado?

It takes four to six weeks for an initial claim to be processed; if you qualify for payment, you will be paid every two weeks from a fund paid by employers. The first payment is usually postponed by one week’s worth of payments, called the waiting week.

How much do you get on unemployment in Colorado?

An unemployed person receives about 55 per cent of his or her average weekly wage over a 12-month period. Find out how much you could receive. Weekly benefits are capped at $700.


According to the theory of adverse selection, unemployment insurance makes economic sense. It’s a common criticism of unemployment insurance to say that it leads to moral hazard, which reduces on-the-job effort and job search efforts.



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