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How To Apply For Unemployment In Colorado

The best way to apply for unemployment insurance benefits in Colorado is to visit the website for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). You are required to register with a local workforce center within four weeks of starting your claim. A link for workforce centers, along with additional resources for filing an unemployment claim, is below:

The average processing time for an unemployment insurance claim in the State of Colorado is four to six weeks, so be certain to file immediately after losing your job.

Job Separation Guidelines

Voluntary quits or employees discharged for poor job performance or behavioral issues are generally NOT eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, but there are exceptions. The CDLE will review your case if one of the following is involved:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Harassment by the Employer
  • Hazardous Employment Conditions
  • Medical Issues

Unemployment insurance benefits are available for workers who have been laid off, relegated to reduced hours, or have been asked to work for a lower rate of pay. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment will contact your previous employer to verify your circumstances and the reasons behind them.

Filing Your UI Claim with CDLE

Your benefit payments are determined by calculating your earnings for a base period of fifteen months, the previous five quarters that you have been employed. To be eligible to file a claim, you are required to have earned at least $2500 in the first four of those five quarters. You’ll find the links below helpful in filing a claim with CDLE:

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment shares information with various federal programs and will use those sites to verify your social security number and identity. Unemployment fraud is a serious crime that can result in imprisonment or hefty fines, so make sure your information is accurate when you file your unemployment insurance claim.

Applying Out-of-State, Federal, or Military Wages to the Base Period

If you’ve worked out of state during the base period and would like to apply those wages to the total used to calculate your unemployment compensation amount, you must be able to prove you’ve worked in state during the base period. If you have only worked out of state during the base period, you are not qualified for Colorado unemployment insurance payments.

Wages for civilians who are federal employees are not reported to the Colorado Department of Revenue, so they will need to be verified by the CDLE after you file your initial claim. Military personnel need to produce their DD-214 to validate their wage history. Discharges from the military at the end of a term of service are treated the same as a civilian lay-off.

Requirements during the Processing Period

The processing period for an initial claim is four to six weeks, so keep an eye on your mail and email during that time period. The CDLE will send you a pin number to access your benefits and a “Notice of Decision” as to whether you’ve been approved or not. You must request payment every two weeks, even during the processing period.

Colorado Unemployment Insurance Program

  •  Coronavirus update: Colorado is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here: Visit Website
  •  To file a claim by telephone number: Visit Website
  •  General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: Visit Website

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