Colorado Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Colorado, you may be eligible for Colorado Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Colorado unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Colorado workers can file for unemployment benefits online or over the phone (Denver area - 303-318-9000; Outside Denver - 800-388-5515; both numbers open from 7:30am - 4:30pm Mountain time Monday – Friday, closed on state holidays).

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file (if you filed Sunday – Wednesday) or the next week (if you filed Thursday – Saturday), based on when you filed online or called. Benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

However, The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (DLE) mentions that there may be some cases where your income has varied greatly within the past 18 months, that you may have a significantly higher or lower weekly benefit by waiting to file until the next calendar quarter. The DLE points out that these are rare cases so you should consult the DLE website before making a decision to delay filing. See how benefits are calculated here.

You'll need the following to process your Colorado Unemployment Application:
  • Name & Address
  • SSN
  • Name/address/phone, dates worked, and pay rate for all employers for the last 18 months
  • Reason for termination
  • Severance and accrued vacation payments, including hours or days paid
  • If you're a union worker you'll need the name and local number of your union hall
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee (including USPS) in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50. Alternatively, you could provide pay stubs or W-2.
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
After your initial Unemployment Claim has been received, you will be sent a UIB-1 form, that will ask for identity verification. To complete, you'll need one of the following forms of ID:
  • Colorado Driver's License, or State ID card
  • US Military ID, Military dependent ID, or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner ID
  • Native American tribal certificate

Along with the UIB-1 you will receive a packet of forms and instructions for your unemployment claim. One form, B-769 must be completed and brought to your local workforce center, where you register for work. You may also register for work online at Connecting Colorado.

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Filing Your Weekly Claim:

Colorado unemployment benefits are between $25 to $454 per week depending on wages. See the Unemployment Benefit Claims Estimator (also linked to above) online to approximate your expected benefits.

Colorado unemployment benefit recipients file every two weeks, but the rules are very specific about when filing must be completed. If an unemployment recipient files too early or too late they can lose or delay benefits. Details can be found on page 8 of the Unemployment Insurance Handbook.

You can file for benefit payments bi-weekly online at CUBLine Online or by calling CUBLine (303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515)

It will take between 4 – 6 weeks to process your unemployment claim. Once your claim has been processed, unemployment benefit payments will be released pending eligibility. You must still file benefit forms every two weeks during the processing period to be eligible for benefits that period.

Beware of the Waiting Week: Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

Unemployment benefits are paid on a debit card (CAP Card) or by direct deposit.

Unemployment Benefits:

Colorado DLE recommends staying on your prior company's COBRA plan, as employers are reimbursed to pick up 65% of your insurance costs for 9 months.

Training and Career assistance information is available online.

Health benefits may also be available under the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), crediting 72.5% of qualified health care premiums.

You may be eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) if:
  1. You meet one of the following candidate requirements:
    • Your company was Trade Certified and you receive Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits (TAA) - Click here for details.
    • You received pension payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and are 55 years or older
    • You are the spouse or dependent of someone who fell into one of the categories above at the time of Medicare enrollment, death, or divorce.
  2. You meet the general requirements.
  3. You are enrolled in a qualified health plan.
Check www.irs.gov for details.

Filing for extensions:

Colorado unemployed workers who are about to exhaust her benefits will be mailed a claim for State Extended Benefits (SEB), or can find this form online.

Colorado DLE will notify you if you are eligible for benefit extension by Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs, that may extend your benefits if Colorado State benefits and state extensions are exhausted.

Ending Unemployment:

This part's easy – do nothing. When you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.

FAQ:

It is the benefit recipient's responsibility to be aware of filing dates for bi-weekly benefit claim forms, found in the Unemployment Insurance Handbook.

Your benefits can be lost or delayed if you file either too early or too late.

See more information on the Colorado Unemployment Benefits website.

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