Colorado Unemployment Benefits

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment maintains its Unemployment Insurance program to help those who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own (usually this means laid off, not quit or fired) and who have enough past work hours and compensation to qualify. In addition, to qualify for unemployment you must continue to look for work, and must supply the state with information on your job-seeking activities. (You will need to have made at least $2500 in a “base period” which is essentially the twelve months before the start of the current calendar quarter, though there is also an alternate way to calculate that you can be used.)

Processing a claim usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, so you’ll want to apply as soon as you become unemployed. Once you are approved, payment is every two weeks.

You can apply for unemployment in Colorado in one of two ways:

Once you’ve applied, you still have some work to do to get benefits, and further requirements to keep those benefits once they’ve begun.

First, you must register for job opportunities from the work-search Web site at or visit a local workforce center to register.

Second, you need to request each unemployment payment every two weeks, even before you’ve actually been approved. To do that, you can use the online site MyUI at or call 303-813-2800.

If approved, you will receive your payments either via direct deposit to your bank account or via an unemployment debit card, which will be mailed to you.

Note that as part of your payment requests you will need to provide information on your job search efforts and any hours you actually worked during the period. You can earn up to 25% of your unemployment payment and still get the full benefit; beyond that, your unemployment payment will be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis.