Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in Colorado

Your eligibility for unemployment in Colorado is based on your current status and recent work history. Asking yourself, “What are the requirements to get unemployment in CO?” is important, especially if you lose your job. Your unemployment insurance eligibility will be determined by a set of factors outlined by the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program; each state operates its own unemployment benefits program under guidance from the federal government. Colorado manages its unemployment benefits program through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). Meeting the qualifications for unemployment insurance means that you can start receiving payments as soon as your claim is verified and approved. Unemployment insurance is available to qualified Americans in every state. If you meet the basic criteria to apply, you can make a claim directly to your state’s unemployment benefits division right away. Learn how to qualify for unemployment benefits by reading the information in the sections below

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Colorado?

Knowing who qualifies for unemployment in Colorado requires applicants to follow the standard federal guidelines. Additionally, eligibility for EDD in CO is only provided to those who maintain that eligibility status throughout an active claim period. The basic qualifications for unemployment begin with your unemployment status and how that unemployment occurred. Your eligibility for unemployment benefits will be determined based on the information you and your former employer both provide regarding your separation from employment. Your eligibility might be affected if you choose to leave a job, although you always have the right to do so. You might meet qualifications if your hours have been reduced to less than full-time work or if you work 32 hours or less each week.

You can qualify for unemployment insurance only if you are physically and mentally able to work and if you are willing to accept suitable work and to begin working right away. For unemployment eligibility requirements, work is determined to be “suitable” based on the rate of pay, on your prior experience and on the length of time you have been unemployed, among other factors.

Who qualifies for unemployment in Colorado?

To qualify for Colorado unemployment insurance, you must be 18 years of age or older and you must provide proof that you are lawfully present in the United States. You can prove this eligibility for unemployment in CO with any valid driver’s license from the U.S. or Canada, with any military identification card or with a Native American tribal document. Another qualification for unemployment insurance includes your previous wages earned, which must have been at least $2,500 during the applicable base period. For the purpose of unemployment insurance eligibility, you can determine your base period by looking at the previous five calendar quarters. The first four of those previous five quarters is called your base period. If you did not earn at least $2,500 during that base period, you might be able to use the most recent four quarters as an alternate base period instead. Other unemployment benefits eligibility factors include whether you received vacation, severance and pension from a previous employer as a result of your separation from work.

Your eligibility for unemployment might still be valid if you were discharged from your job. You might still qualify for unemployment insurance if your separation resulted from any of the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Harassment by your employer that was not related to your job performance
  • Hazardous work conditions
  • A medical condition

How to Maintain Unemployment Eligibility Status in Colorado

To continue to meet eligibility requirements for CO unemployment insurance, you must continue to meet the initial eligibility criteria, plus meet the state’s additional work-related requirements. Eligibility requirements for unemployment in Colorado include specific work-search standards, starting with your need to register with your local workforce center or at Connecting Colorado within the first four weeks after filing your initial claim. Once you are registered there, you can receive assistance with your job search.

An additional unemployment insurance eligibility requirement is that you must be actively seeking a new job while receiving benefits. Unemployment insurance in Colorado requires that you show proof of this active search, so maintaining a work-search log is a good idea to serve as proof of the jobs you have applied for, who you contacted at the job and the final result of the application. Learn more in the next section below.

You can still maintain qualifications for unemployment benefits even if you start working at a new job at less than full-time hours. Your unemployment benefits claim might still be valid if you work less than 32 hours per week. You are required to report all hours worked and your gross wages earned with every request for unemployment benefits payment, so be sure you divulge every single dollar earned for any type of work each week. Another of the requirements to get unemployment is that you request your benefits payment every two weeks. You are responsible for requesting payment per the schedule provided to you; you will not receive automatic payments.

Download our comprehensive guide for more details on unemployment eligibility.

Work Search Eligibility Requirement for Unemployment in Colorado

To maintain your Colorado eligibility for unemployment insurance, you are required to prove that you are actively searching for a new job. To provide this proof, it is a good idea to keep a work-search log including the following information:

  • What you did to apply for a job
  • How you submitted an application
  • What the role included
  • Who you contacted, including a phone number, email address or other verifiable contact information)
  • What happened as a result of your application

Your unemployment insurance eligibility will not be impacted if you are currently in training or are considered to be job-attached, both of which can affect your work-search requirement. Unemployment benefits eligibility standards usually require you to make at least five weekly job contacts. That number can be lowered if you are in training or if you are job-attached.

Unemployment insurance workforce centers often offer training opportunities, which are considered to be a valid and important part of searching for new employment. Being job-attached means that you are experiencing a brief gap in employment and expect to be employed by your most recent employer again, within a period of 16 weeks.

For any unemployment insurance claims, your records can be audited for up to two years from the start of your claim. To prove your eligibility for unemployment, you should maintain detailed records of your work search in case proof is requested. If you do not have proof of your work search during your active claim period, you can be denied unemployment benefits and you can also be ordered to repay any benefits received during the period that you have no proof of an active job search.

Unemployment Eligibility for Seasonal Workers in Colorado

Eligibility requirements for unemployment also affect seasonal workers. Colorado unemployment insurance is available to seasonal workers based on specific time periods of work. If you are unemployed simply because your work season has ended, you are not eligible for benefits. However, if you are unemployed during the season through no fault of your own, then you may being the application process.

For more information on how to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits, download our comprehensive guide.