Pandemic Unemployment Decisions - Notices of Determination

ATTENTION EMPLOYERS

Pandemic-related unemployment claim decisions (“Notice of Determination”) were sent to employers and claimants from July through September 2021.  

You may recently have received a “Notice of Determination” from CDLE about a pandemic claim on which you are listed as an employer. 

Background: 
When the pandemic began, Governor Polis issued executive order D 2020 012, which directed CDLE to expedite pandemic claims and start paying claimants within 10 days of the claim being filed. In order to accomplish this, CDLE had to delay the typical adjudication process for all claims and automatically issue payments on the hundreds of thousands of claims being filed.

Beginning in July 2021, the Division of Unemployment Insurance began issuing this Notice of Determination in order to now process all the related issues on the claims filed during the pandemic. The decision (or determination) awarded benefits to the individual who filed the claim and relieved employers who pay quarterly premiums of all charges. We are aware that the claimant may not have separated from your employment because of the pandemic, but ultimately the claim was filed because of the pandemic.  

If you are a premium paying employer: 

If you pay quarterly unemployment insurance premiums, your account will not be charged as a result of these decisions.

If you are a reimbursing employer:

If you refund CDLE for charges against your account (typically nonprofits and government agencies), benefits paid on this claim will be charged to your account in accordance with federal pandemic relief efforts. Reimbursing employers were credited with 50% of their charges from March 2020 through early April 2021. From April 2021 through August 31, 2021, reimbursing employers were credited with 75% of their charges. Starting September 1, 2021, reimbursing employers will be responsible for paying 100% of their charges.
 

Employer Notice of Determination Example Image

(Note: this is a sample notice for premium-paying employers; the reimbursing employers notice will have a similar format with different information) 

FAQs

When a claim is filed, we review wages for a specific four-quarter time period based on the effective date of the claim. This time frame is known as the base period. We go back five completed calendar quarters and then use the first four of those quarters to determine which employers and wages will be used to calculate the benefits. Therefore, if a former employee filed a claim in March 2020, employers that they worked for as far back as October 2018 are included on that claim. Similarly, a claim that was filed in April through June 2020 will include employers going back to January 2019. So while your experience with the employee was not necessarily in relation to the pandemic, our process dictates that we collect information and notify you about the claim because of the timeframe we examine (see the “Base Period” Q&A below for more information).

This has to do with the combination of the base period described above, the pandemic measures taken to expedite claims, and the way we are now processing the backlog of separation issues associated with claims filed as a result of the pandemic. 

When the pandemic began, Governor Polis issued executive order D 2020 012, which directed CDLE to expedite pandemic claims and start paying claimants within 10 days of the claim being filed. In order to accomplish this, CDLE had to delay the typical adjudication process for all claims and automatically issue payments on the hundreds of thousands of claims being filed. In order to now process all the related issues on these claims, we issued a decision that states if the claim was filed during the pandemic, benefits are awarded and those benefits will not be charged to employers who pay quarterly premiums.

Employer Notice of Determination Example Image

For premium-paying employers, this pandemic notice of determination means your account will not be charged. A “non-charging” decision means that benefit payments made to the claimant will NOT be counted against your experience rating and therefore, your unemployment insurance premiums.

For reimbursing employers ─ typically nonprofits and government agencies ─  benefits paid on this claim will be charged to your account in accordance with federal pandemic relief efforts (as noted above). 

Any pandemic-related decision you choose to appeal will go through the appeal process, and a claimant could be found entitled to benefits that would then be charged to your account. If these benefits are charged to your account, you will likely experience an increase in your premium rates. If, as a reimbursing employer you lose an appeal, the full amount of benefits for the claim could be charged to your account and it is possible that none of the federal pandemic relief "discounts" will apply. 

If you wish to withdraw your appeal, you may do so through your MyUI Employer account. If you filed an appeal through mail or fax, you may withdraw your appeal by using this form. The decision you received is one of several hundred thousand issued by the Division of Unemployment Insurance. The high number of decisions issued has resulted in an unprecedented backlog of appeals. Due to this high backlog, it is likely hearings on these appeals will not be scheduled for several months into the future. 

Withdraw Your Appeal Form

Your premium rates are determined by a number of factors, including your total premiums paid to your account, your experience rating, and the state of the UI trust fund. So while the adjudication of these pandemic claims will not increase your experience rating, premium rates are going up next year due to the state of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

Visit https://cdle.colorado.gov/premium-rates-and-claims-for-benefits to learn more about how employer premiums are calculated. 

Because of the negative balance in the trust fund, state regulations dictate that we will be moving to the highest rate chart for employer premiums. That rate chart determines that employers will pay higher unemployment insurance premiums next year.  More information will be provided about 2022 rates in coming months.

The base period is the timeframe in which we review the amount of wages a claimant earned to determine if they qualify for benefits. Specifically, the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before a claim is filed. For example, if the claim was filed in March 2020, the base period would be from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019.