This page includes answers to many of the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is not answered here, try using the search function at the top of this page, or ask our Virtual Assistant on the Unemployment Insurance home page. You can also call our customer service line 24 hours a day at 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 if you are located outside the Denver metro area.

En Espanol:
Denver Metro: 303-318-9333 / Toll-Free: 1-866-422-0402


Filing a Claim

Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

Generally speaking, if you are unemployed or are working fewer than 32 hours a week and earning less than the weekly amount that unemployment benefits pay, you can file a claim for unemployment benefits. Please visit our Eligibility page for more information.

How do I file a claim for unemployment benefits?

To file a claim for unemployment benefits, reopen a claim, or file for additional benefits, please visit our File a Claim page.

How much does unemployment pay?

Unemployment benefits are approximately 55 percent of a person's average weekly wage over a 12-month time period. The maximum benefit amount available is $781 per week. Use the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Estimator tool to estimate your potential benefits.

Are tips included in the calculation of my wages for unemployment benefits?

Tips are considered wages and should be included in your wages reported by your employer. When you file a claim, we will send you a notice that details your reported wages. Review the information carefully and follow the instructions if it is incorrect. Report your rate of pay including your hourly rate plus average tips. You can calculate that hourly, daily, or weekly, whichever makes the most sense based on your job.

Can I collect unemployment benefits while working part time?

You may be eligible to collect partial benefits if you are working fewer than 32 hours per week. However, you must continue to look for work and meet your eligibility requirements. When you work, we can pay part of your weekly benefits, but you must have earned less than the weekly benefit amount. The law states that you can earn up to 50 percent of your weekly benefit amount and still be paid your full benefit payment. After that, we must reduce your benefit payment by one dollar for each dollar you earn. Visit the Working and Collecting page for more information.

Are you a Colorado election judge currently receiving unemployment insurance? 

Serving as an election judge in Colorado is a paid position, so wages earned as an election judge could impact either your eligibility for unemployment insurance benefit or the amount of your benefit payment. As each individual's circumstances are different and wages for election judges are determined by counties, it is important you understand how any income earned as an election judge could impact your eligibility for unemployment benefits. 

What is the law?
Recent Colorado legislation determined that the wages earned as a Colorado election judge are reportable based on a benchmark set by federal law. Therefore, according to federal Unemployment Compensation law, Colorado election judges may earn up to $1000 in a calendar year before their unemployment benefit is impacted. 

What does that mean for me? 
If you’re receiving unemployment insurance benefits and are working as an election judge in Colorado, up to the first $1000 of your election judge wages (pre-tax) are not reportable as wages to the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE). 

What do I need to do?
Keep track of all the income you receive while working as an election judge. Upon requesting payment via your MyUI+ account, DO NOT report to CDLE the first $999 that you earn in this position; ONLY report the income to CDLE after you have made $1000 or more. CDLE will then determine how it will affect your weekly benefit payment. Please note, you must report your election judge employment separation once the election is concluded. If the separation is not reported, this could cause an issue with your benefit payment.

How do I report my wages? 
Visit the Working and Collecting page for learn more about calculating wages.

What resources will help me find additional employment? 
Make sure you are registered with a Colorado Workforce Center. Workforce Centers provide free access to computer resources, career counseling, resume writing, interview skills building, job-search strategies, training opportunities, and potential job connections. Visit the Workforce Centers page for more information.

Download Colorado Election Judge Fact Sheet      

The CDLE website offers resources, services, and programs to assist you in your career search and development.

Find A Job


After You've Filed

How long will it take to receive my benefits?

Currently, it takes an average of between four to six weeks to completely process a claim, depending on the complexity of that claim.

I filed a claim. What happens now?

You will receive paperwork in the mail showing your income history and your potential benefits. If you agree with the document, no further action is required. If you disagree with the reported earnings, please fill out the back of the form, attach proof, and return it to the address provided.

To receive benefit payments, you must request them weekly via your MyUI+ account or by phone at 303-813-2800 or 1-888-550-2800. There are two methods of receiving your unemployment benefit payments: Direct Deposit or a Prepaid Debit Card. If you file your claim electronically, you can select one of these two methods when you file. If you filed your claim by phone, your default method is a prepaid debit card. To change your payment method, log into MyUI+.

How can I manage my existing claim?

To manage your existing claim, or to reopen your claim, please visit our File a Claim Page

How do I request payments and when will I receive them?

Payment is issued after your claim is processed and it is determined you qualify for benefits. The first payment you may receive is postponed by one week's worth of payment, called the waiting week. Basically, every claimant who qualifies for unemployment serves an unpaid "waiting week" that begins the first week they become eligible to receive benefits.

In order to be paid benefits, you must request payment every week. If you are eligible for benefits, payment will either be deposited to a designated bank account via direct deposit or onto a ReliaCard debit card. After claim processing, payment may take two to three business days to receive from the time you submit your payment request. Request payment online within your MyUI+ account or by phone. Here are all the ways to contact us.

You are responsible for knowing when you are scheduled to request payment. Requesting payment too early or late will result in your claim being closed. If this occurs, you must reopen your claim before future benefits can be paid.

Requesting Your Payments
Request your payments every week online through MyUI+ or by telephone 303-813-2800 or 1-888-550-2800 (outside Denver-metro area).

Request Payment

Receiving Your Payments
There are two methods of receiving your unemployment benefit payments: Direct Deposit or a Prepaid Debit Card.

Why was my bank not valid for use/verified?

We use a service that is managed by a partner organization to validate bank account information.  We do not get a reason for why the bank could not be validated, but not all banks participate in the validation service so non-traditional banks, such as those managed online or through smartphone apps may not be usable for unemployment insurance services with CDLE if they cannot be verified by our partners.

What banks can I use for Direct Deposit?

We do not have a list of specific banks that can be successfully validated, however you should be able to use Direct Deposit on checking or savings accounts that are offered by traditional banks with physical brick and mortar locations.  Those banks are more likely to participate in bank account validation services that CDLE uses.

What if I do not want to get a new bank account at a traditional bank location?

You may select the Debit Card option and we will mail you a Reliacard for use with your account.

What payment method is best, direct deposit or a prepaid debit card?

Prepaid Debit Card Fees
You may have to pay fees when using your U.S. Bank ReliaCard® which are deducted from your benefit payments. You can find all the details you will need to know about the fees and services on the  U.S. Bank ReliaCard page. To avoid paying fees, use a U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATM location to withdraw money from your debit card account or get the fund balance at any U.S. Bank ATM or MoneyPass ATM. There is no fee for this service.

Direct Deposit
You can avoid debit card fees by having your benefit payments deposited directly to your checking or savings account. To change your payment method, log into MyUI+. Depending on the number of claims on your account, you'll either go to "Manage Claimant Account" and then "Payment History" or to "View and Maintain Account Information" and then "Payment Method Options and Tax Information."

I’ve lost my U.S. Bank debit card. How can I get a replacement card?

To get a new card, please contact U.S. Bank at 855-282-6161. If the system does not recognize your phone number, then it will prompt you to enter the phone number associated with the card.

If you do not have all of the required information, then you can select an option to talk to a customer service representative for help.

Work Search Requirements

Am I required to look for work while on unemployment benefits?

Yes. You are required to complete work-search activities that are meant to help you return to work. You should keep these work search records on file for two years in case you are selected for an audit.

For more information on work search requirements, check out our How-To Video or visit our Eligibility page.

Reopening a Claim

What should I know before reopening my claim?
  • The interface for reopening your previous claim is the same as for filing a new claim. Even if it looks like you are filing a new claim, please continue all the way through. After you enter your information, the system will find your previous claim.
  • You must tell us if you stopped working for any employer since the last time you requested payment.
  • Tell us even if you are expecting to go back to work again.
  • Tell us even if it is the same employer as when you filed your original claim.
  • Tell us even if it is a new employer you have not told us about before.
  • If you filed a claim within the past 12 months, then returned to your previous employer, and now need to reopen your claim, answer YES when the system asks, “Did you work and leave a job that you need to tell us about?"
What happens after I reopen my claim?

After you reopen your claim, you must request payment weekly in order to receive your benefits. Your confirmation message will let you know when to request payment the first time. Your weekly benefit amount will remain the same as it was when you last requested payment.

Reopen Your Claim