Eligibility

While you are receiving benefit payments, you must maintain your eligibility. We may audit your records for up to two years from the start of your claim to check that you are meeting all eligibility requirements.

 

Types of Benefits

Regular Unemployment Claimants


You are eligible for regular unemployment benefits if you:

  • Are (or were) a traditional employee whose employer takes taxes out of your paychecks and reports your income on a W-2 tax form.
  • Earned at least $2,500 in wages in Colorado from January through December 2019 or from April 2019 through March 2020.
  • If you worked only outside of Colorado during those time frames, you will have to file a claim in the state you worked.
  • Are currently unemployed or are working fewer than 32 hours a week and earning less than the weekly amount that unemployment benefits pay.
  • Are able to work and available to work.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance


You are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits if you:

  • Are (or were) self-employed, an independent contractor, a gig worker, or other non-traditional worker with no W-2 wages
  • Are not eligible to receive regular unemployment benefits in any state
  • Are able to work and available to work

Work Search Requirements

In order to maintain your eligibility for benefits, you must complete regular work search activities that are meant to help you return to work. While you are not required to submit records of your work search activities, you must document your efforts and save those records, because your claim may be audited and we may request proof of your work-search activities at any time up to two years from the start of your claim.

There is not a minimum requirement, but the more work search activities you complete, the sooner you are likely to return to work. We recommend that you complete at least 5 work-search activities per week.

Regular Unemployment Claimants


Work search can and should include a mixture of activities, including contacting potential employers, completing applications, and interviewing for jobs.

What is a valid work-search?

A valid work search means you have completed specific work-search activities that may lead to a new job and that can be verified by the Division of Unemployment Insurance. Various factors are considered when determining if the work you are seeking is suitable including, but not limited to, rate of pay, prior experience, and length of unemployment.

Here are some examples of acceptable work search activities:

  • Applying for a job for which you are reasonably qualified.
  • Interviewing for a job for which you are reasonably qualified.
  • Taking an exam required as part of the application process for a new job for which you are reasonably qualified.
  • Contacting an employer, who you reasonably believe may have available suitable work, to inquire as to whether the employer is hiring.
  • Being referred to a job by a state workforce center or other entity which provides similar services.
  • Adding a resume to an online job board.
  • Engaging in documented use of online career tools.
  • Participating in reemployment services at a state workforce center or other location where such similar services are provided.
  • Participating in state-sponsored or other professional job-related education or skills development.
  • Creating a user profile on a professional networking website.
  • Participating in networking events related to a job or occupation for which you are reasonably qualified.

For more information on work search activities, see our flyer What is a Work-Search Activity?

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance


Work search can and should include a mixture of activities, including contacting businesses or potential clients, submitting proposals, and/or interviewing for jobs.

What is a valid work-search?

You must follow a course of action designed to result in a prompt return to work. Here are some examples of acceptable work search activities:

If you are self employed or a business owner:

  • Documented efforts to obtain new or additional clients for your business.
  • Documented efforts to expand your business beyond the services typically performed.
  • Documented efforts to market your business to new, reasonably available customers.


If you perform work for an online platform:

  • Establish an account with another online platform for the purpose of seeking work with that platform.
  • Apply for work with another online platform for which the individual may reasonably be qualified.
Any individual may also complete an activity listed for regular unemployment claimants to demonstrate an active search for work.


 

Documenting Your Work Search


Other Eligibility Requirements


Eligibility FAQs