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Q: What is Unemployment Insurance?
A: Unemployment insurance (UI) is a partial income replacement program paid by employers that may be available to you if you are unemployed through no fault of your own. If you qualify, the monies you receive provide temporary help until you return to suitable work. Thousands of unemployed workers each year apply for benefit payments to supplement their income while looking for new jobs, allowing them to continue making mortgage, car, grocery, and other payments.
All individuals may take advantage of the full range of job placement services by contacting their local Workforce Center. Find your local Workforce Center.
Q: What are the Legal Presence Requirements?
A: Colorado law requires all persons 18 years and older to provide proof that they are lawfully present in the United States before receiving unemployment benefits. You must provide one of the following forms of identification (ID):
You must affirm your citizenship or legal presence in the United States by signing and returning the Verification of Personal Information (Form UIB-1). Also, please provide information about your proof of ID on the same form. The form is mailed to you after you file or reopen a claim. You must provide this information only once during each claim year. The form must be completed, signed, and received within the timeframe specified on the form or your claim for unemployment benefits will not be paid for the weeks prior to the week in which the form is received at UI.
Q: How and when should I file a claim for unemployment benefit payments?
A: If you are unemployed or if your work hours are reduced to less than full time, you may file a claim for unemployment. If you file a claim Sunday through Wednesday, your claim will be effective the week you file. If you file a claim on Thursday through Saturday, your claim will be effective the following week.
File online or call 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area).
You cannot be paid unemployment benefits for any period of time before the date you actually file a claim for benefits.
Please have your social security number available and be prepared to supply information on any employer you have worked for over the past 18 months, including dates worked, rate of pay, and reasons you are no longer working. You can file for benefits anytime after your last day worked, but you cannot claim benefits for any period of time you were unemployed prior to filing a claim.
You have the right to leave a job for any reason at any time, but the circumstances of the separation will determine if and when you will receive benefits. When you file a claim, we will ask you and your employer for the reason for your separation. Based on this information, we will make a decision that will determine if and when you will receive benefits.
Q: How are benefits calculated?
A: A formula is used to calculate the amount of benefits you may receive. The calculation is based upon wages paid to you during a specific time frame, called the base period. The base period is defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Use the Benefits Estimator to calculate your potential benefit.
Q: What are eligibility requirements?
A:To be eligible to receive unemployment benefit payments, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own and must be able to work, be available for work, actively look for new work, and be willing to accept suitable work.
Q: How does the Division of Unemployment Insurance determine who can be paid?
A:We request information from you and from your employer(s) to find out why you no longer work for each employer you have had in the past 18 months. Those facts are then evaluated according to the requirements as stated in the Colorado Employment Security Act.
Q: What forms do I need to fill out to complete the processing of my claim?
A: You must complete, sign, and return the Verification of Personal Information, Form UIB-1 before any benefits will be paid. If you are required to complete any other forms, you will be instructed to do so.
Q: What should I expect after filing a claim?
A: After your claim has been filed, you will receive various forms in the mail. Additionally, you will receive or have electronic access to an unemployment benefits guide that explains your rights and responsibilities while claiming benefits. Please read the guide carefully and follow the instructions on the forms.
Beginning with the first week of your claim, you must make a serious effort to find a job. You will be required to make and record at least five job contacts each week. You may register with your local workforce center in person or online at Connecting Colorado. Work registration with the workforce center is required to receive unemployment benefit payments.
You must keep a detailed record of your work search efforts and be prepared to provide us with this record at any time. A work-search log that you can use to keep track of your job contacts is available here. If you are a member of a union that has a hiring hall or you have a definite date to return to work for your employer within 16 weeks of your last day worked, you may not be required to look for work.
Q: How do I get paid once I have filed a claim?
A: To be paid unemployment benefits, you must request payment. To request payment on your claim, you must certify that you meet the weekly eligibility requirements.
A request for payment and certification of your eligibility is typically made every two weeks either online through MyUI or by telephone at 303-813-2800 or toll-free 1-888-550-2800. Both methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you must wait to file your request until after midnight Saturday of the second week for which you are requesting payment.
We issue benefit payments either to a prepaid debit card, called a ReliaCard and issued by U.S. Bank, or by direct deposit into a checking or savings account of your choice.
Your ReliaCard prepaid debit card account is automatically created when you file for unemployment benefit payments. We automatically deposit benefits to your prepaid debit card unless you select direct deposit using the payment method tool.
You will not be paid if your request for payment is late, unless you show good cause for the late payment. Your request is considered late if you do not call within 14 days following the week or weeks for which you are requesting payment.
Q: How long will it take to get paid?
A: Payment is issued after your claim is processed and it is determined you qualify for benefits. Claim processing may take 4-6 weeks. The first payment you may receive is postponed by one week’s worth of payment, called the waiting week. Every claimant who qualifies for unemployment serves an unpaid ‘waiting week’ that begins the first week they become eligible to receive benefits.
Benefit payments are deposited to a prepaid debit card, called a ReliaCard and issued by U.S. Bank. If you prefer direct deposit, change the method of payment using the payment method tool.
Benefits are not paid for weeks of unemployment prior to the date your claim was filed.
Q: What do I do when I have found a new job or start working for my employer again?
A: When you return to work, stop requesting payment. This will close your claim. Your claim is then active for one year from your file date and can be reopened during that time if you become unemployed again.
Once you are hired full-time, you do not need to call us to tell us that you found work; simply stop requesting payments. Request payment for weeks you are unemployed or worked fewer than 32 hours, then stop. If you do work part of a week, report all hours and earnings. Do not request payment while you are working full-time, even if you have not been paid yet.
Q: How do I cancel my claim?
A: If you wish to cancel your claim, you must contact customer service within the first 12 days after filing your claim. Canceling your claim will completely remove the claim from the system as if you had never filed. After canceling your claim you cannot reopen the claim; you must file a new claim.
Q: What does “Not Paid Withholding” mean?
A: “Not Paid Withholding” is a tax withholding status that indicates you have opted to have taxes withheld from your benefit payments.
Q: How do I reopen my claim?
A: You may need to reopen your unemployment insurance claim if you’ve become unemployed again, requested payment too early or late, stopped filing for any reason (such as you started working again), or you need to report that you stopped working for an employer.
Be prepared to give detailed information about why you no longer work for any employers for whom you worked since you last received benefits. You may be required to renew your registration with a local workforce center. Reopen my claim>
Q: What do I do if I am a seasonal worker?
A: You are considered a seasonal worker if you work only during a certain period of time or season (e.g., ski instructors and income-tax preparers). You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if you are out of work just because the season ended. However, if you have lost your job through no fault of your own during the season, you may be eligible to receive unemployment payments. The employer is required both to post a notice and to notify you that you are hired for a seasonal job.
If you work for a seasonal employer outside the normal season, you are not considered a seasonal worker, and may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you lose your job through no fault of your own.
You work for a ski resort. The resort’s season is from November 15 through April 15.
Example 1: You begin work on November 15 and end work on April 15. You are not eligible for unemployment benefits from this job.
Example 2: Suppose you are laid off on January 5 because there is no snow. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits from January 5 until April 15 because you are out of work during the season.
Example 3: You continue to work until May 5 because there is more snow than expected. You may no longer be considered a seasonal worker because you worked for that employer outside the season. If you lose your job, you may be eligible for benefit payments.
Q: What do I do if I am job attached?
A: You are considered attached to a job if an employer is going to bring you back to work within 16 weeks after your last day of work. You are attached to a union if you get jobs through the union hiring hall.
If you are considered to be job or union attached, you are not required to look for work or register with a workforce center.
Another way to be job attached is to a new job. If a job is going to begin within two weeks, you are not required to look for work during the two weeks before you begin the job. However, you must call the Customer Contact Center to be attached to a new job.
To continue to receive unemployment payments, you must request payment online or via phone as scheduled and meet all the other eligibility requirements of the law. Remember that if you return to work, even if just part-time, you must report all earnings and hours when you file for payment. More on eligibility>
Q: What if I am serving in the National Guard or Military Reserve?
A: You can be on active duty in the National Guard or the Military Reserve while you are collecting unemployment. Please follow the instructions below when requesting payment.
Q: What is the ReliaCard?
A: Your unemployment benefit payments are automatically deposited onto a prepaid debit card, called a ReliaCard®, after eligibility for benefits has been determined. Your ReliaCard is issued by U.S. Bank and can be used to make purchases, get cash, pay bills everywhere Visa debit is accepted. You can choose to have your benefit payments directly deposited into your bank account if you prefer. Sign up for direct deposit.
Q: What are TRA and ATAA benefits?
A: TRA and ATAA benefits are components of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. TRA and ATAA benefit payments are provided to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports, or whose jobs were exported offshore. TRA benefit payments are payable only to eligible workers who exhaust their unemployment benefits. To meet application requirements for TRA or ATAA benefits, the eligible worker must have worked for an employer that is certified as a TAA employer, and the eligible worker must meet deadlines and other requirements for TRA and ATAA benefits. More>
Q: When are benefit payments deposited to my ReliaCard?
A: Typically, available unemployment benefit payments are deposited to a ReliaCard within 72 hours after a request for payment is successfully filed and approved.
Q: Is my social security number provided to U.S. Bank?
A: Yes. We fund benefit payments to a ReliaCard via an encrypted transmission of data that includes your name and social security number. By filing an initial claim, reopening an existing claim, or filing for payment on an existing claim, you authorize us to release your records and information to U.S. Bank to obtain the ReliaCard. You release the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and its employees from all liability for supplying such information pertaining to yourself.
Q: What is the contact information for U.S. Bank?
A: You may contact U.S. Bank Cardmember Services at 1-855-279-1678 or www.usbankreliacard.com.
Q: How will I receive the ReliaCard?
A: For security, your ReliaCard comes in a plain, white, windowed envelope with an Indianapolis, IN return address. A cardholder agreement, activation instructions, usage guide, and list of fees will be included with your new card. You are responsible for protecting your card and notifying U.S. Bank if it is lost or stolen.
Q: How long is my ReliaCard valid?
A: Your card is valid for three years. You must keep your ReliaCard through its expiration date and for the duration of your current or future unemployment claims. U.S. Bank does not issue you a new card if you reopen an existing unemployment benefits claim or if you file a new claim because the old claim expired.
Q: What is the difference between the UI Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the U.S. Bank PIN?
A: CDLE issues an Unemployment Insurance (UI) PIN to you in the mail on the Personal Identification Number, Form UIB-571. If you do not receive a UI PIN within seven days of filing your claim for unemployment benefits, lose your UI PIN, or need a new UI PIN, call the Customer Contact Center at 303- 318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area). Your UI PIN is valid for your entire benefit year. Your UI PIN ensures that only you have access to your claim when performing electronic functions concerning your unemployment benefit claim.
You will be required to create a 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use for transactions. Your U.S. Bank PIN is the 4-digit number that you enter on the keypad at ATMs and retail locations. Only you should know your UI PIN and U.S. Bank 4-digit PIN. Keep your PINs confidential and in a safe place.
Q: Are there fees associated with my ReliaCard?
A: ATM withdrawals at U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATMs are free. Find the nearest ATM at www.usbank.com/locate or www.MoneyPass.com.
You may have to pay fees when using your ReliaCard. Any such fees will be deducted from the money in your debit card account. To avoid paying fees, use a U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATM to withdraw money from your debit card account or get the fund balance. This service is free.
Transaction fees for the U.S. Bank ReliaCard:
$2.00 each transaction
Q: How do I access my money?
A: You can make purchases, get cash, and pay bills everywhere Visa® debit is accepted by using your prepaid debit card.
You can use an ATM to withdraw cash. ATM withdrawals at U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATMs are free. Find the nearest ATM at www.usbank.com/locate or www.MoneyPass.com.
Q: Can I make a deposit to my ReliaCard Account?
A: You cannot make personal deposits to the ReliaCard. The intended use of the ReliaCard is only for the payment of unemployment benefits.
Q: Am I required to open an additional account with U.S. Bank?
A: The intended use of the ReliaCard is only for the payment of unemployment benefits. You may be encouraged by a U.S. Bank customer-service representative to open an additional account; however, please be assured that this is not a requirement by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Q: What do I do if I did not keep my U.S. Bank ReliaCard?
A: If you did not keep your ReliaCard from your previous or current claim or your ReliaCard is past its expiration date, call U.S. Bank Cardmember Services at 1-855-279-1678 immediately.
We offer direct deposit as an alternative payment method to the U.S. Bank prepaid debit card, the ReliaCard. The following questions and answers provide information about direct deposit.
Q: What is direct deposit?
A: When you choose direct deposit as your payment method for unemployment insurance benefits, we use an automated electronic transaction to deposit unemployment payments directly to your existing checking or savings account.
Q: When can I select direct deposit as my payment method?
A: Within seven days of filing your claim for unemployment, you will receive your 4-digit personal identification number (PIN) in the mail on the Personal Identification Number, Form UIB-571. You must enter your 4-digit PIN to log on to the Payment Method Tool.
Q: How do I select direct deposit as my payment method?
A: Use the payment method tool to select direct deposit as your payment method after receiving your 4-digit PIN. You will need your social security number, your PIN, and your bank account number and routing number to set up direct deposit. Your account locks after three incorrect entries of a social security number or PIN. You must call the Customer Contact Center at 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area) to request a new 4-digit PIN. Para servicio al cliente en español: llame al 303-318-9333 o 1-866-422-0402 (fuera del área metropolitana de Denver).Set up Direct Deposit.
Q: Is there an authorization required to sign up for the direct-deposit payment method?
A: Yes. You must agree to authorize the Unemployment Insurance Division to route unemployment payments to your selected bank account."
Q: What bank account information must I enter for direct deposit?
A: After selecting direct deposit as your payment method, you will need to provide:
NOTE: Some credit union or savings and loan routing numbers are not compatible with direct deposit. You may need to contact a representative from your credit union or savings and loan branch to request their American Banking Association number as an alternative. You may also locate or confirm a compatible bank routing number by visiting the Federal Reserve E-Payment Routing Directory.
Once you have signed up, we send your personal information to a secure database: social security number, bank name, account type (checking or savings), bank routing number, and bank account number.
Q: What happens if I enter incorrect bank account information?
A: Enrollment in direct deposit for your unemployment benefits requires you to enter a correct bank account number and routing number using the payment method tool. Any mistakes (such as a wrong bank account number or routing number) will result in delays and could result in your unemployment payment going to the wrong account. The Division of Unemployment Insurance assumes no responsibility or liability to recover funds transferred to an incorrect account. Please take extreme care in verifying your bank account information before submitting it. It is your responsibility to work with your bank or financial institution to recover funds transferred to an incorrect account.
Q: Can I choose direct deposit if I have a credit union or savings and loan branch account?
A: Yes, but some credit union or savings and loan routing numbers are not compatible with direct deposit. You may need to contact a representative from your credit union or savings and loan branch to request their American Banking Association number that allows for a successful direct-deposit transaction. You may also locate or confirm a compatible bank routing number by visiting the Federal Reserve E-Payment Routing Directory.
Q: How do I report a change to my bank account information, including a different bank account?
A: To report a change to your bank account information, you must use the payment method tool and reenter your bank name, bank routing number, and the account number for the selected checking or savings account. Payment Method Tool>
Q: How long must I wait to sign up for direct deposit if I recently opened a checking or savings account?
A: Contact a representative from your bank for information about how soon you can successfully request direct deposit of unemployment payments to a recently opened checking or savings account.
Q: How will I know if my direct-deposit payment selection is successful?
A: If you select direct deposit as your payment method, you must confirm your selection after entering bank account information. A confirmation page appears stating your direct-deposit selection is successful.
Q: Can I switch back to the ReliaCard as my payment method after selecting direct deposit?
A: Yes. You can change between the two methods of payment at any time. If you make the change by 5:30 p.m., your change will be effective the next business day.
Q: How will I know if my request to switch from direct deposit to the ReliaCard is successful?
A: If you select the ReliaCard as your payment method, you must confirm that selection before exiting the payment method tool. A confirmation page appears stating your ReliaCard selection is successful. U.S. Bank receives notification to reactivate your ReliaCard account.
Q: Can the Customer Contact Center set up my direct deposit?
A: No. To ensure your personal financial information is secure, you must request direct deposit as your payment method using the payment method tool. You must enter the correct bank name, bank routing number, and account number for the selected checking or savings account.
Q: Can I select a bank account from a foreign bank?
A: No. Because of a change in banking regulations effective in early 2009, we cannot deposit unemployment benefit payments into foreign bank accounts. You must select a bank in the U.S. for direct deposit of unemployment benefits. The Federal Reserve Automated Clearing House (FedACH) must recognize the bank as a bank in the U.S. A bank representative can inform you of the bank's FedACH status.
Q: How are payments sent to my bank account?
A: We send unemployment benefits to your bank account via an encrypted transmission of data that includes your social security number, bank routing number, and bank account information.
Q: When are payments deposited to my bank account?
A: It may take up to 72 hours to complete the transfer of funds to your bank account (excluding weekends and holidays).
Q: What happens with failed direct deposits?
A: If a bank does not successfully deposit unemployment benefits into your selected bank account, the bank returns the funds to us. We contact you by phone and/or send you a letter about the failed transaction. You must then submit your corrected direct-deposit information or select the ReliaCard payment method using the payment method tool. We hold your unemployment payment until a successful deposit of the funds to your selected payment method occurs.
Providing incorrect bank routing or account numbers will result in delays and could result in a deposit of your unemployment benefit payment into the wrong account. It is your responsibility to work with your bank or financial institution to recover funds transferred to an incorrect account..
Q: Can I split a benefit payment between my ReliaCard and direct deposit?
A: No. If you are eligible for payment, we deposit your entire payment to the payment method of choice.
Q: Can I split a benefit payment into more than one bank account?
A:No. We deposit your entire payment into only one bank account per deposit.
Q: Can I choose to directly deposit my unemployment payments into a joint checking or savings account?
A: Yes. You may request deposit of unemployment payments into a joint checking or savings account. However, we release information about your benefit payments only to you and not to the other party.
Q: How will I know when unemployment payments are deposited into my bank account?
A: You must contact your bank or financial institution for account-balance information.
Q: How can I check my unemployment claim balance and payment status?
A: You can check your current claim balance, payment status and history, request payment, and check your benefits eligibility online using MyUI.
You may check your unemployment claim balance and payment status by calling CUBLine at 303-813-2800 or 1-888-550-2800 (outside Denver-metro area) or by calling the Customer Contact Center at 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area) and selecting the menu option for claim balance or payment status. Para servicio al cliente en español: llame al 303-318-9333 o 1-866-422-0402 (fuera del área metropolitana de Denver).
By selecting the option for claim and payment status, you can get information about the:
Q: After I successfully sign up for direct deposit, can I throw away my ReliaCard?
A: Please keep your ReliaCard through its expiration date even if you select direct deposit as your payment method. You will keep the same ReliaCard even if you file for multiple claims. If you choose to destroy it and later need to use the card as your method of payment, it will be your responsibility to contact U.S. Bank for a new card.
Q: What if my ReliaCard has expired because I have had it longer than 3 years?
A: At the end of 3 years, when your card expires, if there have been recent transactions on your claim, a new replacement card will be mailed out to you. If you have an unemployment claim and have not received a replacement for your expired ReliaCard, call U.S. Bank Cardmember Services at 1-855-279-1678 immediately to request a new ReliaCard. U.S. Bank does not issue you a new card if you reopen an existing unemployment benefits claim or if you file a new claim because the old claim expired. The system does not work like most credit card systems. The ReliaCard expiration date and validity is independent of the claim ending date.
Q: What is an overpayment?
A: An overpayment occurs when unemployment benefits are paid and it is later determined that the benefits should not have been paid. These unemployment benefits must be paid back. Some of the common causes of overpayments include:
Q: How do I arrange a repayment agreement?
A: Contact us for more information about a repayment agreement:
Unemployment Insurance Integrity
Benefit Payment Control
P.O. Box 8789
Denver, CO 80201-8789
(303) 318-9035 (Denver-metro area)
(877) 464-4622 (outside Denver-metro area)
Fax: (303) 318-9037
Q: How do I request an overpayment waiver?
A: If you request a waiver of an overpayment, the waiver can only apply to the amount due at the time the request is made. Any part of the debt already recovered cannot be waived and will not be refunded. Overpayment Waiver Request>
Q: What if an overpayment is established while I am still requesting unemployment benefits?
A: If an overpayment is established while you are requesting unemployment benefits, the overpaid amount is deducted from your unemployment payments until the overpayment is paid in full.
Q: What is an Earnings-Data Request (Form UIB-451) and why should I complete it?
A: The Earnings-Data Request form is mailed to you when your claim for unemployment benefits is being audited. Should you receive this form, we are requesting you provide the hours worked and gross wages paid for the employer(s) listed on the form. You may respond by providing copies of payroll information, check stubs or a written record of all hours worked and wages paid during the audit period. Your response to any request for information assists with a more timely and proper review of your unemployment claim.
Q: I have an overpayment, but have filed for bankruptcy. What do I do?
A: If you have a current overpayment and are in the process of filing for bankruptcy, please be sure to include the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in your list of creditors. This will allow for proper notification to be sent to us by the bankruptcy court.
Q: What is the 1099-G form?
A: Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, is an income tax statement to notify recipients about the income they received during the previous year. It is issued by government agencies for use in filling out your federal income tax return.
Q: What if my address has changed?
A: Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, is mailed in January to anyone who received an unemployment benefits payment during the previous calendar year. If your Form 1099-G is mailed to an address other than your current address, the U.S. Postal Service will forward the Form 1099-G if a current forwarding order is on file. Otherwise, we keep the returned Form 1099-G and automatically mail it again once you submit an address change. You can change your address through MyUI.
Q: How do I request a duplicate 1099-G?
A: You can get a copy of your 1099-G on MyUI. If you prefer to receive a duplicate copy by mail, fill out our request form. Please make sure your address is up to date before you request a duplicate copy be mailed to you.
Q: What if I had an overpayment of my unemployment benefits?
A: Your 1099-G shows the entire amount we paid you in unemployment benefits, even though you are paying back those benefits.Check the instructions on that form to see how to handle this situation. Any UI benefits paid during the calendar year must be reported as income. If you were overpaid and paid the money back in the same calendar year, both the amount repaid and the amount not yet repaid must be reported as total income (and then the amount repaid is taken as a deduction elsewhere on the form). The Division provides you with monthly records of your repayments. You can reference the monthly statements to determine the total amount you repaid during the year. Credit for repayment(s) can only be claimed in the year in which repayment(s) were paid back to us. Remember that overpayments are included in 1099-G amounts, but offsets are not. We cannot provide advice; check with the IRS if you are not sure what to do.
Q: What if I cannot recall receiving the unemployment benefits on the 1099-G?
A: Remember that we send your benefits to a prepaid debit card (ReliaCard) that U.S. Bank sent you when you first signed up for unemployment. Contact U.S. Bank Cardmember Services at 1-855-279-1678 to find out the balance on your ReliaCard. It is possible that we did send the benefit payments.
Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance | 303-318-9000 | Contact Us
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