COVID-19 Unemployment Filing Tips for Colorado Employers

If your business is temporarily closed or reduced hours to help stop the spread of COVID-19, you may want to consider the option of advising your employees to file or reopen a claim for unemployment benefits. Workers can use the "job attached" option to indicate that they planning to return to the same job, which removes the requirement for them to seek other employment while receiving benefits for up to 16 weeks after their last day worked.

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Unemployment Filing Tips & Resources for Employees

Your employees will likely have questions about the unemployment process and the benefits available to them. If you need to lay off workers or reduce their hours, share the following tips to help them with the claims process.

Also, the CO Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) posted this COVID-19 Pandemic Scenarios & Benefits Available Guide to help employees understand all of their options. 

To help streamline the unemployment claims process, the CDLE asks that filers follow these guidelines: 

  • If your last name begins with the letter A - M, file a claim on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or after 12 noon on Saturday
  • If your last name begins with the letter N - Z, file a claim on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or before 12 noon on Saturday
  • Click the Save & Finish Later button often, and click File a Claim to return to the last page you saved
  • File during non-peak hours (evenings after 8 p.m., late nights, early mornings)
  • You must provide information about the reason you are no longer working for all employers from the last 18 months. If you have a lot of information to include, it is best if you type up this information before you start, then copy/paste at the appropriate time.
  • Once finished, click Submit one time. When the claim is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation page and number.

See our Unemployment Benefits FAQs for more guidance >>

Colorado Unemployment Insurance Benefits Resources

Alternatives to Laying Off Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colorado Work-Share Program

The Work-Share Program provides partial benefits to employees with reduced hours if their employer meets the following requirements:

  • Must have reduced the normal weekly work hours by at least 10%, but by no more than 40%;
  • The reduction must affect at least two out of all employees; and
  • Paid as much in premiums as agency paid former employees in unemployment insurance benefits. (See UI Rate Notice mailed in November.)

Colorado Work-Share Program Fact Sheet for Employers >>

CARES Act Payroll Assistance Options:Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC)

The Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes payroll assistance options to help small businesses maintain their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC). 

FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allows eligible workers at most small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) to take emergency paid leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Covered paid leave includes taking care of children due to school closures, self-quarantining due to signs of illness or risk of exposure, or providing care to others with flu-like symptoms. Employers will be reimbursed for emergency paid leave via a tax credit (more information on FFCRA payroll tax credits is pending as we await clarification).

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take in response to the COVID19 Pandemic are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.