Colorado (CO) Unemployment Insurance Compensation Enhanced UI Benefits Under PUA, PEUC and $300 LWA

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) manages the Unemployment Insurance Benefits program and has now started paying all the recently enacted enhanced unemployment programs in addition to extended state benefits as discussed below.

Extra $300 Unemployment under Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program

FEMA has approved Colorado’s application for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) funding which will provide an additional $300 per week to eligible claimants who are unemployed due to COVID-19.  Claimants whose current weekly benefit amount (WBA) is at least $100 will receive the additional $300 per week retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020. Claimants will receive $300 per week for each of the six weeks they are eligible (period beginning July 26 and ending September 5), for a maximum total additional benefit of $1,800. The CDLE began paying the first three weeks of the $300 weekly benefit on Sep 18th (see latest LWA State tracker). Payments will continue to be made six days a week as more claimants complete the required certification. Payment of the final three weeks of LWA benefits will begin on September 25th.

What do I need to do to get the $300 payment

You just need to complete the required one-time certification for LWA benefits on the CDLE page. Once you’ve completed the LWA certification, no other action is required, other than continuing to request payment as you normally would. PUA claimants have already completed such a certification and do not need to do so again. See more on the CDLE LWA Page.

LWA benefits will be paid separately from your normal unemployment benefits, and may take several days to process. If you are denied for any reason, or there are no remaining Lost Wages Assistance funds available, you will be notified.

The new Lost Wages program however does cut the federal benefit ($600 FPUC) in half since the state cannot afford to boost the benefit by the additional $100 state contribution requested by Trump.

CARES Act Unemployment Compensation Enhancements for Coronavirus / COVID-19 Relief

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits, up to 39 weeks, to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes gig workers, individuals who are self-employed or contract employees, those who cannot telework while obeying a shelter order, and even those who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits. It also includes workers who were directly impacted by COVID-19, such as needing to care for a child whose school is closed or a dependent who tested positive for COVID-19 (see worksheet). This benefit is retroactive to February 2, 2020.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, or FPUC, provides $600 per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs. This benefit begins March 29, 2020 and extends through July 25, 2020.  This additional benefit does not require a claimant to take any action, is retroactive to March 29th and will begin hitting active claimants accounts as soon as next week for weeks of unemployment prior to April 15th.  This program has now expired.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, provides for an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond the standard maximum of 26 weeks for traditional (regular) unemployment benefits.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced effective Monday, April 20th, it will begin taking unemployment benefit applications under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), paying the additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits and launch other new points of access for unemployed workers to obtain information.

The Department stood up a brand new online application system to begin taking these claims under the CARES Act. By leveraging an existing system in development, Colorado will be among the first group of states to accept applications and pay benefits. 

There are several provisions within the CARES Act that provide enhanced or extended unemployment benefits for workers.  All of these new benefits are paid for by the federal government and eligible claims will be backdated so claimants will not lose out on benefits due to the waiting period to submit an application (see below).

New claims that fall under one of the new allowed situations for unemployment under the CARES Act will be taken through a new system. Claimants will submit claims, manage their benefits and request payment through this new online system.

This includes gig workers, independent contractors, self employed and those who are out of work because of a number of reasons directly related to COVID-19 including caring for a child whose school is closed or someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Regular unemployment benefits will continue to be processed through the existing systems so anyone currently on unemployment does not need to take any action. 

A new 80-person remote call center will go live Monday, April 20th, to help manage claimant questions and overflow from the existing call center by addressing questions directly related to CARES Act benefits

Source – CO DOLE

Filing a Claim

All claims should be filed online using the following links

  • File a Regular Claim – For traditional employees in the last 18 months whose employer took taxes from your paycheck.
  • File a PUA Claim – If you were unemployed and in the last 18 months were self-employed and responsible to pay taxes on your income

You will need the following to file a claim:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer:
    • Name, address, and phone number
    • First and last day of work
    • Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
    • The reason for separation
    • FEIN (this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received)
    • If you don’t have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub  
    • Claims filed without correctly reporting employers may experience delays. It is important to list the correct employment information when filing your claim. If you fail to do so, your benefits may be delayed while the missing employment information is obtained

By Phone – Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance | 303-318-9000 

This article was updated on September 21

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25 thoughts on “Colorado (CO) Unemployment Insurance Compensation Enhanced UI Benefits Under PUA, PEUC and $300 LWA

  1. I have had the exact same things and issues regarding my pua claim . I take care of my mom who is disabled im her certified caregiver . in mid april her apartment building did away with any and all visitors including caregivers unless you are a live in aid. I field with my 1099 in June since regular unemployment denied my initial claim inwas told that i had to submit a PUA claim . when i put in my date it rejected it forcing me to loose 10 weeks of payment . i set up my direct deposit info and submitted everything i had to. I had to wait until the end of July before i got a payment thinking i was homna receive a retro payment from april to July my PUA account payment info said 3 payments had been processed for $2,460.00 .. I never received it i received $500 and 197.00 a week after I’ve called and called and i either get a rude guy who is for no reason at all just rude mean and don’t care to help me locate those first payment which clearly isn’t at all concerning to them , the federal government??. Seriously!! They submitted 4 work tickets regarding this issue since the beginning of August here we are almost November and instill have yet to receive a call the actually payment a letter or even a “F.U.”. From PUA .. Now i cant lOG in my pua online account i had to submit yet another wrk ticket to fix this issue and update my email address its never ending issue after issue and NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS GOTTEN RESOLVED FIXED OR GIVEN ME AN ANSWER HAS TO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ANYTHING!!

  2. There is a pending transaction for the past three weeks on my account. It is for the second round of LWA payments. Why is it taking so long to post to my bank? The first round was in my bank account in three days.

  3. How do I apply for back pay? I filed my PUA claim already and just wanted to get my back pay. I didnt get to enter my dates when i filed so I was wanting to know how I do that?? Thank you

  4. I filed PUA in June as that’s what I was told to do. Now my PUA has run out, and am wondering if I can file my regular claim. Does anyone have any information on this?

  5. Notice just above the comments, and in this article, under ‘File a Claim’.. what does it say is needed? GROSS WAGES.. The CDLE owes Backpay to all PUA claimants that have been charged falsely with overpayments, resulting in the cut, reduction and/or stoppage of affected claimants benefits… I now know for a fact that my story is not unique in the eyes of the CDLE, but It is to me & my family… Just as each of your stories, along with the subsequent fallout, which by the way is a direct result from this Still Unresolved issue, is unique to You… The amount of time (2 months and counting) to Address and correct this is unexcusable!! In fact, as has been stated in other comments, the CDLE has to even Acknowledge the issue… Meanwhile, the toll its taking on all affected is mounting by the day, for some, if not most, that toll has already reached far beyond the financial aspect, creating undo additional Mental & Emotional stress, Putting Undo Strain on Families and relationships of all types, whether personal or business… The CDLE cannot ignore this.. They are do the Exact opposite of what is intended with the PUA benefits, They are doing WAY more Harm than Good during these last two months and every day forward until resolution… This Needs To be Addressed ASAP

  6. Ive exhausted my regular unemployment benefits, reapplied through same system returning claimant.
    Says approved extended benefits were added so i know have 2,5000 still in benefits to claim , but ive requested ans still says exhausted benefits. $$$000 even though ive alrdy bin approved for extended ahpw hpw much and all and still no paymnet???? Whats going on pls help????

  7. Something NOT discusses at all in the news, is that Colorado PUA is going after many and I mean thousands and thousands, of self employed saying they were overpaid, when they were NOT, based on initial filing requirements. I understand they are also going after fraud which is great, but you do NOT tell people they qualify, then tell everyone that still has very little pay, they were overpaid by 8k 9k 14k or more. Most had earning for base period reset to Zero, and weekly benefits slashed, in addition to them taking out payments for the erroneous ‘overpayment’ errors they have made. They are crushing self employed. And most of these people reported proper earnings with 1040 and 1099 information from the get go. Amazed this is in ANY WAY legal.

    The original requirements stated 1040 and 1099 earnings records, which were VERIFIED

    Appalling abuse.

    1. I was cut off lol. Appalling abuse of the system is an outrage to everyone that NEEDED this. But, these people filed exactly as they were told to, and still have little to nothing to just ‘pay back’ an unemployment error or two. Other states are waving this, because they KNOW they did the initial verification wrong in the system. If we all think this will not affect all those thousands, it will, and it will affect them badly. Hopefully, Colorado Unemployment will fix this soon.

    2. What are you referring to ? I have owned my own business in Colorado for 9 years now and I am unemployed as a result of Covid 19. I filed the Pua claim and qualified, received my back pay and filed every week and was paid up until about 2 months ago when the my payment status suddenly changed to Payment Hold. This was right at the end of the additional $600 per week add on. I called the PUA hotline and spoke with someone and let them know my payment was on hold, they verified my information and ingformed me Id get a call in 3 weeks or so from management to fix my claim. I waited and waited but never recevied a call. Since I was not getting paid I did not claim the weeks, but did so after week 3 at which point my payment hold came off somehow. then my payment status changed to WEEK DENIED for every week I have filed for. I have called and spoke with Unemployment again and gotten the same 3 week put off. Now my account shows an overpayment of $14000!!!
      I qualify for this program for sure. There is no way that they should not be paying me!!! what gives???

      1. We BELIEVE they initially used Gross on our tax returns, then backdated the adjustment they made in the system to NET earnings for all benefits. If you look at correspondence, it should show a new monetary determination. For instance, mine shows ZERO earnings, which is incorrect. When I filed, I entered the information they requested, but THEY were calculating wrong this WHOLE TIME. Now, they are coming to us and saying give it back, which none of us CAN DO or we would not be filing for the assistance. A very clear case of a massive error on the part of Colorado Labor and Unemployment that is placing the burden on the people that are Self employed and in hardship because of the shutdown CDLE changed data received….. This is NOT fraud, this is them changing how they calculate your benefits, midstream. It may be a system configuration error, we do not know. I would call the Colorado PUA Overpaymant phone number and get this fixed. It is NOT your fault if you submitted all paperwork correctly such as Tax docs and 1099, it is an error they created. Whether it is valid or not is not the question, they need to waive this for the people the caused this issue for. Not only are we not getting enough to live, we cannot afford gas for our cars because of this burden that is not ours.

    3. Something is Very, Very Wrong here.. If I’m reading correctly, the reason/excuse the CDLE is giving for whats happening to us, is that our Gross wages were not to be counted, but instead our Net?! Well there is one Major problem with that! Go to the site,, it plainly states that there are two methods used in Colorado when calculating unemployment benefits, the second of which would apply to those of us that are 1099 workers, among others.. And I Quote:
      “The second method begins with the total amount paid in the 12-month base period and divides that total by 52 (the number of weeks in a year). That number is then divided by 2 to determine your weekly benefit amount. According to Colorado Law, this weekly benefit amount currently
      cannot exceed $649 per week or be less than $25.”

      Also, you can go to CDLE “Benefit Calculator” and it tells you to enter your Gross wages, even specifically says, “before taxes are taken”…
      CDLE Must not only reverse these erroneous “overpayments” they claim against us, they owe each of us in this situation Backpay for every single week since this error occurred!!
      Its one thing for a few Innocent people to get caught up in the CDLE fraud sweep.. But As I read more and more of these comments, this particular issue goes WAY beyond that, and Your story is nearly identical to mine, as is almost every other related story people have shared! !
      By how the state itself says & shows calculations of benefits, Gross wages is the starting factor, and whether its regular Unemployment or PUA, does not matter….

  8. I was layed off in November and was supposed to start work in the spring but do to covid 19 was unable to start work I recently was approved August 2nd for regular unemployment I was barely able to get through i filed a backdate request going back to March but haven’t heard a word anyone have any input??? Today is September 9th already I try calling and my call back is set for October 28th does anyone know how long a backdate request takes??? Please help I have a new born on the way im homeless and my car was stolen a month ago could really use the backpay at this point

    1. It took around 4 weeks to be approved. I still haven’t gotten the payment for those weeks yet, but I received the notice that my backdate was approved just the other day.

  9. I filed a regular unemployment claim the end of february before the PUC b was implemented. There was a separation issue with my employer on my claim and for 12 weeks i was not able to receive any sort of payment. I requested payment each week. From what I understand, I should be elginle to receive retroactive payments for those weeks that i had to wait.

  10. I have used up all my unemployment benefits do i need toto apply for pua or do i need to apply for peuc please just looking for answers the unemployment office is virtual only and will not call me back for upto 2 months i will be in the streets by then i am a widow and 62 yrs old please respond with some info
    Thank You

    1. I believe you need to apply for PEUC under the returning claimant on UI website once your regular benefits have lapsed. Good luck!

      1. I received a letter stating that my benefits have been exhausted and to apply for PEUC. I followed the directions, but every time I click on returning claimant, It says access is denied. I called the numbers at the bottom of the page, but they are all automated. Anyone have any suggestions?

  11. What will happen to my unemployment benefits if I take money out of an IRA to pay off some bills? If I pay off the bills I have a chance of surviving on unemployment for a while.

  12. I filed a backdate claim from 4/11/20-06/27/20. I received a call from Colorado Unemployment 8/15/20 9:55am saying my backdate was approved and I would see my retroactive payment in my account by the end of the week 8/16/20-8/22/20. Still have not seen it. Yet when I log in to myui it shows on there each date for benefit ending, it shows all of them date payment requested 8/17/20, but there’s no date payment issued and Gross/Net amount is$0.00. I was told I would get at minimum the $600.00 for every week backdated. How come I’m not seeing this I’m my account? Do I have to separately request this?

      1. I just received a random payment in my back account not much still something . It’s looking hopeful. Does anyone know if any rent assistance that actually work?!?!

    1. The same happened to me but they deleted my myui account so i cannot log in to find out any information, nor have they sent me a new pin to create a new account.

  13. I’ve been waiting to be paid by the unemployment office for 18 weeks now & still have to file just to keep waiting! They told me that I would be paid in 3 weeks! That was yesterday! How much longer do I have to keep waiting!

  14. So when will Colorado Springs Colorado start there PUI clames than because some of us are behind on Bill’s and lm one Landlords are kicking people out

    …And l can’t survive on what lm getting and can barely by food…

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