Extended emergency unemployment benefits available in Colorado

In addition to the first tier of extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits available since July 2008, the federal government provides a second tier of EUC benefits. 

States that reach a total three-month average unemployment rate greater than 6 percent are entitled to up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has calculated Colorado‘s three-month average unemployment rate for December 2008 through February 2009 and has determined that the state has met that threshold and now qualifies for a second tier of EUC benefits.

 Provisions for a second tier of EUC benefits allows up to 13 additional weeks of benefits for individuals who have exhausted their regular UI and EUC claim and are not eligible to begin a new UI claim.  The Department of Labor and Employment will notify all claimants who may be eligible to receive these benefits by mail.

 The first payable week for unemployed workers who qualify is the week ending April 18, 2009.  Because the extension is federally funded, there is no charge to employers’ accounts.  Compensation provided under the federal legislation will expire completely on June 5, 2010.  Those who have continued to file for benefits bi-weekly will receive the additional benefits in conjunction with their notice.

 To be eligible for these additional EUC benefits, claimants must meet all of the following criteria:

• Have exhausted available benefits on a current UI claim or have a claim that expired on or after May 5, 2007.

• Not be eligible for a new UI claim in any state or territory in the U.S. or in Canada.

• Be currently unemployed or working less than 32 hours per week.

• Have exhausted available EUC08 benefits added to a current UI claim.

 Each week of payable benefits will include the Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) bonus payment of $25.

 When notifying claimants, the Department of Labor and Employment will explain how to file for EUC or reopen an existing EUC claim.   Claimants are encouraged to visit www.coworkforce.com, click on Unemployment Online Services, and then click on EUC Online Application.  The EUC Online Application is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Claimants may also contact the UI Program’s Customer Contact Center to apply for these benefits.

 Individuals are encouraged not to call the Customer Contact Center as the high volume of calls increases the wait time.

 Additional information is available online at www.coworkforce.com.