Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Banner

Colorado Unemployment Insurance Benefits Estimator

This site allows you to get an estimate of how much your Colorado Unemployment Insurance Benefits will be before you file a new unemployment insurance claim.

How Are the Benefits Calculated?

We will examine the separation from your most recent employer and any other employer(s) that you worked for during a predetermined 12-month period of time called the "base period." You must have earned at least $2,500 in wages to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

Base Period

A base period is a time-frame in which we review the amount of wages you earned to determine if you qualify for benefits. You must have earned $2,500 during a standard base period, which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim.

Example

Standard Base Period
File Date
Must have earned at least $2,500
Qtr 1 2021 Qtr 4 2020 Qtr 3 2020 Qtr 2 2020 Qtr 1 2020 Qtr 4 2019

A calendar quarter is equal to 3 month segments of the year beginning in January.

QTR 1 QTR 2 QTR 3 QTR 4
Jan
Feb
Mar
April
May
June
July
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Alternate Base Period

If you did not earn at least $2,500 during the standard base period, you may be eligible using an alternate base period (the last four completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim).

Example
Alternate Base Period
File Date
Must have earned at least $2,500
Qtr 1 2021 Qtr 4 2020 Qtr 3 2020 Qtr 2 2020 Qtr 1 2020 Qtr 4 2019
To request the alternate base period, follow the instructions on the Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits you receive after filing your claim.

Colorado Uses Two Formulas to Calculate Unemployment Benefits

Your actual benefits are based on the formula that results in the highest weekly amount. (The maximum weekly benefit amount may be adjusted annually, effective July 1 of each year for new claims filed after that date. The adjustment is based on current labor market conditions.)

    1. The first formula begins with the total wages paid for the highest two consecutive quarters in the base period. The total earnings for this six-month period is divided by 26 (the number of weeks in the six-month period). That number is then multiplied by 0.6 to determine your weekly benefit amount. According to Colorado law, this weekly benefit amount currently cannot exceed $636 per week, or be less than $25.
    2. The second formula begins with the total wages 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 $700 per week or be less than $25.

Important Notes

The maximum benefit amount per claim is equal to the lesser of 26 times the weekly benefit amount, or the sum of one third of the total wages in each quarter for the 12 months of the base period. In order to figure out how much your benefit amount is, we use the above formulas.

The reason(s) for the separation(s) from your last employer and/or your base period employer(s) might impact the amount of benefits that you will receive. Unemployment benefits are for individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. If you have a separation from work that could be disqualifying, you may want to consider the impact as you decide when to file.

Colorado Unemployment Insurance Benefits ESTIMATOR

Instructions To Get an Estimate Of Your Potential Benefits

If you are filing a claim between 01/26/2022 and 03/30/2022, your unemployment benefits will be based on all wages from all employers you worked for between 10/01/2020 through 09/30/2021. Please enter your gross wages (the amount you earned before taxes were withheld) for the periods indicated below. If you did not have any earnings during a given quarter, please enter zero for that quarter.

Since this estimate will be based on the amounts that you are now providing, it may differ from your actual benefit amount. To be as accurate as possible, you may want to refer to pay stub(s) and/or Form W2(s) you have received from your employer(s). If you refer to a Form W2, you will need to convert your gross pay from a yearly total into quarterly amounts.

Note: This is an estimate only and is based on the information you provide.

Please use the following format to enter your wages. No dollar sign ($) is allowed in the input: #########.##