It’s Your Money Column – Unemployment Insurance

If you think you might lose your job, become familiar with the resources available to tide your family through times without a paycheck.

There are many resources to help you bridge a temporary loss of income. One of the most important is unemployment insurance, which provides workers with temporary income when they become unemployed through no fault of their own. Ups and downs of economic cycles cause layoffs, and the purpose of unemployment insurance is to help workers keep up with housing and food payments while seeking new jobs.

If you become unemployed, file for unemployment benefits immediately. You can file at the state of Colorado Web page at, but better yet, visit the local Workforce Center at 3842 S. Mason St. Their phone number is 223-2470. They will help you check for job openings and training opportunities, and provide assessments of your career skills.

The time period for your cash assistance begins one week after you first make your claim. If you wait several weeks to file, you will not be able to claim benefits for the weeks prior to the time that you file. Claims made Sunday through Wednesday will be effective for that week. Claims made Thursday through Saturday will be effective the next week.

Benefits are calculated based on your total earnings. The total weekly amount that you will receive will be no higher than $390 per week and no lower than $25.

When you file, you’ll need to provide information about jobs you held for the past 18 months, including the dates you worked, your rate of pay and the reason you are no longer employed with the company.

If you file for benefits online, you will receive forms and an unemployment insurance handbook in the mail. The Workforce Center will contact you within 10 days to make an appointment to enter your skills and experience in their job bank to help you in your job search.

After you have filed for benefits, it may take up to five weeks to receive your first check. In order to receive your benefits, you must show evidence that you are looking for work by reporting at least five job contacts each week to your local Workforce Center. Job contacts may be made in person, by telephone and by sending a resume.

You deserve this support, so file right away.