Employment Resource Guide
For general community resources on coronavirus, please see my coronavirus resource guide.
Quick Access Contents
- Quick Guide
- How to File for Unemployment
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Congress' CARES Act
- Health Insurance for Unemployed Individuals
- Additional IRS Information
For an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 911
For non-emergency assistance, call 211
Small Business Administration
Disaster Assistance Center
1-800-659-2955; online at www.sba.gov/content/disaster-assistance
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Region VIII: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming
(303) 235-4800.; online at www.fema.gov/region-viii-co-mt-nd-sd-ut-wy
American Red Cross
Disaster and Emergency Assistance: www.redcross.org/get-help.html
Colorado State Emergency Management Division
720-852-6600 online at www.coemergency.com/p/local-info-sources.html
Colorado State Department of Revenue
Information for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Rep. Crow's Office
Our office can assist you navigate federal process and find with local services and resources.
Community resource guide: crow.house.gov/COVID-19
Hel with a federal agency: crow.house.gov/services/help-federal-agency
Contact us over the phone, (720) 748-7514, or online: crow.house.gov/contact/email-me
Additional and updated information can be found here: www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/unemployment
If you need assistance in understanding the information on this website, and/or if you need interpretation services, please call 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area) during the appropriate business hours.
Here are other sites with the most up to date information regarding unemployment from Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE):
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Information for Workers
- Information for Job-Seekers
- Information for Employers
- Other Resources
Q: What benefits become available to me now that the CARES Act has been signed into law?
A: The bill expands eligibility of unemployment insurance benefits to include many Coloradans currently not eligible. Check here for updates: www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/unemployment
Q: I heard $1,200 will be part of this – when can I expect to get that money?
A: This will be a one-time payment to families that earn lower to middle incomes but it is in no way connected to unemployment. This money will come directly from the federal government. More information can be found later in this guide.
Q: I heard an additional $600 will be added to my unemployment payment each week. When will that start?
A: The CARES Act includes an additional $600 each week to those on unemployment for up to four months. We will work as quickly as possible to update our technology to ensure everyone who is eligible gets the full amount they are owed. This may take several weeks to update, but you will receive any back payments you are owed.
Q. What if I need to take time off work because I contract COVID-19?
A. The first and best option for employees who need to miss work due to illness is to use their employer-paid time off. CDLE has information about the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“Colorado HELP”) Rules.
Q. What is a request to isolate or quarantine?
A. A request to isolate or quarantine is:
A letter documenting a voluntary request or involuntary order to isolate or quarantine from a medical professional, local health official, or the Secretary of Health.
A note from your medical provider or medical records office recommending isolation or quarantine.
A self-determination that Department of Health’s quarantine guidance applies to you
Supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (UC). Through July 31, 2020, the federal government will provide a temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. The FPUC will be paid in addition to and at the same time as regular state or federal UC benefits. The federal supplement will not affect eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Expansion of “Work Sharing” Programs to Provide Partial Benefits to Individuals with Reduced Hours. The federal government will temporarily provide full funding for Colorado’s WorkShare program, in which employers voluntarily make an agreement with the state unemployment office to prevent layoffs by reducing employee hours, and workers with reduced hours are eligible for partial state UC benefits.
13 Weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Available in All States for Workers who Exhaust Regular Benefits. All states will be eligible to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who need beyond what is provided for in state and federal law.
Expanded Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits to Fill Coverage Gaps
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Following the Model of the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program. States are permitted to expand eligibility to provide unemployment compensation to workers who are not normally eligible for benefits, so long as their unemployment was connected to the COVD-19 pandemic. Expanded eligibility would provide benefits to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, “gig economy” employees, and individuals who were unable to start a new job or contract due to the pandemic. Applications will be managed by the state.
Q: What have we done to help states deal with the flood of applications for unemployment compensation?
A: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided states with $1 billion, paid in two $500 million installments, to help them deal with the initial influx of UC benefit applications. The Department of Labor is required to distribute the first $500 million within 60 days of enactment. It also gave states flexibility to modify their state policies to work in the current crisis without any federal penalty, and allows them to temporarily borrow interest-free from the federal government if the crisis strains their UC trust fund. The law also provides for 100 percent temporary federal funding for extended benefits in states that trigger those benefits because of very high and rising unemployment.
Q: Are self-employed workers and workers in the gig economy eligible for unemployment compensation generally or the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit specifically?
A: Under the CARES Act, self-employed workers whose states make an agreement with the Department of Labor will receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance based on their recent earnings and will also be able to receive the $600 a week FPUC supplement on top of that benefit.
Q: How Much Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Would Self-Employed Workers, Individuals About to Start Work, and Others Receive?
A: The amount will vary by state. All PUA recipients would be eligible for the $600 a week federal supplement. They would also receive a base benefit calculated according to state benefit formulas and using recent information about their wages, but no lower than half the state’s minimum regular UC payment.
Q: What about tipped workers? Does their tip income count for UC?
A: Under federal law, tips are considered part of compensation for UC. Under the CARES Act, tipped workers who qualify for UC will all receive the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, an additional $600 a week payment, on top of their state UC payment like any other worker receiving UC benefits. Unemployed workers who do not have enough reported income to qualify for state UC payments but are able and available to work, but for COVID-19, would likely be eligible for a smaller federal payment, depending on their state’s implementation of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Q: What about workers in the performing arts and other industries that were about to start new jobs and had them canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: Workers who had a contract or other offer of employment suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak would be eligible Pandemic Unemployment Assistance calculated by their state’s UC program, and also for the $600 a week FPUC supplement.
Q: Will the UC enhancements in the CARES Act make workers whole financially?
A: Nationally, state UC benefits replace about 40 percent of wages for workers. Under the CARES Act, until July 31, 2020, an average worker who received a state UC benefit and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation would have 100 percent of their wages replaced, but replacement rates would vary by state and worker.
Q: Why does the CARES Act replace 100 percent of wages for the average worker? Will that discourage people from working?
A: Normally, the goal of UC benefits is to provide earned benefits to tide workers over while they search for new jobs, and UC does not replace all of the worker’s lost wages. In this case, public health officials tell us the best thing most Americans can do is to stay home. So in this case, we do not want inadequate wage replacement to force workers, especially those who would normally earn very low UC benefits, to continue searching for jobs or working in violation of public health orders.
Q: Will federal and state workers receive the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)?
A: Yes, so long as they are eligible for UC as determined by state law.
Q: What about workers who are not laid off, but have their hours reduced?
A: The CARES Act makes a substantial federal investment in supporting Short-Time Compensation (STC) or “work sharing” programs, which allow employers to make an agreement with the state UC office to reduce hours, instead of laying people off, and then have workers receive partial UC benefits for their lost hours. Washington state has a program in place to this end, called SharedWork.
Q: Can workers get UC at the same time as they receive employer-provided paid leave?
A: No, workers who are receiving paid leave are not eligible for UC.
Q: Can self-employed workers get UC and also claim the refundable tax credit for lost wages in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
A: No, workers who elect to claim the refundable credit would not be eligible for UC for that time period.
Q: Did we waive the one-week waiting period for receiving UC?
A: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act eliminated the federal penalty for states that waive the waiting week during this crisis. Washington state has waived the one-week waiting period.
Q: Why are we providing a flat benefit instead of adjusting the benefit to match each individual’s recent wages?
A: Using simplified eligibility criteria and fixed benefit amounts will make it more feasible for state offices to process and pay claims quickly.
Q: Why hasn’t Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) turned on already?
A: DUA is primarily designed for natural disasters, and the Stafford Act only triggers on for specific types of mostly physical disasters (floods, fires, etc.). The CARES Act would replicate the aspects of DUA that are the most relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic – expanded eligibility and relaxed documentation requirements.
Q: How does the CARES Act help local governments and non-profits which are required to reimburse state UC programs for the full cost of all unemployment benefits provided to their laid off or furloughed workers?
A: Many non-profit organizations and state and local governments participate in UC using a “reimbursable arrangement.” That means they do not pay the per-worker UC taxes paid by private employers and instead reimburse the state UC office for 100 percent of the cost of benefits paid to workers they furlough or lay off. The CARES Act would provide federal funding to cover half of the cost of reimbursable benefits and provide additional flexibility for those entities to pay the other half over time.
Q: When do the temporary emergency benefit increases end?
A: The CARES Act terminates the $600 a week FPUC supplement on July 31, 2020, and other provisions on December 31, 2020.
Q: Can workers on UC receive health insurance benefits from their prior employer?
A: Workers receiving UC are eligible to stay on employer-sponsored insurance through COBRA but will no longer receive employer contributions for the premium. Workers who lost their job and were previously covered by employer-sponsored insurance are eligible for a special enrollment period in the ACA marketplace for coverage and may be eligible for advanced premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.
Frequently Asked Questions: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
Form for Non-Filers: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
“Get My Payment” Web App to Track Payments: sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof-wmsp/notice
Q: Why is Congress proposing to pay rebates to individuals?
A: The public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are significant. These rebates help Americans afford what they need during this public health crisis, as many are experiencing a significant cash crunch.
Q: When will the rebates be distributed?
A: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will work to deliver rebates quickly in the form of advance payments. For people who filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or address information already on file with the IRS. Electronic distributions will be automatic to an account the payee authorized January 1, 2018 or later. You can use the “Get My Payment” web app to track your payment: sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof-wmsp/notice
Q: How large are the rebates?
A: The amount of the rebate depends on family size. The payment is $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers), and $500 per qualifying child under age 17. The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers).
Q: Do rebates need to be repaid?
A: No, rebates do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021.
Q: How will rebates be delivered?
A: I It depends. Rebates will be delivered automatically—by the IRS—to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns. When available, electronic direct deposit will be used in place of mailing a physical check. You can use the “Get My Payment” web app to track your payment and update your direct deposit information: sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof-wmsp/notice
Q: Many individuals don't need to file a tax return. Are non-filers eligible for rebates?
A: Yes. There is no earned income requirement to be eligible for a rebate, but non-filers may need to take additional steps to receive their rebates. The Social Security Administration will share information for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) beneficiaries with IRS to help ensure these beneficiaries receive an automatic advance payment. The IRS will conduct a public awareness campaign to reach other non-filers and provide them with information on how they can access rebates.
Q: How will a person who has recently moved access rebates?
A: The IRS will determine payment delivery systems for everyone entitled to rebates.
Q: Will the rebates affect my eligibility for federal income-targeted programs?
A: No, the rebate is considered a tax refund and is not counted towards eligibility for federal programs.
Q: What identification requirements apply to receive rebates?
A: Taxpayers must have Social Security Numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive rebates.
Social Security and SSI recipients are eligible for the rebate payments:
Everyone is eligible for the full rebate payments as long as they have an SSN and their household income is not too high. This includes Social Security beneficiaries (retirement, disability, survivor) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.
Some individuals, like SSI recipients, who often do not file taxes, may need to take additional action to be determined by the IRS. One possibility is that they would be asked to file some sort of abbreviated return to get the payments, like with the 2008 stimulus rebates.
Like other tax credits, these payments do not count as income or resources for means-tested programs. So receiving a rebate will not interfere with someone’s eligibility for SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, ACA premium credits, TANF, housing assistance, or other income-related federal programs.
Tax Deadline Changed
The deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus: www.irs.gov/coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. Other information about actions being taken by the U.S. government is available at www.usa.gov/coronavirus and in Spanish at gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus. The Department of Treasury also has information available at Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know.
At this time, the IRS does will be updating this link as information becomes available regarding stimulus or payment checks: www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
In response to the potential growth of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the Connect for Health Colorado (Exchange) has opened a limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. This special enrollment period (SEP), runs through April 30, 2020, and will allow uninsured individuals to register before then: connectforhealthco.com/get-started/covid-19-support.
And reminder, individuals have 60 days to get health insurance anytime you lose job-based health insurance. Losing job-based health coverage is one example of a life change event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period throughout the year. This means you have a 60-day window to buy or change health plans.
Until April 30, individuals seeking a special enrollment can enroll online or by phone :
Online here: prd.connectforhealthco.com/individual
By phone and calling Customer Support at 855-752-6749