If you were employed by one of the gaming facilities in the Centennial State until that facility shut down due to coronavirus concerns, you aren’t alone. Colorado casino workers may be eligible for unemployment benefits from the state.
The state made special exemptions from the normal rules for people whose employment suffers from temporary shutdowns. Applying for benefits is easy once you know the pertinent information.
Info on Colorado unemployment for casino workers
New federal guidelines give Colorado more flexibility when it comes to granting its residents unemployment benefits. You may now qualify even if you don’t under normal circumstances.
For example, the state may waive requirements for time spent on the job. Even if your employer just reduced your hours or salary, you may still qualify for partial benefits.
You may be eligible even if the casino plans to re-hire you after the shutdown, as well. The state of Colorado, not the federal government, administers unemployment programs in your state. If you file a claim, you must do so with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Although offices for the department are closed to the public right now, you can still file a claim online. If you need assistance doing so, you can call 1-800-388-5515.
The department is experiencing a lot of volume right now, so be patient with the process. The first step is knowing whether you qualify for assistance.
How do I know whether I qualify for benefits?
If you were self-employed performing contract work for Colorado casinos, you might not qualify. If you filled out a W-2 when such a company hired you, you should be eligible.
You must be a legal resident of Colorado. Additionally, your employer must be in the Centennial State, as well.
Normally, the state bases your eligibility upon your last 12 months of employment, so you would need to have held a job for a Colorado company for at least that long. The state may waive that requirement, however, because casinos shut down temporarily due to COVID-19 concerns.
If you are still working at least 32 hours a week, you may not qualify. The state will consider your eligibility on a case-by-case basis if you are salaried but have had your salary reduced during this shutdown.
If you’re uncertain about whether you qualify, go ahead and file a claim anyway. That will allow the department to ascertain your situation.
What do I need to file a claim online in Colorado?
If your last name begins with A-M, file your claim on the nearest Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or after noon on Saturday. For those with last names that begin with N-Z, you should file your claim on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or before noon on Saturday.
That will help speed up the process of not only your claim but all others, as well. The other big thing is having all the necessary information on hand when you file.
If you get stuck or have to exit the application, you can save it and resume later. The information you will need includes:
- Your legal name and any other names you have used in the past 18 months.
- Your Social Security number.
- The physical address at which you receive your mail, including the Colorado county.
- The names and addresses of all your employers over the past 18 months.
- Your rate of compensation at each job.
- The reason why you are no longer working or have had your hours/pay reduced at each job.
- The gross (pre-tax) amount you received from any employer in severance pay or paid time off.
- Your valid Colorado ID card such as a driver’s license.
- Your valid alien work permit number if you are not a US citizen.
- The account and routing numbers for your bank if you elect to use direct deposit.
Hopefully, life for Colorado casino workers will get back to normal soon. Until then, the state has provisions for your security during this time.