Governor Announces Incentive Program for Individuals Claiming Unemployment Benefits to Return to Work

Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment announced a program to encourage and incentivize those currently claiming unemployment insurance benefits to return to work.

To be eligible for an incentive, Colorado’s unemployed workers must have received at least one week of unemployment benefits of $25 or more between March 28, 2021 and May 16, 2021 and have verified their identities. Based on the requirements in the Executive Order, workers must be employed full-time for at least eight weeks to receive the full incentive. The incentive payments are expected to be issued during July and August of 2021 and will be distributed in two installments. Claimants will become eligible for the first half of the incentive after approximately four weeks of full time employment, and will become eligible for the remaining half after approximately eight weeks.

Specific Directives Outlined in Executive Order

  1. Individuals whose first week of full employment is between May 16, 2021 and May 29, 2021 will be eligible for total compensation up to one thousand six hundred dollars ($1600).
  2. Individuals whose first full week of employment is May 30, 2021 through June 26, 2021 will be eligible for total compensation up to one thousand two hundred dollars ($1200).
  3. The payments will be split in half, with fifty (50) percent being distributed after four (4) weeks of employment, and the remaining fifty (50) percent after eight (8) weeks of employment. The total paid to any eligible individual shall not exceed the amounts set above. If an individual returns to unemployment at any time during the eight (8) week period, they will have forfeited the remainder of their payment.

A copy of the Executive Order with the complete details of the “Jumpstart Program” can be found here.

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment has stated publicly that the State will not be rejecting the additional $300 in federal unemployment insurance benefits that can be claimed by individuals in Colorado until September 2021. As of today, 21 states have rejected the $300 in additional federal UI benefits.

Learn more about the program and apply for benefits here.