New Unemployment Compensation Rules to Take Effect January 1

On November 14, the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) held a hearing to discuss proposed changes to regulations regarding eligibility requirements for unemployed workers actively seeking employment while receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

The CDLE’s actions were based on its discovery that a large number of improper payments were issued to individuals who may not have been making a sufficient number of work-search contacts to remain eligible for benefits.

The proposed changes have been adopted, and the following changes to the rules will take effect January 1, 2012.

– Definitions and guidelines governing what constitutes “actively seeking work”;

– requirement of claimants to maintain a tangible, written record of job contacts made for a period of two years from the date the claimant filed an initial claim for benefits;

– penalties in the form of disallowance of benefits for failure to make the aforementioned record or provide it at CDLE’s request; and

– provisions for formal warnings to claimants who fail to meet the work-search requirements. Once a warning is issued, the claim is flagged for future auditing and potential suspension of benefits.

“These changes are important steps toward deterring improper payments being made to individuals who may not have met Colorado’s requirements to receive such benefits,” says Dan Pilcher, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI). “CACI applauds the Department’s efforts to enact these important rulemaking changes.”

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