Smoke from the Marshall Fire as seen from Sombrero Marsh in Boulder on Dec. 30. Credit: Anthony Albidrez

The state is processing at least 392 applications for unemployment benefits from residents who say they lost work due to the Marshall Fire, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. 

The loss of income is yet another lasting toll of the Dec. 30 disaster that destroyed more than a thousand homes and businesses across Louisville and Superior. 

The disaster unemployment assistance program provides up to 26 weeks of benefits to people who lost work or had their work interrupted as a direct result of the winds or fire on Dec. 30-21. This includes self-employed workers. 

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 2. Residents can also file a claim by phone at (303) 318-9000. 

According to the state, applications require photo identification and a bill showing your physical address at the time of the disaster. Proof of income from tax documents can increase your weekly benefit amount. If income is not provided, state officials said the weekly benefit amount will be $189. 

In addition to state unemployment resources, Boulder County, in partnership with the Community Foundation, is providing money to people who lost work or tools in the fire. 

“This help is here for a reason and people should apply for it if they have not yet done so,” said Boulder County Disaster Recovery Manager Garry Sanfacon in a Jan. 28 news release. “So many are suffering in a range of ways after the Marshall Fire and the high winds on that day, and while the financial help available may not completely fill the gaps, it can help provide an important cushion to support their longer-term recovery.”

The disaster struck the county at a time when the unemployment rate in Colorado hit 4.8%. It was the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 that the state unemployment rate dropped below 5%, according to state officials.

John Herrick

John Herrick reports on housing, climate, health and local government for Boulder Reporting Lab. He previously covered the state Capitol for The Colorado Independent and environmental policy for VTDigger.org. He is interested in stories about people, power and fairness.