Q How Do I Apply For Benefits
A. You;can apply for benefits anytime;online.;
If you do not have access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, you can also apply by phone. The claims center number at 800-318-6022 will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.;;4 p.m. as follows:;
Monday: New applications for those with Social Security numbers ending in 0-3. Open only for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.;
Tuesday: New applications for those with Social Security numbers ending in 0-6. Open for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.;
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Everyone can submit new applications. Open for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.;
You can also schedule a;;with a;claims;agent. However, due to a high volume of requests, the online application is suggested.;
Submit Your Weekly Claim
After applying, start submitting weekly claims right awayeven before youre approvedto get paid faster. The link to submit a weekly claim will be in eServices and will show up when we are ready for you to complete it.
- The job search requirement went back into effect the week of July 4. You should have started documenting job search activities the week of July 11. Learn more;about the requirement on our job search requirements page.
- You will be paid based on the weekly claims you complete. Weekly claims you submit before being approved will be processed together for an initial lump sum payment. After that, new weekly claims will be processed and paid each week.
- You will receive payment via the method you choose: direct deposit or debit card.
- Each week you file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, you’ll need to answer;special questions in addition to regular unemployment questions.;
- If you find work, stop filing weekly claims. Your payments will stop.
Work Based Exposures And Illness May Be Eligible For Workers Compensation
Under certain circumstances, claims from health care workers and first responders for exposure to coronavirus will be allowed. Other claims that meet certain criteria for exposure will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For a claim to be accepted, there must be a documented or probable work-related exposure, and an employee/employer relationship.;
L&I has;answers to commonly asked questions;online.
Follow;lni.wa.gov,;esd.wa.gov, and;coronavirus.wa.gov/news;for the most up-to-date information.;
Also Check: What Day Does Unemployment Get Deposited In Nc
Unemployment Application And Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim ;
Applications are taken by phone Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If your Social Security Number ends with:
- 0, 1, 2 or 3, call on Tuesday.
- 4, 5 or 6, call on Wednesday.
- 7, 8, or 9, call on Thursday.
- Anyone needing to file an initial unemployment benefits application may call on Friday.
To submit an initial application for Unemployment Insurance online, go to https://esd.wa.gov/ and click on Apply for Unemployment Benefits on the homepage. You will be taken to the Washington State Employment Security Unemployment Insurance Benefits Application start page. From there, you will be guided through the process by simply following instructions and entering the necessary information and documentation to prove eligibility to collect UI benefits in Washington.
Whether you file online or by phone, both systems will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity, so do not take long periods between entering information.
If You Were Laid Off Or Lost Hours & Income Due To The Pandemic
The best option for most employees who lost their jobs is to file for unemployment benefits.
For workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits program, like independent contractors and self-employed people, the best option is to apply for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
For workers who lost hours and income due to the pandemic, you may be eligible for the expanded unemployment program, which was created through federal stimulus bills and is now being offered by WAs Economic Security Department.
Everyone who receives some any form of unemployment benefit assistance will also receive an additional $600 per week through July 31 as part of the federal stimulus bills. : The US Senate failed to pass an extension of the additional $600/week, despite the continued impact of the pandemic on workers.
Federal rules bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any unemployment assistance. The combined;public health and economic crises of this pandemic are hitting immigrant communities and communities of color harder than everyone else in Washington, and our emergency response programs are failing them.;Join us in calling for cash assistance for ALL people in WA, regardless of immigration status.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Need To Sign Up For Unemployment
Approved Weeks Of The Program
Applications approved: weeks ending Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Sept. 5, 2020.
If you were eligible for any of the approved weeks, you will receive the extra $300 retroactively for those weeks.;
Washington state applied and was approved for all weeks available from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is not funding any weeks beyond the week ending Sept. 5, 2020.
Worked In Washington State
COVID-19 ;update:;Emergency rules have been adopted;for workers and employers affected by COVID-19.
To determine if you are eligible for unemployment benefits we examine:
1. Whether you worked enough hours in your base year:
- You must have worked at least 680 hours in your base year.
- At least some wages must have been earned in Washington, unless you recently left the military and are currently located in Washington state.
2. The reason you’re unemployed or not working full time. We’ll consider whether you:
- Are on a leave of absence
- Are still working
How To Get Cobra
Group health plans must give covered employees and their families a notice explaining their COBRA rights. Plans must have rules for how COBRA coverage is offered, how beneficiaries may choose to get it and when they can stop coverage. For more COBRA information, see COBRA Premium Subsidy. The;page links to information about COBRA including:
Workers Concerned About Workplace Conditions Have Options To Report
Workers are encouraged to engage employers directly to resolve any identified safety concerns. To report safety violations, workers have two options:;
- Report violations of the Governors proclamation, including essential businesses not following social distancing requirements, or
- File a safety complaint by calling Labor & Industries directly at 1-800-423-7233.
Q The School I Work At Is Closed Due To The Governors Order To Close Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits
A.;If you are being paid by the school while your school is closed, you can apply for benefits, but you may be considered fully employed and not eligible. If your school is not paying you while it is closed, you may be eligible for benefits. You will have to be able, available and actively seeking work during each week you claim, unless you are approved for standby. Eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.;
Q I Am A Healthcare Worker And I Feel Vulnerable To Contracting Covid
A.;You;have the right to a safe work environment, and your union contract protects you from losing your job without a just cause for termination.;Just cause means you should not be disciplined for refusing to obey an unreasonable order. An order to perform a work assignment that is likely to cause serious bodily harm to an employee is not reasonable.;Instead of quitting, consult with your;Union Rep;and read;our;Q&A on Refusing Unsafe Work Assignments.;You can also;submit a complaint to the state agency in charge of investigating safety claims, DOSH. This action is considered protected activity.;;
Do You Meet The Minimum Earnings Requirement
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment. . In Washington, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. For example, if you filed your claim in October of 2019, the base period would be from June 1, 2018, through May 31, 2019.
To be eligible for benefits, you must have worked at least 680 hours during the base period.
History Of The Washington State Unemployment Insurance Program
The Washington unemployment insurance program, like programs in other states, was established by President Roosevelt to provide out-of-work individuals with unemployment insurance benefits during the Depression. These days, the federal government only intervenes in state affairs during times of exceptionally high unemployment, but currently, it allows states to establish their own EDD unemployment programs. Washington offers numerous online and print resources to aid workers during the unemployment claim process.
I Was Turned Down For Benefits How Do I Appeal This Decision
You must file an appeal within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed to you. Your appeal must be in writing, and may be submitted by mail or by fax. You may also appeal online in eServices. Also, you must also continue to file weekly during your appeal, as you will only be paid for those weeks you continued to file if you win your appeal.
Washington State Again Will Require Active Job Search For People Collecting Unemployment Benefits
The nearly 300,000 Washingtonians still filing for unemployment benefits will soon be required to look for work to keep those benefits coming.
The job-search requirement resumes July 4, the state Employment Security Department announced Wednesday.
With the economy recovering,the job-search requirement is going back into effect, the agency said on its unemployment website. That means claimants will be required to look for work and document at least three approved job search activities each week in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.
Some employers have said theyre hoping that the return of the requirement, suspended last spring to help slow the spread of COVID-19, will lead to a surge in applicants and help ease a labor shortage that has hit sectors such as food service and retail.
But some experts think the job-search suspension, which other states also authorized after the pandemic struck, is only one of many factors behind the tight Seattle-area labor market, which one local economist warned might be our new normal.’
The job-search announcement comes amid mixed signs of improvement in the state job market after last springs deep layoffs and the uneven recovery that has followed.
Last week, Washingtonians filed 8,868 new, or initial, claims for unemployment benefits, a 12.1% decrease from the prior week, the ESD reported Thursday. It was the third consecutive weekly decline.
Washington Unemployment Phone Numbers
Sometimes you just have to talk to a live person to get answers to your questions.
Be prepared for long waits because lots of people try to do the same thing that you are. Be patient and you will get through to someone who can help you. Even though it is frustrating to wait so long, please be courteous and polite. The staffers on the other line are over-worked and are doing everything they can to help all of the people.
Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible .
The Unemployment Office might be inundated with pending requests. Please be patient and continue following up regularly.
I can understand your situation. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible .
Eligibility Requirements For Washington Unemployment Benefits
In Washington, the Employment Security Department handles unemployment benefits and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits in Washington:
- You must have worked a certain minimum number of hours.
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by Washington law.
- You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.
Coronavirus: Heres How To Apply For Unemployment In Washington
Larry Tesler File photo a woman types on a keyboard in New York.
With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many people have found themselves without a job.
The Washington State Employment Security Department says you may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are unable to work due to coronavirus. Some scenarios include:
- Your employer temporarily closes the business to comply with state guidelines
- You are temporarily laid off or your hours are reduced due to business slowdown or lack of demand.
For more on specific scenarios related to coronavirus that may impact your eligibility for unemployment benefits, please visit esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19.
So, how do you apply for unemployment?
According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, you must have the following information before you can file:
· Name, Social Security number, birthdate and contact information
· Your employment for the last 18 months, including for each employer:
· Name, address and phone number
· First and last day of work dates
· Your bank account and routing number, if you want to sign up for direct deposit.
If you normally get your work through a union, had more than 16 employers in your base year, or were in the military during the last 18 months, you may need to provide additional information. Find more at esd.wa.gov/unemployment/have-this-information-ready.
Where to apply
You can also apply by phone,but call volumes are extremely high.
Other Types Of Benefits And Programs For The Unemployed
Federal agencies offer many unemployment education and training programs. They are generally free or low cost to the unemployed.
Self-employment assistance programs help unemployed workers start their own small businesses. Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon offer this program.
Apply For Regular Unemployment
Before we can approve you for expanded benefits, we must first find out if you are eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Please fill out the online application the best you can. ;
If you are approved for regular unemployment benefits, you will receive normal unemployment payments and you will have the option to extend your benefits if needed. If that happens to you, skip Step 2 and go directly to Step 3.
- Create an account or check to see if you already have one.;Watch;the tutorial on this page;to avoid common issues that could delay your benefits.
- Move to Step 2 if your application for regular benefits is denied. For some this will be immediate. For others it may take a few weeks.
- ESD staff may contact you for more information. Please check your email and answer your phone. If we call, it may be from an unlisted number.
A decision may take time
You can move on to step 2 as soon as you are denied regular unemployment. For some this will be immediate and for others it may take a few weeks.;We are required by law to verify you are not eligible;for regular unemployment and sometimes this requires we reach out to you for additional information.
Did Not Work In Washington State
You;cannot;apply for unemployment benefits in Washington or file weekly claims here if you did not work in this state during the past 18 months. The;only;exceptions are if you were in the military or worked for the federal government.
You must file your claim with one of the state where you worked in the last 18 months.;Contact each state;where you worked to find out your claim options for those states.
Applying For Unemployment Benefits
The fastest way to apply for benefits is online.;While you can file by phone, you should expect extended wait times. There are no in-person unemployment offices in Washington state.;
If you haven’t already,;you must create and activate a;SecureAccess;Washington account to use the online services.;
You can create a;SAW;account;here.;
Check to see if you already have a SAW account;here.;;
Having trouble creating an account? Watch a tutorial video;here.;;
NOTE:;Make sure to keep track of your claim.;If you speak with an ESD representative, get their name and jot down the date and time of call.;
To help reduce identity theft, the ESD has removed Social Security numbers from most of the unemployment documents they send you. They replaced the SSNs with a customer;identification number . You must still use your SSN when calling the claims center, registering for;eServices;or when using our automated claims line.;
The ESD has made changes to their system that allows you to link your SSN to your account without calling the help desk.;
If youve had trouble logging in to;eServices;because your SSN is linked to an existing account that you cant access, please try again.;
The federal government;extended the amount of time of unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks. That means that workers can receive the 26 weeks of unemployment plus another 13 weeks. It is entirely possible that it will continue to be expanded further.;
Learn How To Apply For Unemployment In Washington State
Find Washington Unemployment Application Information
If you are asking yourself How can I sign up for unemployment in Washington? you will be pleased to know that you can file an online application for unemployment. If applying online does not interest you, there are other options to consider, but no matter what option you choose, you need to know how to file for an unemployment claim correctly. Keep reading to learn about the following.
If you do not know where to register for unemployment benefits, it is important to note that the Washington Employment Security Department does not accept in-person applications.
Find Out How to Appeal Denied Benefits