How Do I Apply For Unemployment In Washington State
Try These Tips To Improve Your Ability To Apply On
- Apply during off-peak hours or try again later in the week once approved benefits are retroactive to your date of eligibility.
- Use a computer or laptop if you can, as smart phones are experiencing technical difficulties in the application process.
- Only try reloading twice in 10 minutes. If you dont get through wait 2 hours before trying again.
- Following the steps below before you apply can help make your application process as smooth as possible.
When To File A Wage Replacement Claim In Washington State
If you are eligible for wage-replacement benefits, and no further information is needed, L& I or your self-insured employer sends the first benefit check within 14 days of receiving the report. L& I or your self-insured employer must receive your Report of Accident within 1 year of your injury date to file a claim.
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Are You Out Of Work Through No Fault Of Your Own
You must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Collecting Unemployment After a Layoff
If you were laid off, lost your job in a reduction-in-force , or got âdownsizedâ for economic reasons, you will meet this requirement.
Collecting Unemployment After Being Fired
If you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or simply werenât a good fit, you wonât necessarily be barred from receiving benefits. As long as your actions donât rise to the level of âmisconduct,â you will still be eligible to receive unemployment. In Washington, misconduct means that the employeeâs actions show a âwillful or wanton disregardâ for the employerâs interest, or a carelessness that is so serious or frequent to show an intentional disregard for the employerâs interests. Under Washington law, the following are examples of misconduct:
- acts of insubordination
- repeatedly being late or absent after receiving a warning
- lying on employment documents or other work-related dishonesty
- engaging in physical violence at the workplace
- work-related violations of the law
- intentional violation of a collective bargaining agreement, and
- violating a reasonable company policy.
Collecting Unemployment After Quitting
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Washington State ‘doing Well’ Ranked 32nd For Increased Unemployment Claimsyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
As measured by increases in unemploymentclaims due to COVID-19, Washington state ranks 32nd in the nation. That’s according to a report from personal finance website WalletHub, which looked at the unemploymentclaims of all 50 states and the District of Columbia at several key weeks.
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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
What Else Do I Need To Know
LeVine also addressed issues that applicants may face when applying for unemployment under the new CARES Act rules.
The website says I’m “ineligible” after I filled out the form, but the checklist says I’m eligible.
LeVine says that people should ignore that message, and click on the link to apply for the unemployment assistance. LeVine said this glitch was a “trade-off” in order to prioritize getting systems in place to get people their money faster.
“That’s not the optimal experience and I recognize that,” LeVine said.
She said ESD staff would be working through the weekend on upgrading the state’s systems.
I was self-employed or an independent contractor, so how will my weekly benefit be determined?
Independent contractors and self-employed workers will need to upload their wage data to the Employment Security Department, and ESD staff will review it to verify it and determine how much the applicant is eligible for per week. But the state in the meantime will provide the minimum weekly benefit.
If the person is eligible for more than the minimum, ESD will pay the difference retroactively when wages have been verified.
What is the minimum benefit? When will I get it?
The minimum benefit will be $235 from the state unemployment assistance program, plus $600 from the CARES act. That will come to $835 a week.
If I was denied benefits in the past few weeks, should I try again?
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How To Submit A Weekly Claim In Washington State
The first week is your waiting week. You must submit a weekly claim for this week, but you will not be paid for it. If you didnt apply for unemployment benefits until near the end of a week, give us two business days to process your application before submitting your first weekly claim the following week. Find out if you qualify for benefits.
How Can I Get Ready To Apply
Suzi LeVine, commissioner for the state Employment Security Department, gave the following four tips for getting ready to apply:
Sign up for the state’s action alerts
The Employment Security Department will provide instructions and updates through a mailing list so applicants can be better prepared.
Use the state’s eligibility checker to see if you meet the requirements
The state has a checklist that you can use to see if your circumstances meet the unemployment criteria under the state’s regular unemployment rules, or the new rules under the coronavirus expansion.
Get all your information ready using the application checklist
The Employment Security Department has an application checklist for information you will need to know before applying for unemployment benefits. This information includes dates and address for previous employers, personal information and more. The entire checklist of information you will need is here.
Sign up for a SecureAccess account BEFORE you start your application
You can take care of before assembling everything you need to apply, to get that step out of the way.
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Estimate Your Own Wba
- Identify the two highest quarters in your base year.
- Key each total in the boxes below.
- Press “Calculate” to see how much you are potentially eligible to receive.
- To try again, press Clear and start over.
Keep in mind that this is just an estimate of your weekly benefit amount. Your actual weekly benefit amount may be different when you file your claim.
*$295 is the minimum weekly benefit amount payable.**$929 is the maximum weekly benefit amount payable.
Fired And Still Eligible
If the ESD denies the claim for benefits because you were discharged for cause, you may still be eligible for benefits. You may have been discharged for a one-time incident. The state may not consider this to be misconduct. However, severe violations of policy, like violence against another employee, may be considered misconduct even though it happened only once.
Your former employer will receive notice when you file a claim. The state will ask them about the circumstances of your separation from work, and they may offer information to counter your side of the story, resulting in a denial. You may have to exercise your right to appeal.
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For How Long Can I Claim The Benefits
Most states allow eligible residents to claim unemployment benefits for 26 weeks , although some states offer more or less time.
Montana allows for up to 28 weeks, while Idaho is among the states that offer less time at 21 weeks.
Find the answers to more frequently asked questions in Washington here.
Find the answers to more frequently asked questions in Idaho here.
Is There A Good Cause To Quit In Washington State
The law does allow benefits in situations where an employee has good cause to quit. These reasons can be found in RCW 50.20.050. HOWEVER, Washington law only recognizes 12 specific good cause reasons to quit, and what might seem like a good cause to you may not be a good cause to quit under the law.
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Q I Applied For Unemployment Benefits And Was Denied But I Believe Esd Was Wrong To Deny My Claim What Should I Do
A. Always file again when youre denied*. You will be assigned a hearing to appeal your case in front of a judge. There is no fee and no penalty if you end up withdrawing the appeal. Notify the judge in writing if your issue is resolved otherwise it may be very difficult to get another hearing.
*The ESD is recommending that you do not appeal a denial of standby unless your issue is complicated, or the standby designation will affect your access to benefits.
How To File Weekly Claims
You must file a weekly certification to begin receiving benefits. You must then submit a claim for each week that you want to receive benefits. You can file a claim online or by telephone.
- If you are filing online, file between Sunday 12:00 a.m. to Saturday 11:59 p.m.
- If you are filing by phone, use the automated system or speak to representatives at the Department
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How Can I Estimate My Weekly Benefit Amount
You can estimate your own weekly benefit amount to see how much you are potentially eligible to receive. To do this, you need to know which calendar quarters will make up your base year.
Your base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week in which you apply for benefits. For example, if you applied for unemployment benefits on Jan. 20, 2021, your base year would include wages earned from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020.
You could be eligible for an alternate base year claim if you do not have enough hours in that base year for a valid claim .
When you file your claim here:
Your base year is the blue-shaded area.
To estimate how much you might be eligible to receive, add together the gross wages in the two highest quarters during that period, divide by 2, and then multiply by 0.0385 to get your weekly benefit amount.
The total amount of benefits potentially payable on your claim is found by taking the smaller of:
- 26 times your weekly benefit amount or
- 1/3 of the total gross wages in all four quarters of your base year.
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Given such factors, some economists are not expecting a big change with the restoration of the job-search requirement or even the expiration of the extra $300 federal payment in September. If I were to consult my crystal ball, Id predict that were going to see no perceptible change in the labor shortage situation here in the Puget Sound region, said Vigdor.
My guess is that people will not jump at the first job they find, added Hodges.
The ESD will be alerting claimants about steps they need to take under the reinstated search requirements. Claimants will have to restart their job searches during the week of July 4-10 and will need to report those activities when filing claims starting the week of July 11 and continuing every subsequent week they are claiming benefits.
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Are Gig Workers Eligible For Unemployment
In Washington, the answer is maybe. The state’s unemployment insurance law is broader than under most other laws. This means that just because you are classified as an independent contractor under some laws does not mean that you are an independent contractor under Washington’s unemployment laws.
The state’s Employment Security Department encourages those who have been laid off or lost work to apply for benefits. It will evaluate each application for eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
According to NPR, the $2.2 trillion relief package passed by both the House and Senate allows self-employed people to apply for unemployment benefits that they normally would not qualify for. The package also lets some of the self-employed access disaster loans for small businesses.
What Is The Procedure For Filing For Unemployment Benefits
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be out of work due to circumstances beyond your control.
Unemployment benefits can be applied online through ESDs eServices page, which can be found here.
Remember that you should only apply for unemployment benefits at this time if you were already eligible before the CARES Act was passed in December of 2009.
If you werent eligible until that time , the ESD system is not currently configured to accept your application.
Youll need to sign up for the ESDs COVID-19 email updates in order to be notified when the system is updated and you can submit an application. The completion of this update is expected around the middle of April.
Beginning on the date that the unemployment program was established and you became eligible for unemployment benefits, your weekly benefits will be paid out in installments.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which broadened the scope of who is eligible for unemployment benefits, began operations on March 29, 2020. This means that if you have to wait until the middle of April to apply, you will not lose any weekly benefits.
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If a clerical error is identified on an application, it can be flagged by ESD. A flagged application is either directed to the adjudication process or denied outright. ESD states on its website that most unemployment-insurance applicants receive benefit checks or a decision explaining why they are not eligible within three weeks of their initial application, but that a small percentage of claims requires additional fact-finding, or adjudication, to determine if the individual is eligible for benefits.
With the scale and rapidity of the unemployment spike caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the timeliness of ESDs adjudication process was hampered, the agency said.
According to an update published by ESD on April 30th, a total of 787,533 distinct individuals had filed for unemployment insurance since the week ending on March 7th when COVID-19 job losses began.
Following the launch of the additional benefits under the CARES Act passed by Congress, the state saw the single largest week of claims in history with nearly 1.5 million initial claims filed. For context, ESD points out, the week ending March 7 before the crisis hit saw only 6,584 initial claims filed.
Then on May 11, ESD launched Operation 100% an effort to resolve all claims that were submitted to ESD between March 8 and June 18.
When Operation 100% was announced, ESD said that roughly 57,000 individuals, or 7% of applicants, had been waiting, some for many weeks, for their claim to be approved.
Applying Over The Phone In Washington State
As previously stated, you can also file for unemployment in Washington over the phone. You will need to call the state Automated Claims Line to complete an unemployment claim, and if you do not have the necessary information on hand, the claims specialist may ask you to call back later. When calling, please tell the WA unemployment registration specialist if you are under the protection of a court order before you begin to answer questions. You can elect to have the application translated into the following foreign languages.
If you elect to call the Washington Unemployment Claims Center instead of the Automated Claims Line, a claims specialist, instead of a computer, will ask you questions. This is the best option if you prefer to interact with a human, but it usually takes longer than the other application methods. You will need to file for unemployment in WA by phone if you:
You can also complete a WA unemployment EDD application using a tablet or smartphone if you do not have access to a personal computer.
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After Quitting My Job Can I File For Unemployment Benefits
Even if you have a valid reason for leaving your job, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job. According to Washington state law, a variety of reasons can be used to justify leaving a job, such as a family members serious illness, the relocation of a spouse or domestic partner, a significant reduction in pay, domestic violence, or unsafe working conditions that have gone uncorrected by the employer. Other circumstances may also qualify as good cause, but the specifics of each situation must be considered.
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