Q What If Ive Been Collecting Unemployment Benefits And Either Myself Or A Family Member Gets Sick With Covid
A. If you have been receiving unemployment benefits and are now sick with COVID-19 or need to take care of a loved one who is sick with COVID-19, you may not be considered able and available for work. You can apply for benefits with Paid Familyand Medical Leave. You cannot receive both unemployment benefits and PFML during the same week. You need to stop claiming unemployment benefits when you start receiving Paid Family and Medical Leave. Cancellation of your unemployment claim is not necessary. Please visitPaid FamilyandMedical Leave’s websitefor more information. Eligibility decisions for both unemployment and PFML are made on a case-by-case basis.
Applying For Washington State Unemployment Benefits Online
If you do not know where to sign up for unemployment in Washington, the state recommends that you apply for unemployment online. The online application for unemployment can be found on the Washington State Employment Security Department website, and it is completely secure. The WA State online application for unemployment will request personal information, such as your name and contact information, as well as questions about your previous employer and your income history.
The state also recommends that you apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible, even if you do not have all the necessary information. You can update your information online or over the phone later on, and the sooner your application is processed and approved, the sooner you can begin receiving benefits. Your unemployment EDD application claim will become effective on the Sunday of the week that you apply, regardless of the day you submitted your application. If you still do not know how to apply for unemployment online, you may want to apply over the phone or look over an online practice application. The practice application contains the same questions as the real application, but it cannot be submitted.
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?
MORE TIPS ON APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT:
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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.
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 havent 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.
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How Unemployment Works In Washington
And How To Get Unemployment in Washington
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:
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Q I Am A 1099 Or Independent Contractor Do I Qualify For Unemployment
A. Go ahead and file, the ESD will determine your eligibility to state unemployment. If you do qualify, you may receive benefits from the state. ESD will follow up with you with instructions.
Under the CARES Act, unemployment benefits have been expanded to include those who normally wouldnt qualify, such as independent contractors. You can leave your claim open or file once that is implemented, sometime in the week of April 18.
A Brief Look At The Unemployment Numbers And Covid
The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global crisis of its kind in living memory, and thats no exaggeration. The only events that have even come close in terms of worldwide scale over the last century have been the World Wars, the Great Depression, and of course, the 1918 Spanish Flu. But even with those ignominious events, the sheer magnitude of this economic shock caused by the current crisis is unparalleled.
Before the outbreak, the highest weekly jobless claim was approximately 650,000 Americans. That was at the peak of the Great Recession and the housing crisis of 2009. Those numbers paled in comparison to what we saw in March. According to ING:
We knew that todays figure was going to be bad, just not quite this bad. There were 3.283 million initial jobless claims for the week ended March 21st up 1064.2% on the week before and the highest on record by a factor of nearly 5. We were expecting something a little north of 2 million while the consensus was at 1.7 million.
And this was just the first wave.
Per CNBC, in week 2, The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks. Washingtonians didnt escape this fate. The Washington State Employment Security Department reports the weekly claims of unemployment during March:
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How Do I Appeal A Decision
If you dont receive a favorable response to your original claim, you do have the option to appeal the decision. The easiest way to appeal is online. You can submit a statement of appeal online through your eService account. Select the Decision option, choose the decision youd like to appeal, and select Appeal to begin the process. If youd prefer to mail your statement, you can send a letter outlining your objections to the decision and asking for additional review to the following address:
Claims Center AppealsP.O. Box 19018Olympia, WA 98507-0018
There is no option for submitting an appeal either by email or over the phone. Once your appeal is received, your case will garner additional review, and you may be asked to participate in a hearing so that an administrative law judge can gather additional information about your case.
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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What Is The Best Way To Manage My Unemployment Benefits
Following approval for unemployment insurance benefits, you will be required to submit recertification forms each week in order to receive your weekly benefit for the previous week in which you were approved. Your account with the Employee Security Departments eServices website will already be set up if you submitted your initial claim through the online portal mentioned above.
Simply log into your account and check your account alerts to see if you have received a message about your weekly unemployment compensation. To submit your weekly claim, go to the link provided in the email and follow the instructions provided there.
It is possible to submit your weekly unemployment benefits claim by phone if you cannot submit your application online. Simply dial 800-318-6022 and choose between using the automated system or speaking with a claims agent to file a claim.
You have the option of receiving your unemployment benefits either through direct deposit or through a prepaid debit card, both of which can be set up online when you apply for benefits.
Learn About Washington Unemployment Insurance
Discover How to Apply for Washington Unemployment
In Washington, unemployment benefits are offered to workers who have recently lost their job through no fault of their own. Most unemployed individuals receive benefits for 13 to 26 weeks during a 52-week calendar year. Losing a job can place an immense amount of emotional and financial strain on an employee, and the funds that workers receive from the state are meant to serve as a substitute for a normal income. Job-seeking beneficiaries do not receive their full salary, and there is a limit on how much a worker can receive in terms of benefits. If a worker plans to file for WA unemployment insurance, taking the time to learn about the filing process can be highly beneficial.
Washington Unemployment Resources
Find Out How to Appeal Denied Benefits
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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.
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, youll need to answer special questions in addition to regular unemployment questions.
- If you find work, stop filing weekly claims. Your payments will stop.
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Q Do I Need To Report Any Holiday Or Vacation Pay
A.Yes, report the holiday pay during the week in which the holiday occurred. Do notwait until you are paid for the holiday to report it.
If your vacation pay was accrued and there are no specific dates attached to it, you do not need to report it. However, if your vacation pay was for specific days, it is deductible, and you need to report it. Be sure to report it for the week in which the vacation days occurred.
Unemployment Claims Up In Washington As State Continues Its Slow Uneven Recovery
OLYMPIA New unemployment claims in Washington kicked up last week, underscoring an economic recovery that continues to be frustratingly slow and starkly uneven.
Washingtonians filed 5,545 new, or “initial,” claims for jobless benefits last week, up nearly 16% from the prior week, according to data posted Thursday by the state Employment Security Department.
That increase contrasted with the U.S. as a whole, which saw claims fall 3.4% to 281,000, the fewest since the pandemic started last year, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The good news: New jobless claims in Washington aren’t out of line with historical patterns, which tend to reflect higher seasonal layoffs this time of year. Last week’s claims were still well below the number filed in the same week in pre-pandemic 2019.
Workers in Washington are also benefiting as employers seek to entice them with higher wages and other inducements. This week, two Seattle-area employers Costco and Starbucks announced plans to raise their minimum wages nationally, to $17 and $15, respectively.
But despite wage increases, job growth in September was much slower than in June or July.
Further, while hiring has surged in some areas and industries in Washington, it lags in many others, new state data shows.
Washington’s manufacturing industry, for example, was still down by 32,200 jobs, or nearly 11%, in September compared with September 2019.
The Wenatchee World staff contributed to this report.
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Are There Benefits Of Unemployment
When you lose your job for no fault of your own, you are entitled to unemployment benefits, which provide you with a temporary source of income. The money will partially replace your lost earnings and will assist you in meeting your living expenses while you look for new employment. Financial need is not taken into consideration when calculating the benefits from taxes your former employer paid. While you are receiving benefits, your primary responsibility is to return to work as soon as possible.
More Info For Employees Who Were Laid Off Or Had Hours Reduced:
Our state’s unemployment agency has waived the requirement for people receiving unemployment to search for work, until further notice.
During the coronavirus crisis, standby & partial unemployment benefits are now available to part-time employees who have worked at least 680 hours during their base year.
Our state has also waived the waiting week requirement for unemployment so you can file for benefits as soon as you are laid off or experience reduced hours.
ESD has said they are currently experiencing a glitch that means workers who apply for standby may receive a notification that their application has been denied. This is an error and theyre reviewing these denials one by one, and that you do not need to call to get your denial reviewed if youve received this message in error.
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