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State: Washington (WA)
Phone Number:800-318-6022 (TTY 800-365-8969) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Major Towns:Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Spokane Val, Federal Way, Yakima, Kent, and Bellingham
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Washington

Washington Unemployment Questions

Unemployment benefits in Washington when you work part-time
If you work part-time, you can collect UI benefits, but you benefits will be reduced. You must still meet the job-search requirements while working part-time.

If you did not work more than 17 hours in any week in your base period, you may need to look for only part-time work. Working part-time usually extends the number of weeks you can draw benefits. Additional earnings also may help you qualify for a new claim when your benefit year ends.


How does severance pay affect your benefits?
Severance payments do not usually affect your unemployment benefits. However, pay in lieu of notice or continuation pay with full benefits that are guaranteed can affect your benefits. Report any separation-related payments you receive or are entitled to receive to the telecenter.

Payments are considered severance pay when:
* The payments are not assigned to any period after your date of separation from your employer.
* You are not on call or in any way required to be available to your employer in order to receive these benefits.
* Your fringe benefits do not continue to accrue (vacation, retirement, sick, etc).
* You accept a new job and it does not affect your severance pay.


Special Information for ex-servicepersons filing for unemployment insurance based on military service wages.
Federal law requires that you be physically in the state in which you file your first claim based on military wages. If you are recently separated from the military, and have not filed a new claim based on your military wages, you must be in the State of Washington now to use this online application.

How long can I get benefits?
Your claim is good for a "benefit year," which is 52 weeks, beginning with the week you file your application. You cannot file a new claim in Washington until your benefit year is over, even though you may have received all of your benefits. Most claims receive between 13 to 26 weeks of benefits.

May I have my benefits deposited directly into my bank account?
Yes. If you apply online for a new claim, you’ll be offered the option of direct deposit. If you are already claiming benefits, or if you re-open a previous claim, you can sign up online.

How do I stop claiming UI benefits? Do I need to let you know I returned to work?

You do not need to tell us you have returned to work. The way to stop your claim is simple—just stop filing your weekly claims.

You may stop claiming at any time during your benefit year and resume claiming the balance of your benefits until your benefit year ends if you meet all eligibility requirements.

However, if you stop claiming, even for one week, your claim becomes inactive and you must reopen your claim during the first week you are eligible and want to begin claiming again.

If your WorkSource office requests information about you returning to work, please respond to them.


I didn't work last week. Can I backdate my claim?
If you file your claim using the Internet, the effective date is the Sunday of the week you file. If you want to claim for any back weeks, you need to call the claims center and ask to backdate your claim.

When do I report my holiday or vacation pay?

Report the holiday pay when you claim the week in which the holiday occurred. Do not wait 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(s) in which the vacation days occurred.

If you are in doubt or have any questions, call the claims center for help.


Questions & Answers

102 thoughts on “Washington Unemployment Benefits”

  1. Brian says:

    My wife is off work on approved FMLA and may be out for the full 12 weeks, without pay. Her employer has told her that if she applies for unemployment, they will assume she has resigned, even if she is not resigning. Can they assume this as her intention is to return to work.

    1. Sam says:

      Brian,

      I am not really sure of a definite answer to your question. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for discussion with a Claims Representative.

  2. Brian says:

    If i work per diem how do i show that on the weekly claim form? No options reflect that situation accurately.

    1. Sam says:

      Brian,

      Please call the Claims Center for assistance in this regard.

  3. Robert Fiut says:

    Hello,
    I’m working seasonally now. Am currently receiving WA State UI. My base year ends mid-Dec. 2018. If my benefits run out before the base year ends, can I file a valid/eligible, new claim before then? Thanks, Bob

    1. Sam says:

      Robert,

      UI benefits are not revolving in nature. You will only be able to claim for one full cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  4. Sarah says:

    Can you collect unemployment insurance if you work per diem?

    1. Sam says:

      Sarah,

      If your employer is paying Unemployment Taxes into the system, you can claim. Please check with your employer.

  5. Deborah Klose says:

    My benefit is “Exhausted” — I still have not found a job. Is there another option for me to collect funding?

    1. Sam says:

      Deborah,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. Scott Forman says:

    If you have worked in wa state for 20 years without a lay off then get laid off and draw unemployment for the maximum amount alotted then find a job and are laid off after 30 days can you start a new claim4

    1. Sam says:

      Scott,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center for an accurate update.

  7. Cynthia Kressin says:

    this website needs to be updated. It should include current official state websites in order to create a secure account. For WA state it is: https://esd.wa.gov/

  8. Charlotte Enott says:

    When/how will I know if my application went through? I am not sure if I was supposed to go through the employer info, Since I am the employee? I thought I would have to explain the circumstances of why/how I became unemployed.

    1. Sam says:

      Charlotte,

      If you applied by phone, you can call the number and look out for a relevant option. If you filed on the internet, please log-in to check the claim status.

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