Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
Max. Weeks of Benefits
Current Jobless Rate
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
Max Weeks of benefits
Current Jobless rate

Updated : August 12th, 2021

Washington (WA) Unemployment Benefits

The Washington Employment Security Department provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to unemployed residents. To receive UI benefits, you should meet several eligibility criteria. We have listed the eligibility criteria that you must meet to receive unemployment benefits in Washington and other UI related information on this page.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Washington

You must meet certain eligibility criteria to collect Washington unemployment benefits. They include:

Monetary Eligibility

To monetarily qualify for Washington unemployment benefits, you must:

  • Have worked in the state for the last 18 months
  • Have worked in the state for the last 18 months

Note –
The base period
is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters before the start date of your unemployment claim. If you don’t have sufficient wages in your base period to qualify for UI benefits, the Department will consider wages in your alternative base period.
Alternative base period is the last four completed calendar quarters preceding the first day of your benefit year.

Job Separation

Some of the job separation requirements that you must meet to be eligible for Washington Unemployment Insurance include:

  • You are fully or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You quit your job due to an unsafe working environment
  • You have quit your job because you were sick and were unable to work
  • You quit because your work hour or pay was reduced by 25% or more
  • You quit your job due to harassment at your workplace, and your employer didn’t take any action despite bringing it to his or her notice

The Washington Employment Security Department may contact your employers to cross-verify the cause for your job separation. If it is found that you had hidden facts about your job separation, the Department may disqualify you from receiving benefits.

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

You should maintain your eligibility criteria as long as you want to receive Washington unemployment benefits. You can maintain your eligibility in the following ways:

  • Be able and available for work
  • Actively looking for a work
  • Document work search activities and submit them to the Department when you are required to
  • Accept a suitable job offer

Find out on job search requirements

How to Apply For UI Benefits in Washington?

You will need the following documents to file for Washington unemployment benefits:

You can file for unemployment benefits in Washington through any of the following methods:


This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to apply for Washington unemployment benefits. Sign in with a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account and fill the necessary fields in the application.


You can also apply by telephone. Simply call 800-318-6022 any time between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are speech or hearing impaired, call the TTY line at 800-365-8969.

Note – The first week will be your waiting week. You must file a weekly claim for this week but will not receive any 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 (12 a.m. Sunday to 4 p.m. Friday, unless Friday is a state holiday) or speak to representatives at the Department

UI Benefits Amount

The amount you receive will depend on your wages earned in the base period. In Washington, the maximum weekly benefit amount you can receive is $844, and the minimum is $201.

Benefits Calculator

Use the benefits calculator to determine your estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
Select Number of Dependents:
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Washington
Number of Dependents: 0

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Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things To Know After Filing An Application

TThere are a few aspects that you must know after applying for Washington unemployment benefits.


Sometimes you may receive unemployment overpayments due to administrative errors, a reversal of previous unemployment decisions, or fraudulent practices. The overpaid amount must be repaid to the Employment Security Department either by mailing a check or sending a money order.
You can mail the payment to the following address:
Employment Security Department
Benefit Payment Control
P.O. Box 24928
Seattle, WA 98124-0928
You can also pay back online with your routing number and bank account.

If you fail to repay the overpaid amount, the Department may file a lien in Superior Court against your property or deduct the amount from your federal income tax refund or lottery winnings.

Overpayment Through Fraud

If the Department finds that you have received overpayment due to fraudulent practices, it will disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. You will also have to pay the penalty and may face criminal charges.

Benefits Extension

The state provides extended benefits when the unemployment rate is too high or there is an economic downturn. Visit the Department to know more about the extended benefits.

Job Training Assistance

The Washington Employment Security Department, along with the WorkSource System, offers job search assistance to unemployed workers. The WorkSource also provides training to the dislocated workers. Other services offered include resume creation, cover letter preparation, statewide job search, career advice, etc.

Know more job training opportunities in WA

Washington Phone Numbers

Find the below-listed fax and phone numbers of unemployment offices in Washington:

WA Unemployment Office Numbers

Claims center 800-318-6022 (toll free)
TTY 800-365-8969
Unemployment questions hotline 1-833-572-8400
Employment Security Fax: 360-902-9239
Unemployment Law Project 888-441-9178
Report Unemployment fraud to Office of Special Investigations 800-246-9763

Locate your nearest unemployment office

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What is a customer identification number?
The Department has replaced the Social Security number (SSN) a customer identification number (ID) to reduce identity theft. However, you must still use your SSN when contacting representatives at the claims center, when using our automated claims line, or registering for eServices
Q. How can I file an unemployment appeal?
You must appeal in writing and postmarked to the address or faxed to the number listed on the written decision within 30 days following the date you received the mail.
Q. Can I backdate my claim?
Yes, you can backdate your claim by one week. The Department will ask for additional information If you request to backdate your claim by more than one week.

Questions & Answers

    • My last day of work was November 30, 2013. The young child I am a night duty nurse for had to enter a Seattle hospital for specialized treatment. I returned to work December 23, 2013. I applied for unemployment benefits on December right before being notified to return to work.

      My question is: am I eligible for unemployment benefits? If not how do I stop my application?

      • Your application is eligible for the period of no employment.If you have not received a check or electronic payment, please contact the claims center in Washington on 800-318-6022.

  1. What happens when my benefits / cash run out but I am still eligible for benefits still end of December 2013? I am looking for jobs and doing everything correct, but at my age [59] It is getting harder to succeed. Help thank you

  2. My employer has asked me to inquire about an unemployment program recently used by other employers called “work share”. What is it and how does it work. What are the steps and/or criteria for application.

    Thank you

  3. I have a boss/owner that is always yelling at the employee’s for anything and everything even if we were not told to do something he wanted done. Well the other day as he started yelling at me for the second time I lost controll and started yelling back then I grabbed his over shirt and shook him while yelling back at him and also telling him I quit because I can no longer take his abuse and that he has turned this job into a hostile work place. 3 or 4 weeks prior another driver put in his notice to quit for the same reason and another employee told me he was ready to punch the boss. Can I get benifits for leaving my job due to a hostile enviroment?

  4. I gave 2 weeks notice and the last day I worked was Dec. 3rd, 2012. I received a lump sum payout of my vacation on Dec. 21st, 2012 for 266.24 hours. My first week of unemployment I was paid for was I believe week ending Jan. 6, 2013. According to the claims kit, my vacation pay out should not have been deducted. It was not for a specific week but my vacation pay out. I faxed Steven in Spokane my pay stub on March 8, 2012 but I have not heard back. Can you help me?

  5. I have been working from 4pm-2:30am for 7 years now and 13 total years with the employer and have been diagnosed with shift sleep disorder not to mention my family(wife, 9 year and 6 year old sons) and I have been suffering from me not being home when my family is. I would like a shift change and career change. Would I be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while I change careers?
    Thank you,

    • If i quit my job ,i get unemployment ? Because just 2 days a week, i try to back to school get degree.

  6. I am currently driving 100 miles to work, with gas prices going up this has caused quite a heartship on me. Would I be eligible for unemployment if I voluntarily quit my job for this reason?

    • After 3 months of 2 surgeries/hospital stay/care facility stay/home health care I resigned from my job to care for my wife when the home health care company stopped their appointments to our home. I then became her health care person until she fully recovered. After she recovers I will have to find another job as we have exhausted our resources on bills. When I am ready to go back to work do I qualify for unemployment benefits while looking for work?

  7. With sequestration looming our company, (CH2MHILL or CHPRC as it is known on the Hanford site),is talking about possible “Furloughs”. My question is: If the employee is out of work through no fault of his own or,Furlough,would the employee be eligible for unemployment benefits?

  8. How can someone who worked in Arizona and quit to accept another job and only worked 3 weeks file unemployment in Washington State?

  9. Although I am currently employed I have a question regarding someone who is on unemployment who will start a job on Monday. They won’t receive there first pay check for at least 3 weeks, do they still call in to receive benefits until they receive a pay check?
    Thank you

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