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