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Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$713
Max. Weeks of Benefits
26
Current Jobless Rate
5.1%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$713
Max Weeks of benefits
26
Current Jobless rate
5.1%

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:

Online

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.

Telephone

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

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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.

Overpayments

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

  1. I won my appeal may 5 have been getting my uib. The employer was a no show at hearing. Received a letter today Aug 25 that they want a review can they do this

  2. They keep telling me (NEED MORE INFO) FOR SOME REASON THEY THINK I HAV E SOMETHING TO DO WITH RAILROADS OR OUT OF STATE CLAIMS. I HAVE.
    NONE OF THAT.

  3. I live in Texas but I recently worked a job and was laid off in Washington. I was there for approx. 8 weeks on a turn around job. I got laid off last Thursday how do I file for my Washington benefits?

  4. 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. 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.

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

  6. 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. 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.

    1. Sarah,

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

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

    1. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. 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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