This site is privately owned and is not affiliated with any government agency.

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

Updated : September 18th, 2023

District of Columbia Unemployment Benefits

District of Columbia Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Insurance (UI) in DC is provided by a joint state-federal initiative to those who have lost their jobs for no fault of their own. The UI benefits are intended to provide monetary stability to such people as they try to find another job opportunity.

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) in the District of Columbia provides a platform for individuals who are seeking employment opportunities to find prospective employers, along with providing monetary support. The DOES also provides training and career development opportunities to the job-seekers to help them find better employment opportunities.

Washington DC UI Benefits Calculator

The District of Columbia Unemployment Benefits Calculator helps applicants estimate the their UI weekly benefits amount.

UI Benefits Calculator
Calculate Your DC Unemployment Benefits

See our DC unemployment calculator to estimate your UI benefit payment.

Washington DC Unemployment Calculator

Eligibility Requirements for UI Benefits In Washington D.C.

To gain eligibility for UI benefits in DC the applicant must have earned a sufficient amount of wages in the base period. Along with the wages in the base period, the applicant must provide an acceptable reason for separating from the previous employer to qualify for benefits.

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Washington, DC, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Be able and available to work.
  • Register for work search services with the Department of Employment Services (DOES) within three business days of filing your initial claim for benefits.
  • Be willing to accept suitable employment if offered.
  • Earn enough wages during your base period.
  • Actively seek work and be able to provide proof of your job search activities.
  • File weekly claims for benefits and report any wages you earn during the week

Individuals may get disqualified from receiving UI benefits even during the benefit period if they fail to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the DOES. Therefore, it is also important to know about the requirements to maintain eligibility throughout the base period to receive UI benefits without any stoppage.

Monetary Eligibility

To gain monetary eligibility in Washington DC, the applicants must meet certain wage requirements during their base period. DOES uses two methods to calculate the wages in the base period- regular base period and alternative base period.

Regular Base Period

The regular base period will consist of the first four of the last five calendar quarters. The base period is determined by the date on which the applicant filed his or her initial claim. The following table will help one to determine when his or her base period will begin based on his or her initial claim.

Check out the base period calculator to know more about the base year calculation.

The applicants must meet the following wage requirements to get qualified for unemployment benefits in DC:

  • Must have earned a minimum of $1,300 in wages in at least one-quarter of the base period
  • Must have received wages in at least two quarters of the base period
  • Must have received a minimum of $1,950 in wages during the entire base period
  • Total base period wages should be at least 1 ½ times the wages in your highest quarter or be within $70 of that amount

Alternative Base Period

If an applicant does not qualify through the regular base period calculations, the DOES will then use the alternative base period calculations to determine if the applicant qualifies for UI benefits. The alternative base period will consist of four recently completed calendar quarters.

The state of Washington DC provides unemployment benefits for a period of 26 weeks. The maximum weekly benefit amount that an applicant may earn is $444.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

As an applicant file for UI benefits, his or her previous employer will be notified about the application. The DOES will verify the reason given by you for separating from your previous organization by consulting your ex-employer.

It is important that the reason given by the applicant matches with the testimony of the ex-employer to qualify for Washington DC UI benefits. The following are some of the reasons that may lead to disqualification include:

  • The applicant quit from your previous organization with a “good-cause” connected to work. A reason will be considered as a ‘good cause’ only when it is established that the applicant has made sufficient efforts to solve the issue, but the issue remained unsolved
  • The applicant was fired from his or her previous organization for gross misconduct
  • The applicant was asked to leave because he or she indulged in illegal or unethical practices
  • The applicant quit his or her previous job due to lack of interest in your previous job

    The DOES takes some exceptions to the above rules for the following reasons:

    • Separation from employment due to domestic violence is an acceptable reason. The applicant must produce a police record, a court record, and a written statement shelter official, social worker, counselor, therapist, attorney, medical doctor, or clergy member
    • If the applicant had to quit the job due to the relocation of his or her spouse, he or she would be eligible for benefits
    • If the applicant quit the job to tend to an ill/disabled member of his or her family

    Maintaining Eligibility

    In addition to wage requirements and reasons for job-separation, applicants must also meet the following requirements once they qualify for UI benefits, failing which will lead to cancellation of UI benefits:

    • You must be available for work at times during the benefits weeks. The applicant must be ready to take up suitable job offers
    • You must perform 2 work search activities per week as a part of job search requirements
    • You must keep a record of your job-search activities and submit a report periodically to his or her nearest American Job Center
    • You must be physically able to work at all times during the benefits period. If you become incapable of working at any time in the benefits period, you must notify DOES
    • You must not be receiving UI benefits from any other states while he or she is receiving benefits from Washington DC
    • You must submit correct information. Any discrepancies can lead to the cancelation of unemployment benefits in DC

    Also, DOES provides training opportunities to claimants to help them find a suitable job. It’s a good idea to know about training programs that are designed to meet the needs of people who are making a claim so that you can use them effectively.

    Find out on job search requirements

    How to Apply For UI Benefits in DC

    The applicants can apply for benefits through the online portal or by placing a phone call to the DOES. But prior to filing the application, the applicants must remember to get hold of the following documents:


    To apply for unemployment benefits in DC, the applicant may choose from the following options:

    Online: Applications for DC unemployment must be submitted online. DOES no longer accepts unemployment applications over the phone.

    If you don’t have access to a computer, you can visit an American Job Center near you. These office locations offer a variety of resources to help you maintain eligibility and search for work.

    Learn how to apply for DC unemployment

    Things to Know After Filing An Application

    Claimants are required to be aware of various rules and regulations which may affect them even after filing for unemployment benefits in DC. The DOES expects all the claimants to adhere to all the rules to ensure that they receive benefits without any hindrances.

    Filing a Weekly Claim

    In order to continue receiving unemployment benefits in DC, it’s important to certify your eligibility every week by filing a weekly unemployment claim through the DCNetworks website. This involves reporting any income you’ve earned and confirming that you’re ready, able, and actively seeking employment. Additionally, you’ll need to complete at least two job search activities each week and keep a record of your job contacts. The first day you can file your weekly claim is the Sunday following your initial claim.

    You can file your weekly unemployment claim over the phone, online, by mail, or in person.

    Phone: Call 202-724- 7000 to file your weekly claim over the phone.

    Online: File your weekly claim for benefits online at Log into your account and select Claim Unemployment Benefits. File your weekly claim by answering all the questions. Provide any additional requested information.

    By mail:

    Department of Employment Services
    4058 Minnesota Ave, NE
    Washington, DC 20019

    Learn how to file a weekly claim

    Overpayments and Fraud

    An overpayment occurs when a claimant receives excessive unemployment compensation that he or she is not entitled to. When the department identifies an overpayment, it will send a mail to the claimant, bringing his or her notice to the issue. The letter will explain the reason for the occurrence of overpayment and the amount due which needs to be repaid by the claimant.

    DC unemployment fraud, on the other hand, takes place when a claimant knowingly provides false or misleading information or withholds crucial information to get higher weekly benefits.

    Repayment Of Overpayments

    Claimants who have received overpayments are liable to return all the excessive amount received. Repayments can either be paid in a lump sum or a payment plan can be requested to pay in installments.

    Furthermore, unemployment benefits may also be withheld to offset the outstanding amount. If the amount is not paid back for a prolonged period, the claimant’s district income tax refunds may also be intercepted to offset the outstanding balance. If the claimant fails to repay the unemployment compensation, legal action can be taken to collect the outstanding balance.

    In the case of fraud, along with the principle overpayment amount, an additional 15% penalty must be paid by the claimant. The claimant may also be subject to disqualification for up to one year from receiving UI benefits. The claimant may also face criminal prosecution and jail time if a case of fraud is established.

    Learn more about DC unemployment fraud


    Benefits Extension

    The state provides extended benefits only under certain situations such as a pandemic, natural disaster, or high unemployment rate. Standard unemployment benefits last up to 26 weeks. Several extensions that were active during the pandemic have since expired, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

    Job Training Assistance

    The DOES provides various training programs for the benefit of job-seekers in the state. Some of the important programs that claimants must be aware of are:

    • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): The WIOA is a federally funded program that aims to increase the competence of adults, dislocated workers, and the youth, make the workforce more employable. The WIOA provides various programs that are designed to cater to the need of specific groups
    • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA): The TAA program is offered to those who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade. In order words, if someone loses his/her job due to reasons such as moving the workplace to a different country, outsourcing jobs to different countries or any other reasons directly relating to international trade will be eligible to apply for TAA. The TAA offers a variety of benefits to applicants such as:
      • Job training
      • Income support
      • job search and relocation allowances
      • A wage supplement to certain reemployed trade-affected workers 50 years of age and older
    • Workforce Investment Act (WIA): As per the WIA, while receiving the UI benefits, the claimants will be eligible to enroll to a school or a training program while receiving the benefits.
      The applicants may also apply for monetary grants through Federal Pell Grant or other scholarship programs to attend schools.

    Know more job training opportunities in DC


    If you have applied for DC unemployment benefits and you are found to be ineligible, you will receive a Notice of Determination letter in the mail from a claims examiner. This letter will explain the reasons for the denial of your claim. However, if you disagree with the decision, you can file an appeal by following the instructions provided in the letter. You have 15 days to appeal once you receive your notification. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will handle your appeal.

    Appeals are not only available for individuals who have been denied benefits. Employers who disagree with a decision made by the Department of Employment Services (DOES) can also file an appeal and request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This process allows both parties to present their case and have a fair hearing.

    You can file an appeal by phone, fax, email, and by logging in to the DOES portal. If you need an employment lawyer, legal aid may be available via the Claimant Advocacy program.

    Learn more about the appeal process

    Contact information

    Need to contact DOES? View all DC unemployment phone numbers and office locations.

    In addition to phone support, DC has four American Job Centers in the area. These job centers provide a help to DC residents seeking job-related assistance.

    At American Job Centers, you can access a variety of resources, including career counseling, assistance with resume writing, direct job placement services, and training opportunities.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much can I receive in unemployment benefits?

    Your weekly benefit amount is based on how much money you made, and the maximum weekly benefit amount you may receive is $444 for a standard 26 weeks of benefits. Use the Washington DC unemployment calculator to estimate your weekly UI benefit.

    Who is eligible for unemployment compensation in Oregon?

    To receive unemployment benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, be actively seeking work and have earned enough wages in the last year to show how much you could receive.

    What happens after I apply for unemployment benefits in Oregon?

    Within a week of filing your first claim, you should receive a Notice of Monetary Determination, which outlines whether you made enough wages to get unemployment benefits, what your weekly benefit amount will be, your maximum benefit amount, the date your benefits will end and the wages used to calculate your benefits.

    What should I do while waiting for my claim to process? You should keep an eye out for messages from the Department of Employment Services (DOES), certify every week to show that you’re still eligible for benefits and continue to look for work.

    What are 1099-G forms in Oregon?

    1099-G forms are tax forms for certain government payments, including unemployment benefits, and are sent out by DOES every year by January 31.

    Questions & Answers

    1. I have received unemployment since end of March and is almost due for the 26 weeks allowance..I work for Hilton Hotel in DC.
      My hotel is not planning to reopen until further notice and we are still jobless.
      What do I have to do now reapply for unemployment ? or keep on applying weekly?
      Please let me know
      Best Regards

    2. I am in an extremely hostile wok environment. I work as a contractor for a Federal government agency. I work long hours, uncompensated for and have getting sick a lot, but can’t take off. Because I am a contractor, I can’t appeal and the contractor I work for is headquartered in Nebraska, and is very indifferent. I feel as though if I don’t quit, I will get critically ill. If I quit, I can’t get unemployment, correct?

      • Helen,

        A worker can be eligible to quit and claim UI under “Hostile” work conditions. However, it depends on whether your employer remitted Unemployment Taxes on your behalf. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    3. I was receiving disability funds and then resigned when I was not released by my doctor to return to work. I no longer receive any benefits, am I eligible for support?

      • Donna,

        To qualify, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

    4. According to my documentation, it seems like my benefit will run for 1 year. Could the date and information on the document be wrong?


    5. This is first time receiving unemployment. I noticed that profile lists 26 weeks for maximum benefits. Does this mean that benefits run out in 6 months? I am worried that I will not have secured a job then. I also had the understanding that UB run for 99 weeks. Will the 26 weeks automatically change to 99 weeks as I continue to claim weekly benefits?

      • States make unemployment decisions based on federal rules. The states pay basic unemployment benefits that are normally 26 weeks.

        Extensions for benefits depend on whether you are eligible and whether your state qualifies. You must finish up 26 weeks of state benefits before you can claim extended benefits. You should also continue to qualify and accept suitable employment if offered or your unemployment benefits may end.

        As you reside in District of Columbia, you could get benefits for up to 99 weeks. (EUC 53 weeks + EB 20 weeks = 99 weeks)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *