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State: District of Columbia (DC)
Phone Number:1 (877) 319-7346 or (202) 724-7000 (8:30am - 5pm, Mon - Fri) to file unemployment claim. It is advised to call during non-peak hours—weekdays after 5pm, and all day Saturday—to reach our automated line.
Major Towns:Washington
Current Unemploymnet Rate in District of Columbia

District of Columbia Unemployment Questions

Who is eligible for EUC?
Unemployed claimants whose regular UI benefits expire before the week ending December 29, 2012 may be eligible for EUC. Claimants cannot be eligible for a new, regular unemployment compensation claim in the District of Columbia, another state, or Canada. Claimants who qualify for this federal program will be notified of their potential eligibility and next steps.

If a claimant is currently filing for regular benefits, does the claimant have to file an application for EUC?
Yes. An EUC application will be mailed after he or she has collected the maximum amount of regular benefits available. If the claimant is eligible for EUC and remains partially or totally unemployed, the claimant may continue to file weekly certifications as he or she did for regular benefits.

When does the EUC Program expire?
On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed legislation extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. While the legislation did not add any new benefits, it did extend the deadline by which claimants can apply for and receive extended benefits. The last payable week of EUC benefits was extended to December 29, 2012.

What is the difference between the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program and the federal Extended Benefits (EB) Program?
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program is a federally funded program that provides payments to unemployed individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. The Extended Benefits (EB) Program provides benefits to claimants who have exhausted regular UI benefits and all EUC benefits. According to the federal government, the District of Columbia is in a High Unemployment Period (HUP), which allows eligible claimants to receive additional weeks of benefits. Claimants who qualify for these programs will be automatically notified.

What are the eligibility requirements for EB?
Claimants must meet the following criteria in order to receive EB:
  • Claimants must have exhausted all regular UI benefits and all EUC benefits before the week ending January 5, 2013.
  • Claimants cannot be eligible for unemployment benefits on a new, regular claim in DC, another state, or Canada.
  • Claimants MUST submit Work Search information each week. Work Search information can be supplied online or it may be submitted by mailing in a completed weekly claim form.

What if I have received EB in the past?
For those eligible claimants who have remaining weeks of Extended Benefits, an EB notification order will be sent in the mail when EUC Tier 4 is exhausted. This pay order will show the claimant’s EB balance.

What if I have never received EB?
For those claimants who qualify, but have never claimed EB, a monetary determination and an EB pay order will be sent in the mail.

What if a claimant has benefit weeks remaining under the local Additional Benefits (AB) Program?
The local Additional Benefits program expired on November 6, 2009, when President Obama signed an extension for EUC08. AB program benefits are no longer available.

To be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet certain wage requirements within a 12-month period called the base period. The base period is determined by the date you file your initial claim for benefits.

Your weekly benefit amount is determined by the amount of wages in the quarter of the base period in which your earnings were the highest. Your maximum benefit amount is the lesser of twenty six (26) times your weekly benefit amount or one half of your total base period wages.

Child Support Obligation
If you owe child support, a deduction of at least twenty five (25) percent of your weekly benefit amount may be made. The amount deducted will be applied to your child support obligation.

If you receive benefits to which you are not entitled, you have been overpaid. You will receive a written determination which will explain the amount overpaid and the reason for the overpayment.

You may file your weekly claim for benefits over the Internet at You may also file your weekly claim over the telephone at 202-724-7000. In either case, you will need to use the password that you created or that we mailed to you when you filed your initial claim. If you do not know your password, you may contact the Department’s Call Center at 202-724-7000. Filing your weekly claim form over the internet or over the phone is the fastest and most efficient way to certify for benefits. If you are unable to file over the internet or over the telephone, you may file your weekly claim by mail. Shortly after you file your initial claim application, you should receive in the mail your first claim form. If you do not receive this form within seven (7) days of the date you submitted your claim application, you should report to your DC Works! Career Center or contact the Call Center. The earliest you can file your weekly claim is the Sunday following the week ending date on the form. 15 To assure prompt payment, you are advised to file your weekly claim on either the Sunday or the Monday following the week ending date on the claim form. The latest you should file your claim is seven (7) calendar days after the week ending date on the form.

Under District law there is a one week waiting period before benefits are paid. The waiting period is the first week for which you would otherwise be eligible. Generally, this is the first week of your claim. No payment is made for the waiting period.

Questions & Answers

  1. 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?

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. Donna,

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

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


  4. 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?

    1. 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)

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