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District of Columbia Unemployment Calculator

District of Columbia Unemployment Calculator

DC Unemployment insurance benefits are an essential safety net for individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In the District of Columbia, eligible residents can receive unemployment benefits to help make ends meet during the job search.

If you are unemployed and are looking for financial assistance, learn how to estimate your weekly payment using the Washington DC unemployment calculator.

Washington, DC Unemployment Benefits Calculator

Please note that this tool provides a helpful estimate and is not a guarantee of benefits.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
Dist of Columbia
Select Number of Dependents:
Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Dist of Columbia
Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?

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$ 25,000
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$ 25,000
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$ 25,000
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$ 25,000
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.

How are Washington DC unemployment benefits calculated?

Your weekly benefit amount is calculated by taking your highest quarter of wages in your base period and dividing it by 26.

If you earned $6,000 during the highest quarter of your base period, your estimated payment would be $231 per week for 26 weeks.

The amount of money you receive as your weekly benefit is based on the highest amount of money you earned in one quarter during the base period. All claimants can receive a standard 26 weeks of benefits. The maximum weekly benefit amount you may receive is $444 and the minimum you can receive is $50 per week.

You may collect benefits up to your maximum benefit amount for weeks that fall within your benefit year. Your benefit year is the 52-week period that begins with the Sunday of the week when you first filed your claim for benefits.

You can’t file a new unemployment claim until your current benefit year has ended. However, if you use up your benefits before your benefit year is over, you may be able to file a new claim in another state if you have worked in that state and you meet that state’s requirements for filing a claim.

Factors that can reduce your UI compensation payment

Your weekly unemployment benefit amount may be reduced for several reasons, including the receipt of a pension, vacation pay, severance pay, and child support obligations. If you’re receiving a pension for which you made no financial contribution, we will determine the weekly pension amount and deduct it from your weekly benefit. However, if you made a financial contribution to your pension, there will be no reduction to your weekly benefit.

If you receive severance pay in installments, you will be ineligible for benefits during the period of those payments. If you receive severance pay in a lump sum, and it is attributable to a specific period, you will be ineligible for benefits during that period. However, if the lump sum is not attributable to any specific period, you will only be ineligible for benefits during the week in which you receive the lump sum payment.

Additionally, if you owe child support, at least 25% of your weekly benefit amount may be deducted and applied to your child support obligation.

Part-Time Work

You may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits if you work part time.

When you file your weekly claim for unemployment benefits, it’s essential to report all earnings from work, including self-employment. You must report the gross earnings before any deductions for taxes, health benefits, and others. Report earnings for the week you performed the work, regardless of when you were paid.

In case you don’t know the actual amount of your wages, provide an estimate by multiplying your hourly wage by the number of hours you worked in a week. However, if you later discover that your estimate was incorrect after receiving your paycheck, contact the Call Center at 202-724-7000 to update your information. It’s important to ensure that you accurately report all earnings to avoid any overpayments or penalties.

To determine your weekly benefit amount if you are working part time:

  • Add $50 to your weekly benefit amount
  • Subtract 66% of your gross weekly wages

The remainder, rounded down, is your reduced weekly benefit amount.

For example: If your weekly benefit amount is $400, and your gross income for

the week is $200, add $50 to your weekly benefit amount ($400 + $50 = $450).

Then, subtract 66% of your $200 in gross earnings:

200 x .66 = 132

$450 – $132 = $318. This means your benefit amount for that week you did part-time work is $318.


If you receive unemployment benefits that you’re not supposed to get, it’s called an improper payment, or overpayment. This can happen if you don’t report all the money you earned, report it incorrectly, or keep claiming benefits even though you’re working. If this happens, you’ll get a letter explaining what you need to pay back.

You have to pay it back in full, and if you don’t, you might face accusations of unemployment fraud and possible legal action. If you lied to get the benefits or didn’t give all the information you should have, you might have to pay back 15% more and you could be disqualified from getting benefits for up to a year, and even face legal trouble.

What is a base period?

The base period for unemployment benefits in Washington D.C. is the 12-month period before the initial claim for benefits. It includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the claimant filed for benefits.

Your work history and earnings during your base period affect your unemployment eligibility, as well as help determine your weekly benefit amount (WBA).

If the first week of your claim is in: Your base period is the 12 month period ending on:
January, February, or MarchSeptember 30th
April, May, or June December 31st
July, August, or SeptemberMarch 31st
October, November, or DecemberJune 30th

To receive DC unemployment compensation, you must meet the following wage requirements:

  • Have at least $1,300 in wages in one quarter of the base period
  • Earned wages in at least two quarters of the base period
  • You must have at least $1,950 in wages for the entire base period
  • Your total base period wages must be at least one and one half times the wages in your highest quarter, or be within $70 of that amount

Alternate base period

If you are not monetarily eligible for unemployment benefits under the base period, the DC unemployment office will then determine if you are monetarily eligible under an alternate base period.

The alternate base period consists of the most recently completed four calendar quarters prior to the date the individual filed their claim for benefits. This alternate base period is only used if the claimant does not have sufficient wages during the regular base period to establish a claim.

If the first week of your claim is in: Your alternate base period is the 12 month period ending on:
January, February, or MarchDecember 31st
April, May, or June March 31st
July, August, or SeptemberJune 30th
October, November, or DecemberSeptember 30th

1099-G Tax Forms

Residents of Washington, D.C. are required to pay federal income taxes on their unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation is considered taxable income by the IRS.

1099-G forms are sent out each tax year by January 31st to DC residents who received unemployment compensation. The federal tax is required by the IRS. The form shows the total amount of money you were paid in benefits from the Office of Unemployment Compensation during the previous calendar year. It includes any adjustments or tax withholding made to your benefits.

You will need to include the information from this form when filing your taxes for the previous year. The UC 1099-G form includes information about the benefits paid to you for several programs, including Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and others.

To get your 1099-G tax form, the government will mail it to the address on record before January 31st. You can also log into your Claimant Portal to view the form online. If you can’t access the form online, you can visit an American Job Center location, but you will need to bring your Social Security Card and government-issued photo ID. Your identity will be verified before you are given a copy of the form.

If you received a 1099-G in the mail and you didn’t file for Washington DC unemployment benefits, you may have been a victim of unemployment fraud. Report your suspicions to DOES immediately and contact the DC Attorney General’s office.

Collecting Payments

You can receive your payment in the form of direct deposit, or have funds deposited onto a debit card. The District of Columbia encourages all UI claimants to set up direct deposit since it’s a fast and efficient way to receive payments.

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is a convenient and secure way to receive your Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments directly to your bank account. By enrolling in this service, you eliminate the risk of lost or stolen checks, as well as the time and effort required to deposit or cash them.

To enroll, you will need to provide your financial institution’s name, nine-digit routing number, and account number (up to 17 digits), as well as specify whether you want to deposit your funds into a checking or savings account. You can enroll easily by clicking on the Enroll Now button after logging in to your DC Works UI account.

Once your bank verifies your account information, your payments will be deposited into your account within two business days after processing your continued claim form if you meet the eligibility requirements. In case of any problems with your bank account information, DOES will notify you immediately.

Debit Card

If you choose to receive a debit card, you will be sent a U.S. Bank ReliaCard. This is a prepaid debit card that can be reloaded with funds. This card offers a digital way to receive government agency payments, and it is not a credit card but operates similarly to other prepaid debit cards.

After adding funds to the card account, you can use the ReliaCard to make purchases. The ReliaCard operates similarly to other prepaid or debit cards, allowing you to use it for online purchases, as well as at grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, medical offices, and more. You can also withdraw cash at ATMs, banks, or credit unions.

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