Washington Unemployment Benefit Questions
Washington’s unemployment insurance program can bring up a lot of questions. We’ve answered some of the most common ones claimants have below:
How do I file a claim for unemployment benefits in Washington?
There are two ways to apply for unemployment benefits in Washington State:
The quickest method is to apply online. It allows you to complete the application process, file weekly claims, and manage your UI benefits. Learn more.
If you don’t have a computer or need help from a live representative, you can go to your nearby WorkSource Washington office, or you can call the Employment Security Department’s UI claims center.
How much is unemployment in Washington?
The amount of unemployment benefits you receive in Washington depends on your earnings during the base period. Presently, the minimum weekly benefit amount is $317, while the maximum amount is $999.
You can visit the Washington Unemployment Calculator to estimate what your weekly benefit amount might be.
How long does Washington unemployment take to process?
The initial week you apply for unemployment benefits is called the waiting week. To receive credit for this week, you must fulfill the eligibility requirements. However, you won’t receive any payment during this waiting week.
If you meet the eligibility criteria when you file your claim for the second week, you will receive your first benefit payment. After that, you should receive your unemployment compensation within seven days of filing weekly claims. If you are deemed ineligible, you have the right to file an appeal.
It’s important to note that your payments may not arrive on the same day each week.
When does my weekly claim start?
When it comes to Washington unemployment, your weekly claim starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. When you file your weekly claim, you are claiming benefits for the week that ended the previous Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
It’s important to remember that the week you’re claiming must be completed before you can file a claim. If you want to receive benefits, you must submit a claim every week.
How do I check the status of my claim in Washington?
If you don’t receive confirmation that your weekly claim has been processed, there are two ways you can check the status of your claim:
- Sign in to your SecureAccess Washington eServices account and click on the “Summary” tab. Then, select the “UI claim” link to check the status of your claim.
- After 24 hours have passed since you submitted the claim, you can call the UI claims center’s automated phone line.
How do you contact Washington unemployment?
If you have any questions regarding your unemployment application or weekly claims, you should call the Washington UI claims center for assistance.
If you need help with job search activities, such as building your resume or accessing training programs, it is recommended that you visit your nearest WorkSource Washington location.
Can I file an unemployment claim with another state?
If you worked in different states during the 18 months prior to filing your unemployment claim in Washington, you have the option to combine your wages earned from both out-of-state and Washington employment. This can help you meet the eligibility requirements or increase your weekly benefit amount.
It’s important to note that according to federal law, you cannot receive unemployment insurance benefits from more than one state simultaneously. You will need to file your unemployment claim in the state where you earned the majority of your wages.
What happens if I lie to get unemployment benefits in Washington?
Lying to obtain benefits in Washington state is considered unemployment fraud and is taken very seriously. If you are caught providing false information or intentionally misleading the department to receive benefits, there will be severe consequences.
If it is discovered that you have lied to obtain unemployment benefits, the Washington State Employment Security Department may take legal action against you. This can result in penalties, fines, and even criminal charges. Additionally, you may be required to repay the fraudulently obtained benefits, including any additional penalties or interest.
Who pays for Washington unemployment insurance?
In Washington, the unemployment insurance program is primarily funded through employer payroll taxes. Employers are required to contribute to the unemployment insurance program by paying taxes based on their payroll. Employees do not directly contribute to the funding of unemployment insurance through their wages or salary.
Can you work part time and receive unemployment benefits?
If you are currently working part-time, you may still be eligible for a portion of your unemployment benefits.
When you file your weekly claim, it is important to disclose the number of hours you worked and the total amount of money you earned before any deductions, regardless of when you actually receive the payment for your work. This includes reporting any hours and earnings from non-covered employment as well.
Even if you are working part-time, you must remain capable and available to accept full-time employment. It is also necessary to actively search for full-time work and keep track of your job search activities.
Your weekly benefit amount is calculated by the Employment Security Department based on the hours and wages you report. It is crucial to provide accurate information, as the department will verify these details with your employer.
Are unemployment benefit amounts subject to taxes?
Yes, it’s important to know that your unemployment benefits are subject to income taxes. When you apply for unemployment benefits in Washington, you have two choices regarding taxes. Option one is to pay the taxes in full when you file your federal income tax return. Option two is to have the Department of Employment Security withhold 10% of your weekly benefit amount for taxes. You do not have to pay state income taxes in Washington.
What happens if information is not reported accurately?
If you believe you made a mistake when submitting your initial application for benefits or weekly claim, contact the Washington Employment Security Department right away. You can do so by messaging them through your SecureAccess Washington eServices portal or by calling the UI claims center.
Can I get unemployment if I am receiving a pension or retirement?
It’s important to inform the department if you receive or plan to receive payments from your retirement plan. They may subtract a portion of the retirement funds from your unemployment benefits.
If you receive a lump sum payment from your retirement, the weekly deduction amount depends on your expected lifespan. If you withdraw money from your retirement plan before or after rolling it over while you’re claiming benefits, you must report it.
The following types of payments are not subject to deduction:
- Social Security payments.
- Disability payments resulting from an injury (including VA disability).
- Payments received based on another person’s employment (such as survivor, widow, or pension settlements resulting from a divorce decree).
- Retirement plans that were transferred within 60 days to a long-term retirement account.