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Washington Unemployment Benefit Questions

Washington Unemployment Benefits

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. Social Security payments.
  2. Disability payments resulting from an injury (including VA disability).
  3. Payments received based on another person’s employment (such as survivor, widow, or pension settlements resulting from a divorce decree).
  4. Retirement plans that were transferred within 60 days to a long-term retirement account.

  1. I have been approved for Standby. when would I expect to receive payment?? Is there anyone IO can talk to in person? Last Spring I actually had someone call me back and that was amazing

  2. Franks question, I am currently drawing unemployment but due to the $600 per week cut in late July, I need to if I can draw on my retirement to pay additional bills, can I draw on my retirement since I am over the age of 591/2 years of age

  3. If someone is was working full time and gets laid off, files for unemployment and then takes a PT, temporary role as an 1099 independent contractor for 5 weeks only, can their benefits still continue while they are looking for full time work? What happens to the extra $600/week Coronavirus stipend? Would they still receive that?

    • Karlet,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. Please call the Unemployment Office for payment status.

  4. Can I collect social security benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time in Washington State?

    • Michael,

      You should be able to collect both depending on how you became unemployed. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  5. I have accepted a job offer with a NEW company beginning April 1st. My employer has alerted me that this Friday (march 8th) will be my last working day. I am a member of a trade union with an out of work/hiring hall list. Should I apply for the two week standby (assuming next week is my waiting week) or apply for regular UE benefits? thanks

    • Barry,

      From the time of claim, it will take 1-2 business day for the claim to be processed and paid. Please call the Claims Center for further details.

  6. I have been told my position is being eliminated and my last day of work will be 6/29/2018. I had already made arrangements with my employer to take a leave of several weeks and then work for a month from Europe. Since I can’t file an unemployment claim from Europe, my question is whether I can begin filing unemployment on Oct 1 after my return (provided I’m not already working again)? Thank you for your assistance.

  7. What happens if I forgot to report a employer when applying for unemployment benefits I believe my benefit amount will Raise if I’m able to give this information

  8. I have called 8 × 2 day. About opening my benefits. And you guys keep hanging up on me my name is Theron made you can reach me at 2535769967. Please give me a call back so I can open my Benefits. I do not have computer access.

    • Theron,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claims file. Please file over the phone.

  9. I filed a claim in WA and it was denied because i was enrolled in college. How can i reopen my claim if i can not get through to the unemployment line it continues to say call back later for the past three days.

    • By going to college full-time, you will not be able to claim UI benefits since they’re paid only to those who’re able and available for work.

  10. ive been working full time as an auto mechanic and work has dropped off I’m a commission base mechanic my last 2 week check was 300.00 my question is if this keeps up can I apply for partial ui for money short on my checks in the future if this keeps up

    • Charles,

      If your employer is paying unemployment taxes into the system, you should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please check with your employer.

  11. i need to play unemployment backgot hurt at work fill out for unemployment, my job said i quit plus lost on appeal, i’m not working since ayear can i fillod on that job now?

    • I am afraid you will not be eligible to apply again since UI benefits are offered only to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  12. I am a substitute teacher and the school year is over. Since substitutes pay into unemployment and the job is considered seasonal I am eligible for unemployment benefits, correct?

    • Seasonally employed are generally not eligible due to nature and schedule of work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to check eligibility.

  13. I have missed a lot of time at work because of child care issues I don’t want to get fired so I’ve decided I quit and find another job can I collect unemployment while I do that

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  14. I was receiving unemployment from February 15 to April 1. A new job started April 6.

    Question: Am I eligible to receive unemployment on April 4 and 5? How do I file a partial?

  15. I start a new job this Wednesday, April 4, 2016. Can I receive unemployment for the preceding Monday and Tuesday? How?

    • Not sure if you will be eligible for such a short period of unemployment.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  16. I’m being asked by my company if I would consider a voluntary lay-off. If I did would I be eligible for unemployment compensation?

  17. I was laid off from my job at my church, I know I can’t draw unemployment from them because they are Non Profit so they don’t pay into it. However, shouldn’t I be able to draw unemployment from the job I held before that where I was employed for 10 years and paid into unemployment. I have never drawn unemployment before so it seems like I should be able to draw from money I have never used from previous jobs. Customer service isn’t taking calls right now due to high call volume and I can’t find any info on the website that might help answer this questions.

    • Well, when you apply for Unemployment Insurance, they will consider your employment in the last one year, which has been with the Church. They will definitely not take into consideration, employment 10 years ago.

      Some churches do remit Unemployment Taxes. Why don’t you check with them to see if you can apply?

  18. My husband is considering accepting a new position in another state. If I am required to quit my job to accompany, I am eligible for unemployment benefits while I seek a new position after I move?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  19. How much notice does unemployment have to give when they sign you up for a class?
    If any, does a Holiday count?
    Ex: Letter sent on 11/23 Day before thanksgiving for a class Monday morning.

    • Not sure of the notice time. Please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided for further information.

    • Not sure if claims can be backdated. Each state has its own rules pertaining to this.

      The weekly amount is a standard value. Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

    • Some states allow provision of both while some don’t.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

  20. I relocated to Washington from California 9 months ago. I work full time and commute appx 3hrs a day. Due to a staffing shortage for the past four to five months I have had to work an average of 15.5 hrs a day. Even while working these long hours many of my required duties are left undone daily. My work performance is low. My daily work load is too much. I have asked for help from local management and have filed a complaint with HR. I am unable to sustain this work load and I am not receiving help from my company. Would I qualify for unemployment if I quit due to these working conditions?

  21. I was filing for unemployment benefits when I was offered employment. I took the job, but the skill set required to do the job is substantially different that what I was hired to do. If the company stipulates that the job is different than what I was hired to do, and I am still within my 52 week window, am I free to leave and re-open my claim so I can look for another job?

  22. I’m currently collecting unemployment benefits and potentially may be accepting a part-time job in the state of WA. I also qualify for a worker retraining program. From what I read in the policies I can still receive benefits of such, but can I still qualify for the online training program?
    Thanks for any input!

  23. If get a Leave of Absence approved with my employer to go through a training program which will last 8 weeks, would I be eligible for unemployment during that time.

  24. I was fired from a job I had for 10 years and filed for unemployment. Two days later I took a new job but the commute is too far. I have been at the new job for two weeks. If I quit to look for a new job, am I still eligible for unemployment?

  25. If someone got lay-off effective on Monday 8/4/14, who has paid the day on Monday, and he apply for unemployment benefit on Tuesday 8/5/14 morning, will he get the unemployment benefit check in the week of 8/11/14? Please adv. thanks.

    • Please check the cut off time with the labor dept in your state by calling them.

      We do not have state specific details.

  26. My status is what I would like clarified. I was laid off with a return day in August this year. Am I considered on Standby Status?

  27. I worked a temp job for four days this week (a total of 32.50 hours) but I ‘am unemployed again, do I have to reapply for benefits or can I just call in like normal. Thank you.

  28. I am currently receiving unemployment benefits. I am considering applying for Social Security since I am now eligible. One of the questions is about change or application for pension. Is Social Security considered a pension in this case and would receipt of Social Security benefits reduce or eliminate Unemployment Benefits?

  29. I am temporarily unable to perform my job due to a short term medical condition (less than 1 year). I am employable in another position within my career as a nurse but my employer does not offer any positions I am currently capable of. I remain (officially) employed by the company but have not been able to worked for 6 weeks and my position has been filled. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Not sure if you do as you’re unable to work.

      UI benefits are extended to those who are able to work and are unemployed.

  30. I am retiring from the Navy on July 31st, 2014. Am I eligible for unemployment beenfits starting 1 August 2014?

  31. I quit my job to take care of my elder sister with alzcheimers disease we can not afford a nursing home,

    • Unfortunately, state laws make UI benefits available to only those who are unemployed involuntarily and the ones who are willing to work and are available to accept suitable job offer that comes their way.

  32. I am curious, the company I work for was recently purchased, we are union, however, if they were to fire you to only want to hire you back at minimum wage, are you still required to take the job at minimum wage?

  33. I am curious, if you are receiving unemployment and you get sick during that time so you answer the question that you were unable to look for work that week do they deny you your benefits that week?

  34. I lived and worked in Washington state for more than 20 yrs in July of 2013 i have moved to Oregon. I am currently employed but fear not for long how and were do I claim unemployment benefits?
    Thankyou L.G

  35. I was on unemployment
    , and then was hired for a short term
    position. I have reopened my claim. How long will it take for
    the benefits to begin again?

  36. I am receiving a Layoff Benefit Plan from The Boeing Company, I chose not to receive it in one lump sum so that I would be eligible for rehire. Do I need to claim that benefit when I file my claim for the week, and will it impact my unemployment?

    • This should be mentioned when you initiate your claim and you will be told what to do then. If you are past that point, call the unemployment office.

  37. my employeer just cut my hous from 40 a week to 20 a week an I eligiable for unemployment to make up the difference?

  38. I filed for unemployment benefits on May 17,2013. My former employer fought me for my eligibility. On July 30, 2013 I had a teleconference for my appeal with adm Judge Keith Allred. I won my appeal. Why over one month later do I still have no money paid to me?? Why do I still have to wait?

    Bryan E Vance

    • This is a public website – I deleted your personal information. It is possible the decision has not been entered as yet. Having you continued to claim benefits? Either way, you should call the local unemployment office immediately.

  39. My company is going through a transformation, more then 50% of employees will not have a job. I do not know if I will have a job after November. I live in Washington. I will receive a small severance package. How will this affect my un employment benefits? Thank you for your reply.

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