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Washington Unemployment Benefit Questions

Updated : June 21st, 2019

What is the typical duration of Unemployment Insurance?

Typical duration of one “Benefit year” is 52 weeks, starting with the first week in which you filed your initial claim. In Washington, you cannot open a new claim even if your benefit amounts are exhausted until your benefit year is completed.

Most claims allow 13 to 26 weeks of benefits.

How can I stop filing for UI? Am I expected to notify the Dept. of Labor if I get a job?

You need not inform the labor authorities in your State if you landed a job.  To discontinue receiving benefits, all you need to do is to stop filing for UI.

You can also stop in between the benefit year and then resume availing benefits if you have any balance remaining during the same benefit year.

If you miss to file your claim for a certain week, it automatically becomes inactive. You will need to reopen the claim if you wish to continue receiving benefits.

How do I file a claim if I moved out or if I’m planning to move out of Washington?

If you were working in Washington previously, you can file a new claim either through the Internet or by calling the claims center on the toll free number.

If you worked in multiple states in the last two years, out of which one is Washington, you may have a better claim if you apply in Washington and then combine your wages from other the other state(s). You are requested to contact the claims centre directly if you wish to apply for such claims. The Internet cannot be used to file such combined wages application.

If you are collecting UC from Washington, you may need to register for work in the state to which you moved to. You can either register online or visit the nearest local employment office or check with your telephone directory.


Don’t forget to file a change of address once you relocate and contact the claims center should you have any doubts.

How do I file my claim if I have never worked in Washington?

As of 11 January, 2009, you cannot file for a claim in Washington if you have never worked here during the base period. The only time this rule is waived is if you were in the military or if you worked for the Federal government.

When filing for an unemployment claim, you must file from of the state(s) in which you worked during the last two years. You can contact the claims center in each state before choosing where you want to file the claim from.

More Questions??  Read Benefit Q & A Section

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

    1. Michael,

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

  2. 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

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. 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

    1. 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.

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

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

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

  10. 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

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

  11. 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?

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

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

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

    1. 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?

  15. 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?

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

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

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

      We do not have state specific details.

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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?

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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?

  30. 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

  31. 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?

  32. 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?

    1. 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.

  33. 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?

    Sincerely
    Bryan E Vance

    1. 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.

  34. 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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