Updated : February 5th, 2019
How to claim your benefits in Washington
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Washington Unemployment QuestionsUnemployment benefits in Washington when you work part-time
If you work part-time, you can collect UI benefits, but you benefits will be reduced. You must still meet the job-search requirements while working part-time.
If you did not work more than 17 hours in any week in your base period, you may need to look for only part-time work. Working part-time usually extends the number of weeks you can draw benefits. Additional earnings also may help you qualify for a new claim when your benefit year ends.
How does severance pay affect your benefits?
Severance payments do not usually affect your unemployment benefits. However, pay in lieu of notice or continuation pay with full benefits that are guaranteed can affect your benefits. Report any separation-related payments you receive or are entitled to receive to the telecenter.
Payments are considered severance pay when:
* The payments are not assigned to any period after your date of separation from your employer.
* You are not on call or in any way required to be available to your employer in order to receive these benefits.
* Your fringe benefits do not continue to accrue (vacation, retirement, sick, etc).
* You accept a new job and it does not affect your severance pay.
Special Information for ex-servicepersons filing for unemployment insurance based on military service wages.
Federal law requires that you be physically in the state in which you file your first claim based on military wages. If you are recently separated from the military, and have not filed a new claim based on your military wages, you must be in the State of Washington now to use this online application.
How long can I get benefits?
Your claim is good for a "benefit year," which is 52 weeks, beginning with the week you file your application. You cannot file a new claim in Washington until your benefit year is over, even though you may have received all of your benefits. Most claims receive between 13 to 26 weeks of benefits.
May I have my benefits deposited directly into my bank account?
Yes. If you apply online for a new claim, you’ll be offered the option of direct deposit. If you are already claiming benefits, or if you re-open a previous claim, you can sign up online.
How do I stop claiming UI benefits? Do I need to let you know I returned to work?
You do not need to tell us you have returned to work. The way to stop your claim is simple—just stop filing your weekly claims.
You may stop claiming at any time during your benefit year and resume claiming the balance of your benefits until your benefit year ends if you meet all eligibility requirements.
However, if you stop claiming, even for one week, your claim becomes inactive and you must reopen your claim during the first week you are eligible and want to begin claiming again.
If your WorkSource office requests information about you returning to work, please respond to them.
I didn't work last week. Can I backdate my claim?
If you file your claim using the Internet, the effective date is the Sunday of the week you file. If you want to claim for any back weeks, you need to call the claims center and ask to backdate your claim.
When do I report my holiday or vacation pay?
Report the holiday pay when you claim the week in which the holiday occurred. Do not wait until you are paid for the holiday to report it.
If your vacation pay was accrued and there are no specific dates attached to it, you do not need to report it. However, if your vacation pay was for specific days, it is deductible and you need to report it. Be sure to report it for the week(s) in which the vacation days occurred.
If you are in doubt or have any questions, call the claims center for help.