Washington Unemployment Eligibility
Updated : June 21st, 2019
In order to collect unemployment benefits in Washington, you must meet the following requirements:
You must be:
- Unemployed for reasons that are not your fault. For example, you were laid off, are still working, but your hours were cut back, were fired for a reason other than misconduct or gross misconduct, quit for a good-cause reason.
- Able to and available for work.
- Actively seeking suitable work.
You need to give unemployment department the reason you became unemployed. The state will then make a decision about your eligibility and will get information about your separation from both you and your employer. Both you and your employer have a chance to respond to each others version of the separation. Finally, they will then issue a written decision based on the information gathered.
- You must be employed for at least 680 hours in your base year in covered employment (Your job is covered by unemployment insurance if your employer is required by law to report your work to labor department, another state or the federal government) to meet the initial requirements to qualify for a claim.
- You must also have sufficient wages in Washington so as to file your unemployment claim against the state of Washington.
Can I get benefits if I’m fired?
It depends. If you were fired through no fault of your own, such as not having the skills to do the job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. If it is decided, you were fired or suspended for misconduct or gross misconduct; you will not qualify for unemployment benefits.
Deliberate or reckless disregard for your employer or a fellow employee, such as:
- Repeated inexcusable tardiness following warnings
- Dishonesty related to employment
- Repeated and inexcusable absences
- Violating the law or deliberate acts that provoke violence or illegal actions, or violating a collective bargaining agreement
- Violating a company rule
Deliberately violating or disregarding standards of behavior that your employer has a right to expect.
Carelessness or negligence that causes, or will likely cause, serious bodily harm to your employer or fellow employees.
Carelessness or negligence of such a degree or recurrence that it shows an intentional or substantial disregard for your employer.
Gross misconduct examples
- A criminal act in connection with your work for which you have been convicted in a criminal court or have admitted committing
- Conduct connected with your work that demonstrates a flagrant and wanton disregard for your employer or a fellow employee
If it is determined that you were fired or suspended for misconduct or gross misconduct related to your work, your benefits will be denied for at least 10 weeks and until you earn at least 10 times your weekly benefit amount in covered employment. Additionally, if your benefits are denied based on gross misconduct, your wages will be removed from your unemployment-insurance records, which may cause you to be disqualified for jobless benefits.
Can I get benefits if I quit?
It depends. Your state will decide if you are eligible for unemployment benefits based on the facts about your job loss. You may qualify for unemployment benefits if it is decided you quit for a good-cause reason.
- You took another job
- You became sick or disabled, or a member of your family became sick, disabled or died, and it was necessary for you to quit work
- You moved to be with your spouse or domestic partner whose job is outside your labor market area
- You needed to protect yourself or immediate family members from domestic violence or stalking
- Your employer reduced your usual pay or hours of work by 25 percent or more
- Your employer changed the location of your job so your commute is longer or harder
- You told your employer about a safety problem at work, and your employer did not fix the problem quickly
- You told your employer about an illegal activity at work, and your employer did not stop the activity quickly
- Your employer changed your usual work, and the work now goes against your religious or moral beliefs
- You entered approved apprenticeship training
- You started approved training under the Trade Act
- You worked full-time and part-time jobs at the same time, and you quit the part-time job – then were laid off later from the full-time job.
You will be asked more questions to see if you are eligible for one of these reasons. If it is determined you are not eligible, your benefits will be denied for at least seven weeks and until you earn at least seven times your weekly benefit amount in covered employment.
Can I collect benefits if I am laid off?
Generally, in Washington you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.
In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
If you get laid-off from your job, you must directly apply for unemployment benefits.
Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. It only means that the company did not have adequate work for you to do and could no longer afford to pay you for the job.
More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section
Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here