To find out all about Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits     

Washington Unemployment Phone Numbers

Updated : June 21st, 2019

Sometimes you just have to talk to a live person to get answers to your questions.

Be prepared for long waits because lots of people try to do the same thing that you are. Be patient and you will get through to someone who can help you. Even though it is frustrating to wait so long, please be courteous and polite. The staffers on the other line are over-worked and are doing everything they can to help all of the people.

  1. To apply for your initial claims you can call claims center at 800-318-6022 (toll free), TTY 800-365-8969.
  2. Submit questions about unemployment benefits eligibility, the application process, receiving your check, filing a weekly claim, qualifying for special benefits or overpayment, call at 800-318-6022, TTY 800-365-8969
  3. Disagree with a benefits decision? You can appeal (in writing) by Fax: 800-301-1795
  4. To arrange repayment of benefits you’re not entitled to receive call at 866-697-4831, TTY 800-207-0882 or Fax- 360-902-9270
  5. For Job opportunities with Employment Security, Fax: 360-902-9239
  6. To report benefits cheaters: 866-266-1987, option 2, Fax: 360-407-3378 or 360-407-3379 (western Washington), 509-893-7087 (eastern Washington)

  1. I was approved for unemployment and got it after 4 weeks wait. Now I got a repayment for $22,000 I appealed it but both of the decisions said I could not appeal because it was in my favor. i have sent many emails and faxed a appeal for an approval of my unemployment three times. This has been going on for two months. I have sent my drivers lic and SS info. Do not know what to do at this time because no one picks up at the number they tell you to call

  2. I have literally been wating for almost 4 weeks for benefits and in that time have been asked twice for Identification verification, apparently my first response had sent without my attachment. ( not too mention it took at least 10 times writing message and attaching document because everytime I hit submit it would refresh entirely and I would have to start over) I also had this same issue addressed in May and was without benefits for almost 3 wks then. I realize these are difficult times and situations that were unprepared for, but it truly seems as though the employment Security Department is trying their hardest to NOT help people. The only number we can call now to speak with someone is apparently always busy and hangs up on you directing people to call during normal business hours even though we’re calling at 8am, 10am, 1pm, 2pm during the day! This is ridiculous and wrong! There should at least be a system in place to take people’s phone numbers down and call them back in the order received! It’s no wonder people are taking legal action against this department!

    1. Jaimie,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

      1. Hi my is Curtis and with the all this nonsense going on I don’t know what or where to go. On 3.14.20 through 5.02.20 I have not received any of my money on thus matter. After that I had received the money due to the fact I had put a proper banking info in so I could start to receive my money. The info that was on the claims already was not updated or proper info. The address is wrong and so is the bank info. I don’t know where to go or who to talk to. I haveost my home my mind and everything in between. I need help on finding the right direction into getting the money they said I was paid on and what direction I need to go. And not to that number were you can’t leave a message. I’m computer stupid and can’t read to take the info in. Help me please.

    2. I am in the same boat its been almost 4 months and still waiting on a adjudication that I’ve sent information in multiple times now. This is crippling my family and causing tension in our home.

      1. I filed july 20th 2020 and I havent heard anything, I called multiple times got transferred everytime and the the moment I got transferred the call always drops, I have sent in multiple messages through my account and not heard anything back from them, my claim has been stuck in the Adjudication stage the whole time. Not once have i gotten contacted by either phone or mail or email. I am behind on all my bills and thankfully I just got a new job but I would like to know what to do or if there is anything I can do to speed up this process

        1. Brandyn,

          I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals.

  3. I applied in March and the benefit is about 25% of what it should be. Have filed two appeals (March and April) – no response. I have tried 5 times a day since March and can’t make contact with anyone via the phone as they are not accepting calls. We are 5 months into this and no responses, answers or help. This is truly unacceptable.

    1. RJ,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of pending applications. Please continue following up regularly.

  4. I filed unemployment because i was laid off due to covid. Two weeks have gone by, no money, no payments, no contact from anyone. I have left multiple messages via the secure message center, the call number is never answered and i always get an automated message that hangs up on me.

    People have bills to pay. This is riduculous.

    1. Jamie,

      I can understand your situation. Please wait for an update from the office. There will be thousands of applications for the office to be processed. Make sure to check the status at regular intervals.

  5. I’ve gone online for unemployment questions but I am not able to contact anyone for a voice conversation. They give you the number but it’s all automated. Good luck in trying to get a hold of someone to speak to. I’ve gotten replies back through their website but that’s about it.

    1. Jesse,

      Most of the UI systems are largely automated. I find it easy to get answers to my questions on the website or by writing to the Claims Center.

  6. Washington State unemployment site/claims Center/phone numbers, are a scam. My husband was laid off, we have 3 children, he filed online weeks ago and we have yet to hear back from anyone. The number provided for claim 800-318-6022 is a scam as well. They will never answer your call. I have waited for 80mins at a time throughout the day on every day of the week and NO ONE WILL ANSWER your call. If you go online NO ONE WILL ANSWER your FAX or EMAIL. There is NO onsite unemployment office in Washington state, it’s all online or over the phone. YOU WILL NOT hear back from anyone.

    1. I DID get someone on the phone after trying every option through their automated system. It was ridiculous and frustrating. Denied my benifits due to not having enough information about the employer I worked for almost a year ago. I worked for them for 1 month, completed my job, and got an ROF. I am now awaiting a call from an adjudicationer?sp who is supposed to call sometime between 1 and 3. 2:30 now no call back. The only live person I could talk to could see nothing more than what I see online. Rediculous.

      1. Rick,

        Firstly, please be a little patient. When you receive the first call from the adjudicator, note down his contact details and make sure to chase at regular intervals until facts are established.

        1. I was put on standby by my job due to COVID in late March, so I filled then in early April. “Not authorized to work”??? So, I sent a letter in April- no response. I file all of my weekly claims and send in ever proof of identity that I can- passport, license, social- everything! And, nothing. I’m drowning and finances and have received very little to no help in the last few months. If someone would help my claim, that’d be great!

        2. Lily,

          There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until there is a concrete update from the office.

    2. You hit the nail on the head! I just about lost my sanity trying to resolve an issue that was inaccurately preventing me from getting my benefits. It took, no shit, 3 and 1/2 MONTHS to get a live person on the phone. I literally would call in the AM and leave my phone on speaker ALLLLLLL damn day. Then, because it took SOOO long to get in contact with someone who could address the issue, they denied me from my initial claim date, and would only accept TWO weeks payment because by that time I Thankfully was employed again.turns out I wasn’t the only one who ran into the issue I did, and my union won a grievance against the state. I’ll never get that back pay that I deserve and was awarded legally because it’s the same old round about, get nowhere, crap. They won’t take ANY accountability for their end of things. It all falls on you. It truly is a scam. These are benefits that are mandated and paid into for times when it’s needed. Makes you wonder what the state actually does with all our hard earned money, cause it sure as heck isn’t insuring those who have the misfortune of being laid off or unemployed by no fault of their own. Insanity…just utter insanity…
      Ps. You can report them to a federal government department, but I can’t remever the name right now ????? Google should bring it up. Unemployment offices are expected to address claims on a reasonable timeframe. Maybe if they get reported enough, SONETHING might get done about it. Pretty ironic that the unemployment office is short staffed ?

      1. I haven’t found a way to contact anyone with a pulse on that number. There are half a dozzen automations about stuff but there isn’t even an option to move on to a call queue. 30 mins of listening to every single option, probably thrice, and every one ends with ‘we are unable to help you, good by.’ Serriously, good by? How about, “we see you’re having a problem, please wait for the next available rep.” I’ll wait. I’ll wait on hold all damn day and fill out every question they have but this should be criminal. I have filled out a mountain of paper work and like other comments have said there is 0 accountabillity. I have asked for a local, or heck I would travel, office so I can get confirmation. There is no way that they havent recived my info, any of it, and their responce is always the same, we’ll resend…that’s only acceptable once, after that there is obviously a breakdown in the system that needs to be address. Who enforces these people?

        1. Kenneth,

          I can understand your frustration. You can perhaps consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity or even try lodging a complaint with the governor’s office.

        2. Dont waste your time trying to go to any offices. I live a mile from an unemployment office. All they did was told me they are sorry but they dont do that anymore. But she gave me the number that this guy on here keeps giving everyone that just gives you machines to talk to. The only place you can call and talk to an unemployment representative is the number you call to give money back to unemployment if they overpaid you. I wish that was my only grievance. I cant get them to give me what’s rightfully mine, let alone get more than i earned. Good luck man. I hope you find the help you need.

  7. The number I called (800) 318-6022 has a recording that explains that question will be answered M-W-F. Then there is NO option given for speaking to someone.

    Is this just a bad joke you are playing?

    1. Lawrence,

      Please note this is a private forum. You can visit the website of the Unemployment Office to find additional contact details.

    2. The only place you can call and talk to a real person is the center where we pay back unemployment money if they overpaid us. Going in to your local office womt help and neither will calling the number that puppet of theirs keeps giving out. The number is 866 697 4831. Good luck.

  8. I worked intermittently as a consultant for a company once I started receiving unemployment benefits. The WA Unemployment office had a difficult time verifying my employment so they said I needed to repay what I received. I have been paying back the benefits I received as was instructed by a WA unemployment employee until my employment could be proven. In July, 2017 I faxed a W2 form showing the work I had done for this company, verifying my employment. When talking to a WA unemployment person, s/he said I should be hearing back within a week. It is November 2, 2017 and despite numerous emails and attempted phone calls, I cannot get a human being. I cannot get a reply to my emails. What am I supposed to do? I was informed that any office close to where I used to live was no longer servicing these types of questions and I would have to call. Now, I have moved to CA. Could you please help me figure out how to reach a human and get this resolved. WA owes me back what I have paid and I really need it.

    1. Verona,

      I can understand your situation. Please visit the department’s website and look out for phone numbers of higher authorities for escalation.

  9. Hi. I filed for benefits on 10-01 and spoke with a representative she said I didn’t have enough hours listed from my employer (I had 650hours showing) I had worked 780 hours with this employer according to u my pay stubs. She she would request the documents from them it would take a few weeks. I received a denial letter initially as well as another saying I would get a denial but that they were using an alternate base year. I haven’t received anything but I did get a key Bank card. I have my most recent paystub to fax but don’t know what to do I have been claiming every week since. Help?

    1. William,

      Please chase the claims center for further details. If you think they wrongfully denied, please ask for an adjudicator to file an “Appeal”. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy as proof.

  10. I have been trying for three days to reach someone about my unemployment benefits. I have sat and waited on line three different times for up to a half an hour waiting for someone to answer. (I also wanted to know how long someone would need to wait before someone answered)I have been three times to see “Work Source” and each time I spoke with someone they stood there shaking there heads and stating, “They Never Answer Their Phones”. Is there something wrong with the system we have? I cannot be the only one having problems with this. It is also my opinion that “State Workers” have to much loose time on there hands and pretty much do as they want. For instance, taking breaks when there are lines of people waiting to be heard. I have seen two workers leave for breaks and leaving one to handle the rest of the long line. What is the problem? I don’t want to hear were “short of Staff” either. Maybe State Workers need to work a little harder and not so many breaks and talking with one another when there are lines waiting to be heard. Now I hear unemployment is installing a new system so most will be attending and calls will take a little longer. What is longer, never?

    1. I can understand your frustration.

      I suggest that you consider the option of visiting an Unemployment Office in the vicinity for immediate answers.

    2. Martin, I see you have given the option of visiting a local unemployment office, When i look online i can’t find one. What is the address of an office in Auburn WA?

    1. Well, if the business owner paid the relevant taxes to the government, he/she can be eligible.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  11. I’m trying to help my son max apply for unemployment benefits. I’ve tried online 3x with no success. For some reason, the system shows an error after entering all the data on last question, once you attempt to submit. And judging from the fact that no matter where you look on line, and after reading countless other similar questions from other people dealing with the same problem in contacting an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING regarding any questions or problems one might have with filing, etc. I’ve concluded that the unemployment office process is not simple and not user friendly. I look forward to a response that directs me to a number other then
    800-318-6022 for personal assistance if that’s possible.

    1. Well, that is the only number listed on the website of the Unemployment Office. Please explore the option of visiting the nearest Unemployment Office for assistance or carefully watch out for the option to speak to a representative on the phone.

    2. The only place you can call to talk to a REAL person is the place we have to call when they overpay us. Of course theyd have real people there. Cant have any paperwork come up missing when it comes to money THEY are entitled to. 866 697 4831. Good luck.

  12. my son has been living and working in another state for well over a year and just recently moved back to Washington state . he had been working here and coming home from work when he was hurt and is now off work for possibly 6 mo + and having surgery in a couple days … my question is he has the work hours needed from the other state .. are hours transferable state to state? and can one draw a temp umeployment? he has a job and once is healed and gets a dr clearance he will go back to his job. but as of right now has 0 income.

    1. Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available for work. If the health condition is due to work, he can consider applying for benefits under Workers Comp scheme.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  13. My initial claim will end in 3 weeks. Do I qualify for more unemployment benefits? There is a statement on website that you no longer have extended benefits. May I apply for another claim? What are my options after I finish claiming on my initial claim?

    Leticia Traya-Storms

    1. Please note there is no federal extension available.

      Also, UI benefits are not revolving in nature. You can only receive them for one full cycle. You may call the Unemployment Office for further information.

      1. I have had both good and bad experiences with unemployment. My most recent experience was great. I took my forms to the Chehalis work source office ( they recently moved into a new office with much more space, more computers and what seemed like more people to help me) There was no problem getting my claim filed and my checks being sent. I was offered a job that I needed to take a special class for and did not have the funds, I went to one of the workshops offered, spoke with instructor and she was able to get me funding for the class in a timely manner, thru worker retraining. For my new job I had to have the class completed before I could start orientation. Was able to get everything that needed to be completed and start new employee orientation on Tues.
        Both Laurie and Joanie are stars in my eyes.
        Thank you for the help ladies

    2. I’m expierencing some frustration trying to get ahold of a live person as well to find out what is the hold up with my claim. I was denied at first an then filed an appeal, my employer did not attend the phone court 2x’s. They said I would hear something within the next couple days an or weeks an I never heard anything. Then I went to call an tried the online website an it has had trouble signing in an locked my pin an I haven’t been able to access my account an have been trying to get anyone that can help on the phone an I have tried every single number that has been listen on sites. Plz help me find out the correct information that I am trying to find out.

  14. I did something wrong and was not able to apply correctly for last weeks benefits.I do not know what number to push to get to talk to a real person at 800-318-6022. What can I do?

  15. I am required to contact three places a week to inquire about jobs while I am on unemployment. My question is, What if I contact a company on week 1 about a position and then week 3 they call me for an interview… Can I claim the contact for both weeks since one week it was an inquiry and the third week it was them calling for the interview? I am confused if them calling and me going to an interview would count as a contact for later weeks since I already logged them the first week as a place I inquired?

      1. Martin

        People have made it very clear that the claims center isn’t answering calls (at all!). What part of that do you not understand?

  16. I tried to apply online for veneer benefits and missed the fax number for where to send my DD214 so I have opened my claim again and can not find the fax number, also have been unable to contact any one about getting the fax number please help.

    1. Please let us know the phone number you called.

      More numbers can be found on the official website of the Unemployment Office in your state.

      1. I’ve looked, even google searched (how I found this website) and have found no other phone numbers available on the website. I went back and checked FAQ’s, contact us, and everything. 800-318-6022 is what I called.

        1. Well, in that case, please check the office locations in the vicinity and see if you want to visit the nearest office.

  17. I submitted my application via fax. When I signed into my online account, it appears you are asking fore more paperwork, but I’m not sure what. Please contact me by phone at (253) 232-3160 so I may streighten this out.

    Thank you.

  18. i was denied & letter said to call if I get terminated. i was temintaed last Thursday February 27th & I have been tryingt o call and report it, but cant get through on 1-800-318-6022

  19. I have been working as a contract employee. When I fill out my application do I provide the name of the contract agency or the company who was paying for my services. One contract agency it out of state, but the compant was a local company.

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