Program Contact Information
In order to establish your unemployment claim, please visit Washington State Employment Security website at: http://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/how-to-file-a-weekly-claim
If you have questions, please call:
Persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711
For more information, please visit the website at:
Washington Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own that meet Washington's eligibility requirements.
What are unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits are made available through taxes paid by your former employer(s) to partially replace your regular earnings and help you meet expenses while you look for another job. These benefits are intended to assist workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are not based on financial need. While receiving benefits, it’s your responsibility to get back to work as quickly as you can.
Orient yourself with the online services provided by visiting the UI customer service one-stop page.
How to apply for unemployment benefits
The fastest way to apply for benefits is online. While you can file by phone, you should expect extended wait times. There are no in-person unemployment offices in Washington state. Even if you go to a WorkSource office, you will still be directed to apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone. These steps will help guide you through the process.
General Program Requirements
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must have worked at least 680 hours in covered employment, at least some of which must have been earned in Washington State, during the past 12 to 18 months. You must also be able to work and be available for work each week that you are collecting benefits. In most cases, you must make a minimum of three job search contacts each week you claim benefits.
After you apply
Read your Statement of Benefits, Wages & Hours and let us know immediately if you find errors.
Important: Read the Handbook for unemployed workers (PDF, 3MB). You're responsible for knowing the requirements and following the rules. It is available online, or you can pick up a printed copy from your nearest WorkSource center or you may request one by calling the claims center at 800-318-6022.
- Report honestly
- Watch for and read any information we send you. If you chose to receive information via eServices, we will send you an email notifying you when you have new information that requires your attention. This information may be time sensitive and affect your eligibility for benefits.
- Start your job search right away and document it. (See step 4)
- Start filing your weekly claims (See step 5)
Look for work
Unless told otherwise, you must look for a job and keep a written record of your job search efforts. You also must respond quickly if UI ask to see these records.
Get job-search assistance
File a weekly claim or restart a claim
Benefit payments don't start until after you begin filing weekly claims. File a weekly claim for the prior week. For unemployment purposes, a week runs from Sunday through Saturday – you cannot claim for the week until it is over. https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/weekly-claim-questions
All of the information provided on this page and logo comes from the ESD website.