Welcome to this instructional post on applying for unemployment insurance.
The information and screens that I will be sharing with you cover the most common scenarios. However, depending on how you answer the questions, you may be presented with additional screens or questions.
Topics we’ll be covering include how to file an unemployment insurance claim for those who have worked in Washington State and for those who have worked in Washington State and another state, for those recently released from the military, or those who work for the federal government.
Our screens may change from time to time, but the concepts will still apply. We also encourage you to always check our website at esd.wa.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Requirements for Application
When you apply for unemployment benefits, there are some things you’ll need. You should be logged in and connected to the internet. You’ll need to have created a Secure Access Washington account (SAW account) and have access to your email. Additionally, you’ll need your social security number, address, and date of birth. If you have a Washington driver’s license or ID card, you’ll need that information as well. You’ll also need to provide your employment information for the past 18 months, including names of employers, addresses, and dates of employment. If you prefer to receive benefits via direct deposit, you’ll need your bank routing and account numbers. Non-U.S. citizens will also need to provide their permanent residence card or authorization to work permit.
Claim Start Date
It’s important not to delay in starting your claim. You should start your claim as soon as you’re no longer working or when your hours have been reduced. The start date of your claim must always be a Sunday. If your last day of work was late in the week, it may make sense to start your claim on the following Sunday. On the other hand, if your last day of work was early in the week, it may make sense to have your claim start that same week on Sunday. However, if you want to backdate your claim, it’s crucial to know that this could delay the start of receiving your benefits as we will have to make a formal decision on allowing or denying your benefits.
The base year is the 12-month period used to determine your eligibility and the amount of benefits you’ll receive each week. Your base year will be the first four of the last five completed quarters. For example, if you’re filing for unemployment between October and December of 2020, your base year will be July 2019 through June 2020. You can also calculate your benefits on our website by clicking on the “Calculate Your Benefits” link.
Work Search Requirements
Work search requirements depend on individual circumstances, but typically involve making at least three work search contacts per week. However, certain circumstances may change these requirements. For example, if you are on standby, belong to a full referral union hall, have been approved for training, or are receiving extended benefits or additional unemployment programs. It’s important to check our website for the correct guidance and utilize our WorkSource office for re-employment and retraining needs.
Applying for Unemployment
To apply for unemployment benefits, log in to the website at esd.wa.gov and click on the “New to Unemployment? Start Here” link. From there, click on “Apply Online Now”. If you don’t have a Secure Access Washington account, click on the link for support and follow the instructions to create one.
Once you’ve created your account, enter your username and password to sign in. Click on “Apply for Unemployment Benefits or Manage Your Current and Past Claims” and then on “Submit an Application” to begin the process.
Filing Weekly Claims
To receive benefits, you’ll need to file a weekly claim every week after the week is over. You can do this by logging into your eServices account and clicking on “UI Weekly Claim to File” or by using our automated phone system at 1-800-318-6022. Make sure to file your weekly claim by Saturday evening if using eServices or by Friday evening if using the phone system.
Additional Information and Assistance
If you have any questions or technical issues, call our technical support staff at 855-682-0785. For unemployment insurance questions, call 1-800-318-6022. If you need assistance with identity issues or fraudulent claims, call 1-800-246-9763. For re-employment services, visit www.worksourcewa.com. Remember to regularly check our website for updates and information. Thank you for watching!