Have you recently been laid off from your job in Washington state? If this is the case, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, which are payments made to employees who are temporarily out of work due to circumstances beyond their control.
However, while the fundamental rules of unemployment are the same across the board, the eligibility requirements, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other specifics differ from one state to the next.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the requirements and how to file for unemployment in Washington state.
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Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits In Washington?
Employers in Washington who have been separated from their jobs for the reason that the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) recognizes is eligible for unemployment benefits. The most common reasons are: being laid off, quitting with good reason, being terminated for no fault of your own, or continuing to work less than full-time.
The ESD has also clarified a number of COVID-19-related situations in which you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, including:
- Following exposure to COVID-19, you are self-quarantining as directed by a medical professional or public health official. However, you are not sick, and you are not entitled to paid sick leave as a result.
- Unfortunately, your employer has gone out of business.
- You’ve been placed on administrative leave.
- Your employer has temporarily ceased operations, and you are not entitled to pay sick leave or paid time off during this period.
According to the ESD, paid sick leave is recommended if you need to take time off due to a COVID-19 infection. If that isn’t an option, you may be able to take advantage of paid family and medical leave instead.
The ESD normally requires that you have worked a minimum of 680 hours in covered employment during your base year, which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters of the previous calendar year. Due to an expansion in who is eligible for unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you may be eligible even if you haven’t met this requirement.
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How To Obtain Unemployment Benefits Following A Layoff
If you were laid off, lost your job due to a reduction-in-force (RIF), or were “downsized” due to economic circumstances, you will be eligible to apply.
How To Obtain Unemployment Benefits After Being Fired
Even if you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or weren’t a good fit for the company, you will not be automatically barred from receiving unemployment benefits. If your actions do not rise to “misconduct,” you will remain eligible for unemployment compensation.
In Washington, misconduct is defined as actions taken by an employee that demonstrate a “willful or wanton disregard” for the employer’s interests, or carelessness that is so severe or frequent that it demonstrates an intentional disregard for the employer’s interests or both. The following are examples of misconduct that are prohibited by Washington law:
Work-related violations of the law, including intentional violation of a collective bargaining agreement and violating a reasonable company policy, include acts of insubordination such as being late or absent repeatedly after receiving a warning, lying on employment documents, or other work-related dishonesty, and engaging in physical violence at the workplace.
After Quitting My Job, Can I File For Unemployment Benefits?
Even if you have a valid reason for leaving your job, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job. According to Washington state law, a variety of reasons can be used to justify leaving a job, such as a family member’s serious illness, the relocation of a spouse or domestic partner, a significant reduction in pay, domestic violence, or unsafe working conditions that have gone uncorrected by the employer. Other circumstances may also qualify as good cause, but the specifics of each situation must be considered.
What Is The Procedure For Filing For Unemployment Benefits?
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be out of work due to circumstances beyond your control.
Unemployment benefits can be applied online through ESD’s eServices page, which can be found here.
Remember that you should only apply for unemployment benefits at this time if you were already eligible before the CARES Act was passed in December of 2009.
If you weren’t eligible until that time (for example, if you don’t have the required 680 hours of covered employment), the ESD system is not currently configured to accept your application.
You’ll need to sign up for the ESD’s COVID-19 email updates in order to be notified when the system is updated and you can apply. The completion of this update is expected around the middle of April.
Beginning when the unemployment program was established and you became eligible for unemployment benefits, your weekly benefits will be paid out in installments.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which broadened the scope of who is eligible for unemployment benefits, began operations on March 29, 2020. This means that if you have to wait until the middle of April to apply, you will not lose any weekly benefits.
How Can I Contact Washington State Unemployment?
You can file online 24/7 and by phone from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 4 p.m. Friday. Try submitting on the phone in off-hours. Submit your weekly claim via automated phone system before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. (800-318-6022)
How Much Will I Will Receive As Unemployment Benefits In Washington?
Unemployment benefits in Washington range from $188 to $790 per week, depending on your situation. It is determined by the amount of money you earned in the previous year that determines your weekly benefit amount. You will find out how much money you will receive after you apply for unemployment benefits.
The CARES Act also provides an additional $600 per week for everyone who is out of work from March 29 through July 31, 2020, thanks to a new provision. Despite the fact that the ESD is working on improving its technology to begin paying this additional amount, it will backdate claims to ensure that everyone receives the full amount they are owed.
Depending on the ESD, benefits are paid through a direct deposit into your bank account or an emailed prepaid debit card. When you apply for unemployment benefits, you have the option of selecting your preferred method of payment.
For How Long Am I Eligible To Receive Unemployment Benefits?
In Washington, you can collect unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks at a time. Although this period has been extended by 13 weeks under the CARES Act, you can collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks under certain circumstances.
What Happens If My Unemployment Benefits Are Denied?
If you are denied unemployment benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. Instructions on how to begin this process will be included in your notice of determination of unemployed status. The quickest and most convenient way to appeal a decision is to do so online through your eServices account.
What Is the Best Way to Manage My Unemployment Benefits?
Following approval for unemployment insurance benefits, you must submit recertification forms each week to receive your weekly benefit for the previous week you were approved. Your account with the Employee Security Department’s eServices website will already be set up if you submitted your initial claim through the online portal mentioned above.
Simply log into your account and check your alerts to see if you received a message about your weekly unemployment compensation. To submit your weekly claim, go to the link in the email and follow the instructions.
Submitting your weekly unemployment benefits claim by phone is possible if you cannot submit your application online. Simply dial 800-318-6022 and choose between using the automated system or speaking with a claims agent to file a claim.
You can receive your unemployment benefits through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card, both of which can be set up online when you apply for benefits.
Are There Benefits Of Unemployment?
When you lose your job for no fault of your own, you are entitled to unemployment benefits, which provide you with a temporary source of income. The money will partially replace your lost earnings and will assist you in meeting your living expenses while you look for new employment. Financial need is not considered when calculating the benefits from taxes your former employer(s) paid. While you are receiving benefits, your primary responsibility is to return to work as soon as possible.
What Is the Best Way to Manage My Unemployment Benefits?
Following approval for unemployment insurance benefits, you will be required to submit recertification forms each week to receive your weekly benefit for the previous week in which you were approved.
Your account with the Employee Security Department’s eServices website will already be set up if you submitted your initial claim through the online portal mentioned above. Simply log into your account and check your alerts to see if you received a message about your weekly unemployment compensation.
To submit your weekly claim, go to the link in the email and follow the instructions.
It is possible to submit your weekly unemployment benefits claim by phone if you cannot submit your application online. Simply dial 800-318-6022 and choose between using the automated system or speaking with a claims agent to file a claim.
You can receive your unemployment benefits through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card, both of which can be set up online when you submit your application for benefits.
Things to Keep in Mind After Submitting Washington unemployment benefits Application
Some of the things to consider after submitting your application include:
You may receive unemployment benefits in excess of what you are owed due to administrative errors, reversals of previous unemployment decisions, or other fraudulent activities. To make up for the overpayment, the employee must send a check or money order to the Employment Security Department, which must be received within 30 days.
Employment Security Department Benefit Payment Control P.O. Box 24928 Seattle, WA 98124-0928 is the address to send your payment to.
You can also pay back using your routing number and bank account information via the internet.
The Department may file a lien against your property in Superior Court or deduct the amount from your federal income tax refund or lottery winnings if you fail to repay the overpaid amount.
2. Overpayment as a result of fraud
If the Department of Labor determines that you received an overpayment due to fraudulent practices, you will be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation. You will also be required to pay a fine and you may be subject to criminal prosecution.
3. Extension of Benefits
When the unemployment rate is excessively high or the economy is experiencing a downturn, the state provides additional benefits. For more information on the extended benefits, please contact the Department.
4. Assistance with Job Training
Unemployed workers can receive job search assistance from the Washington Employment Security Department, which works with the WorkSource System. Workers laid off can also benefit from the training provided by WorkSource. Additionally, resume creation, cover letter preparation, statewide job search, career advice, and more are available.
FAQs On Washington State Unemployment
You must be unemployed as a result of no fault of your own, and you must have earned sufficient wages during the period covered by this claim (the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the week in which you file your application for benefits, or alternatively the last 4 quarters). Additionally, you must be capable of and available for full-time employment.
You can apply online through your eServices account, or you can apply over the phone by calling 1-800-318-6022.
The amount of unemployment benefits varies from state to state. How much you earn in your base period is determined by how much you have earned in your base period. The amount of weekly benefits that can be received in Washington State is $790. It is necessary to have a minimum of $188. Regardless of his or her earnings, no one who is eligible for benefits will receive anything less than this amount. For an estimate of your benefit, go to the State’s website.
The unemployment insurance program in Washington can assist you in navigating the temporary financial hardship that results from a job loss. Before submitting your claim for unemployment benefits in Washington State, make sure to carefully review all of the eligibility requirements.
- fileunemployment.org – Washington Unemployment Benefits
- fool.com – How to Apply for Unemployment in Washington
- benefits.com – Washington Unemployment
- nolo.com – Collecting Unemployment Benefits in Washington