How to apply for unemployment insurance in Washington

Like other countries, the United States has a series of social benefits (other than the CARES Act) for citizens who are in a vulnerable condition. Among these, the unemployment insurance program in washingtonwhich is nothing more than the delivery of temporary financial compensation for those who have lost their jobs for reasons beyond their control.

What is sought through this program is support people financially while they find a new job. Thus, they will have a kind of subsidy that will allow them to pay their essential expenses until they are hired by another company.

Now, as each state of the country is autonomous, it has its own eligibility requirements and conditions, which leads us to answer the following question:how to apply for unemployment in washington And how much money can you receive if your application is approved?

Who administers unemployment insurance in Washington?

The local authorities of Washington are in charge of administering and managing everything related to the unemployment program. This is done through the Department of Employment Security (Employment Security Department) of the state, known as ESD. It is before this organization that the citizens and residents of Washington can present their claims at the labor level.

Unlike other social assistance programs, the unemployment insurance does not take into account the financial need of the applicant, since financed through taxes collected by each employer. The goal of the program is to replace the worker’s salary to help them cover their basic needs on a temporary basis. However, not everyone is eligible for these benefits.

How do I know if I qualify for unemployment insurance in Washington?

In order to receive weekly financial aid from the state of Washington through the ESD, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have worked in the state of WA in the last 18 months. If you did not render your services in Washington in that period of time or you worked in another state, you must present your claim before the competent authority of the state in which you have worked. There is only one exception to this rule. The time period will not be taken into account as long as the applicant was employed by the military or a federal government worker.
  • Work the necessary hours during the base year. The base year is nothing more than the period of time that is taken into account to determine your eligibility for the purposes of the program and the amount of benefits that you will receive. This is the first four of five calendar quarters immediately preceding the week in which you claim the benefit. For example, if you file a claim on January 1, 2020, the ESD will look at your earnings from October 2018 through September 2019. During that time, you must have worked at least 680 hours to receive insurance compensation. of unemployment.
Recommendation: If you still have questions and are not sure if you are entitled to unemployment insurance in Washington, you can use the tool created by the ESD for state residents. It is a 22-question questionnaire that will help you determine whether or not you meet the standard unemployment insurance requirements or if you qualify to obtain the special unemployment benefits that have been temporarily established to serve people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to apply?

Checking how unemployment insurance works in Washington will help you understand the procedure to follow to make a claim:

  1. Apply for unemployment benefit as soon as possible. Please note that the application can only be made online – through the ESD official unemployment page- or by phone. However, waiting times are often too long for phone calls. That is why it is preferable to do it by accessing the system through a tablet, computer, laptop or smartphone, which is an option that is available 24 hours a day.
  2. Gather the required documents, fill out the form and apply. If you meet the unemployment eligibility standards in Washington, you will hear from the state agency in the next few days or in a maximum of two weeks.
  3. Check if your request was approved. If the claim has been approved, the agency will give you a weekly amount until you get a job. Note that you must make the claim every week.
  4. Look for a new job. After the agency approves benefits, they will ask you for samples of your job search. You can usually submit them online or by phone, although it is also possible to file them in person at the unemployment office.

Warning: The Washington Department of Unemployment operates a one-week waiting period after claim acceptance. What does this mean? That you will start receiving approved funds two weeks after submitting the application.

What do I do if my claim was denied?

If you do not meet the unemployment eligibility requirements established by the state or your claim is denied for any other reason, you have the right to request an appeal hearing. This hearing is not face-to-face -it is carried out through a telephone call- and will give you the opportunity to present your case. Try to have at hand all the documents that support your request and argue your situation as well as you can. This will increase the chances that the agency will reconsider its decision.

How much money do they give you in unemployment insurance in Washington?

Depending on your specific case and according to the benefits tablethe amount that the state of Washington will give you through the ESD will vary between $169 minimum and $713 maximum. Remember that this figure will be transferred to your account on a weekly basis, so if you are approved for the maximum limit -and assuming you are in a four-week month- you could receive $2,852 per month.

The maximum number of weeks you can claim with the Washington unemployment insurance program is 26. Therefore, it is in your best interest to start your job search as soon as possible.

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