SharedWork for employees/participants
How to get started
To start receiving unemployment benefits through the SharedWork Program, your employer must first submit a SharedWork application and the Employment Security Department must approve the application.
Your employer will assign a SharedWork representative, who will explain how to apply for unemployment benefits and answer your questions. In SharedWork terms, you will be known as both an “employee” and a SharedWork “participant.”
Contact your employer’s SharedWork representative. If you don’t know who your representative is, we recommend that you contact your employer’s human resources department.
Follow instructions from your SharedWork representative. This person will have information specific to you and your worksite. It’s better to connect with your representative rather than with SharedWork staff at the Employment Security Department.
How much you will receive each week
We can’t tell you how much you will receive until you apply for unemployment benefits. We will mail you a "Statement of Wages and Hours" after you apply. The statement tells you how much you are potentially eligible to receive. We calculate your weekly benefit amount based on wage information reported to us by your employer(s).
In Washington state, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $790. The minimum is $188. No one who is eligible for benefits will receive less than this, regardless of earnings. The actual amount you are eligible to receive depends on your earnings. Learn how to estimate your weekly benefit amount.
SharedWork is a win for you
- SharedWork allows your employer to reduce your hours by as much as 50 percent, while you collect benefits to replace a portion of your lost wages. We use the SharedWork chart to deduct your earnings from your weekly benefits.
- SharedWork is for employees who are both permanent and paid hourly (or can calculate their salaries as an hourly wage).
- Employers must continue to pay for employees’ health insurance.
- SharedWork plans last for one year and have a maximum benefits payable amount.
- SharedWork participants:
- Do not need to look for other work.
- Must be available for all work offered by their regular employer.
- Might be eligible for benefit extensions.
- Might run out of benefits more quickly if they work fewer hours.
Learn more about SharedWork
Note: The second and third videos display paper forms, but we now use an online application and online weekly claim forms. However, the questions are similar, so the videos will still be helpful.