We’re all in this together.
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented demand for our services—especially unemployment benefits and Paid Family and Medical Leave.
Building capacity. We increased our capacity and hired more than 1000 people to assist with claims.
Updating technology. We continually update our technology to make it easier to use and to implement new emergency rules and programs. Unfortunately, technology updates take a few weeks go into effect, so changes may lag.
Our phones are very busy. We know that it’s frustrating when our systems don’t work the way they should. We are implementing new processes to reduce the number of times callers need to be transferred. If you’re having a hard time getting through on the phones, use our web services. Many general unemployment questions can be answered on our website. If you have a problem that can only be fixed over the phone, please keep trying. Our dedicated experts are here for you, even if they’re hard to reach right now.
(Updated: August 27, 2020)
Lost Wages Assistance is a federal program that adds $300 for each week the program remains federally funded. If you received unemployment benefits for certain weeks and you are unemployed or working fewer hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for these benefits.
(Updated: July 2, 2020)
Regular weekly unemployment benefits provide you with temporary income when you lose your job through no fault of your own. The money partly replaces your lost earnings and helps you pay expenses while looking for new work.
Federal CARES Act: Expanded unemployment benefits programs
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA is a separate benefit program that provides a financial safety net to many people who do not qualify for regular unemployment, including:
- Self-employed people
- Independent contractors
- Part-time workers (with fewer than 680 hours)
- Available Feb. 2 - Dec. 26, 2020
Changes are coming to the number of weeks available for PUA. Go to the benefit extensions page for details.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC is an extension of regular unemployment benefits that is available March 29 - Dec. 26, 2020. It provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits on top of your regular unemployment benefits. Find out more about PEUC and other benefit extension programs you may qualify for after you run out of regular unemployment benefits.
Changes are coming to the number of weeks available for some extension programs. Go to the benefit extensions page for details.
Frequently asked questions
Information for workers
For questions about how unemployment, standby, the waiting week, and more have been affected by COVID-19, please see our Q&A for workers.
Information for employers
For businesses looking for updates on how COVID-19 has impacted unemployment insurance, quarterly reporting, and more, please see our Q&A for businesses.
COVID-19 rulemaking: This page provides links to current emergency rules and rulemaking documents, and will host future information about new or amended rules, public hearings, responses to public comments, and supporting documents for all the Department’s COVID-19 related rulemaking.
Need other support to cope during COVID-19?
- Get the latest information and learn about other resources that may be available to you at Washington State’s COVID-19 website. Visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
- Get the most recent updates from Governor Inslee.
- The Washington State Department of Health’s website is the place to go for the best local information about COVID-19 in Washington state.
- If you have questions or concerns related to your health, call the state Department of Health at 800-525-0127, and press #.
- The CDC website is an excellent source of information, including guidelines for businesses.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has a mythbusters website with advice for the public.
- The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) website has information about community programs and eligibility.
- The Washington Department of Financial Institutions has a list of financial resources for consumers impacted by COVID-19.
- A comprehensive list of state resources is available on the governor's coronavirus page.