COVID-19 Emergency Rules
All pandemic era emergency rules have expired. Information on emergency rules that were adopted permanently is available here. Emergency rules listed here are for historical reference only.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency in Washington regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). The proclamation directs agencies and departments to support the state Department of Health and local officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property, and infrastructure across the state.
March 9, 2020
The emergency rules cover:
- Registration for work
- Certification of satisfactory progress for training programs
- Penalty waivers
- Updates to certain definitions
March 18, 2020
The emergency rule provides exceptions for situations where WorkSource offices are closed.
March 25, 2020
The emergency rule makes changes to shared work eligibility.
April 14, 2020
The emergency rule consolidates standby emergency rules from March 9, March 13, and March 20, 2020, and automatically places claimants on standby, as long as it is optional for claimants to search for work.
May 20, 2020
The emergency rule provides details for the Employment Security Department’s procedures when claims are suspected to be fraudulent.
June 30, 2020
The emergency rule provides relief of certain benefit charges connected to COVID-19.
July 17, 2020
The emergency rule aligns state rules with federal guidance regarding extended benefits in order to secure federal funding for extended benefits provided in the CARES Act.
Nov. 20, 2020
The emergency rule allows for petitions for judicial review to be submitted electronically and clarifies that petitions may not be delivered to buildings closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nov 20, 2020
The emergency rule allows reopened claims to be backdated in certain circumstances.
Jan 7, 2021
The emergency rule provides clarification about the "waiting week" claimants are subject to before they begin receiving unemployment benefits, which was temporarily waived by gubernatorial proclamation.
Feb 11, 2021
With the passage of ESSB 5061, the agency adopted an emergency rule to clarify how certain relief of benefits for combined-wage claims while be charged.
April 5, 2021
With the passage of ESSB 5061, the agency adopted an emergency rule to clarify how claimants will provide verification that they separated from work due to underlying health conditions.
May 7, 2021
The emergency rule provides clarification about the "waiting week" claimants are subject to before they begin receiving unemployment benefits.
June 14, 2021
The emergency rule aligns state rules with federal guidance regarding overpayments of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provided in the CARES Act.
June 14, 2021
The emergency rule clarifies standby eligibility, as work search requirements are resumed.
Rescinded COVID-19 Emergency Rules
- Defining Catastrophic Occurrences (rescinded Feb. 10, 2021)
- Job search optional (rescinded July 4, 2021)
- Lack of Work (rescinded April 5, 2021)
- Waiting Week Charging (rescinded Feb. 10, 2021)