ALERT
Federal programs ended

The CARES Act and other federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits expired the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. Visit the COVID-19 page to learn more

Benefit extensions

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IMPORTANT: The job search requirement is back. Visit the Job search requirements page for more information.

 

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

The federal PEUC program that extends unemployment benefits ended.

If you were getting PEUC benefits, the week ending Sept. 4 is:

  • The last payable week for PEUC benefits.
  • The last week for the extra $300 per week. By federal law, all claimants except those receiving Training Benefits were getting $300 in addition to their usual weekly benefit amount for a limited time.

If you still need unemployment benefits after Sept. 4

  • Continue filing weekly claims if you have an active unemployment claim
    You might have weeks available on a regular unemployment claim.
    • If you use eServices, you’ll know you have available weeks if you see a link that says You have a weekly claim to file.
    • If you file weekly claims by phone, you will hear an option to file a weekly claim.

Remember: If you have remaining weeks available and you’re eligible for those weeks, you will be paid your regular weekly benefit amount. That amount will not include the extra $300 per week from FPUC.

  • Apply for a new claim
    In eServices, click the Apply for benefits link under Alerts. If you don’t have eServices, or if you think you should be eligible and don’t see the link, call the Unemployment Claims Center to speak with an agent.

See more information about applying at esd.wa.gov/unemployment.

  • Restart a claim
    If you missed filing claims for fewer than five weeks, you don’t need to restart your claim. Continue submitting weekly claims from the last week you missed.

    If you missed five or more weeks of filing claims, you can restart your claim. The easiest way to do that is online. See full instructions with screenshots.

    You also can restart your claim by phone. Call the Unemployment Claims Center the week you want to restart your claim.

If you have a claim pending in adjudication or appeal after Sept. 4:  Benefits will be available. If we find that you are eligible, we will pay benefits for weeks you claimed through the week ending Sept. 4.

 

What all claimants should do:

  1. Continue filing claims for weeks you want to get benefits.
  2. Watch for updates on this page, via email, social media and messages in eServices.
  3. Respond to any of our requests for information. Even if you have stopped claiming or found a job, we still might need to contact you.
  4. Please try not to call our Unemployment Claims Center with general questions. Call volume remains very high.

Who is eligible for PEUC
PEUC provides additional benefits through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021, to workers who:

  • Exhausted their regular UI claim with a benefit year that ended on or after the week ending July 6, 2019.
  • Are not eligible for a new unemployment claim in Washington, any other state or in Canada.
  • Have left work through no fault of their own.
  • Are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work as directed.

If you want to apply
When you’ve used up your regular unemployment benefits, you can apply for PEUC. However, the week ending Sept. 4 is still the last payable week for PEUC benefits. That means, if you apply any time after Sept. 4, 2021, you can backdate your claim. We might ask you why you are filing claims for some weeks late. The easiest way to apply for PEUC is in eServices.

Tips for answering able, available, and work search questions on the application

  • These questions are about you, not the job market or employers.
  • Answer yes if COVID-19 business closures are preventing you from working but you'd be able and available to work when businesses open back up.

Questions about PEUC or about a notice you received about it? See questions and answers about PEUC.

Get help with your job search
WorkSource can help you find your next job or career. Go to WorkSourceWA.com to get started. Under Resources, use the WorkSource locator to find an office near you and see what services are available virtually and in-person.


Extended Benefits (EB)

Due to the lower unemployment rate in Washington state, the Extended Benefits program ended March 13, 2021.

The Extended Benefits program is triggered by a high unemployment rate in Washington. You can get Extended Benefits only after your regular unemployment benefits and other extensions, like PEUC, have run out. 

If you are receiving Extended Benefits, we will continue to pay Extended Benefits through the benefit week ending March 13, 2021.

How do I apply?

The easiest way to apply is in your eServices account.

Will my weekly benefit amount change?

No. Your weekly Extended Benefit amount is the same as the weekly benefit amount you had for your most recent regular unemployment claim. 

What’s different about Extended Benefits?

Extended Benefits come with strict job search requirements that are different from regular unemployment job search requirements and the consequences for failing to meet these requirements are high. If you apply and qualify for Extended Benefits when searching for work is required, we’ll send you new instructions for conducting your job search.  See the COVID-19 update below.

How many weeks of Extended Benefits can I get?

On Dec. 13, 2020, federal law reduced the number of EB weeks available from 20 to 13. Then, due to the lower unemployment rate in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Labor notified us that our state’s Extended Benefits program ends on March 13, 2021.

What if I’m claiming outside of Washington?

If the state you’re living in is in an Extended Benefits period, you can receive Washington’s extended benefits until one of the following happens: 

  • You run out of Extended Benefits. 
  • Two weeks after your state’s extended benefit period ends. 
  • Two weeks after Washington’s extended benefit period ends. 
  • If you live in a state that isn’t in an extended benefit period, you can only get up to two weeks of Washington’s state Extended Benefits. If your state later moves into an extended benefit period, you may qualify for Washington’s Extended Benefits again. 

What kind of work is considered suitable work when I am claiming Extended Benefits?

More work is considered suitable when you’re claiming Extended Benefits, even if it’s not your usual occupation. Work is suitable if all the following apply: 

  • You have the skills and abilities to do it. 
  • The gross weekly pay is greater than your weekly benefit amount. 
  • It pays at least the minimum wage in your area. 

You don’t have to accept work if any of the following apply: 

  • The position is vacant due to a labor dispute. 
  • The working conditions are less favorable than similar work in your labor market. 
  • You’d be required to join or resign from a union. 

  


COVID-19 update: Job search requirements are back

The job search requirements specific to Extended Benefits are outlined below. 

Can I be on standby if I am claiming Extended Benefits?

Standby means you do not have to meet job search requirements while receiving unemployment benefits. Standby isn’t an option if you’re claiming Extended Benefits. 

How many job search contacts should I make each week?

If you are claiming Extended Benefits, you must contact at least four employers each week. Union members must also have a total of four employer contacts, three of which must be outside their union. Only employer contacts count as job search activities. WorkSource or other activities do not count as job search contacts for Extended Benefits. If you have a definite recall or hire date within four weeks, or you’re a full-referral union member and have an extremely favorable position on the out of work list, you need to call the claims center at 800-318-6022 to discuss options.

Do I still need to make four job search contacts if I am a registered member of a referral union?

Yes. Contacting your union and complying with the union’s requirements counts as one of your four required job search contacts each week. You’ll still need to make three more job search contacts. These need to be jobs you’re capable of doing that won’t jeopardize your union membership. If you’re willing to work in the jurisdiction of other union locals, you can register with those union locals and use each as one of your job contacts.

How do I record and report my job search contacts?

You should report your job search contacts when you submit your weekly claim. You’ll need to tell us the:

  • Date of the job search contact
  • Employer or union’s name
  • Employer or union’s place of business
  • The method of contact: In person, phone, internet, email or mail
  • Name of the person you contacted or job reference number
  • Position you applied for

If you file your weekly claims on eServices you can enter your job search contacts when filing your claim.

If you file your weekly claims by phone, you will have four minutes of recorded time to provide us your job search contact information.

What if I don’t meet the stricter requirements for a week that I’m claiming Extended Benefits?

If you don’t meet the requirements you may be considered ineligible for Extended Benefits for any week during which you did not have a good reason for:

  • Failing to meet the job search requirements for Extended Benefits.
  • Refusing to apply for any suitable work referred to you by WorkSource.
  • Refusing an offer of work that’s considered suitable for Extended Benefits.

You will be ineligible to receive Extended Benefits until you’ve done both these things:

  • Worked during at least four weeks, starting after the week you didn’t meet the job requirements.
  • Earned at least four times your weekly benefit amount.

If you refuse a job that’s considered suitable for regular unemployment, we will deny benefits until you’ve done both these things:

  • Worked in at least seven different weeks.
  • Earned at least seven times your weekly benefit amount.