Unemployment benefits for corporate officers

Starting the first quarter of 2014, corporate officers of for-profit corporations earning wages in Washington state are exempt from unemployment-insurance coverage unless the corporations voluntarily choose to insure its corporate officers and the Employment Security Department approves the request. Corporate officers still may not be eligible for unemployment benefits if they or their corporate officer family members own 10 percent or more of the corporation and that corporation is still in business.

Who is eligible for benefits

Corporate officers who lose their jobs (and meet other eligibility requirements) and:

  • Do not own at least 10 percent of the stock in their corporation, or
  • Are not related to another officer who owns at least 10 percent of stock in the corporation, and
  • Less than 25 percent of their base-year wages are from that corporation.
  • Permanently resign or are permanently removed as officers.


Who is not eligible for benefits

Corporate officers who:

  • Were not voluntarily covered by the corporation, or
  • Own at least 10 percent of the corporation, or
  • Are related to another officer who owns at least 10 percent of the corporation, even if the unemployed officer is otherwise eligible, and
  • 25 percent or more of their base-year wages are from that corporation.