Affected by COVID-19?

The federal stimulus bill that extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was signed into law. Visit the COVID-19 page for the latest information. Please try not to call our Unemployment Claims Center with questions as call volume remains very high.

Have this information ready

You need to provide us with the following information, whether you apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone.

The online application system logs out after 15 minutes of inactivity, so please save frequently. The phone system will also hang up after a short period of inactivity. So please have your information ready!

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your name, birthdate and contact information (for example, mailing address, phone number and email address).
  • Your highest level of education.
  • The names and mailing addresses of all your employers during the past 18 months, including part-time and temporary jobs. (If you worked for more than 16 employers in the past 18 months, you must file your claim by phone (or persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711).  You can find your employment history by quarter through our secure online portal.
  • The dates you worked for all employers in the past 18 months. Use your best estimate if you don't remember the exact dates. Our system will not accept a future date. If you are still working, use the date you last worked before you apply for benefits.
  • If you normally get your work through a union, the name and local number of your union.
  • If you were in the military during the last 18 months, your DD-214, any member copy, 2 through 8.
  • If you were a federal employee in the past 18 months, your Standard Form 8 (SF8), "Notice To Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance." The Standard Form 50 (SF50), "Notice of Personnel Action" is not required, but will speed up the processing of your claim. TEMPORARY CENSUS WORKERS:  When filing your claim online, you will be asked to select your federal agency from a drop-down menu.  If you were a temporary census worker hired to work on the 2020 census,  scroll down and choose agency 914 - BUREAU OF CENSUS - FY2020 DECENNIAL CENSUS. 
  • Your citizenship status. If you're not an U.S. citizen, your work authorization information.
  • If you apply for benefits online and want to sign up for direct deposit, your account and routing numbers for your bank or credit union.

Your claim takes effect Sunday of the week you first apply, regardless of when you last worked.