Strategies that work

(en español)

We know many of you are struggling to reach our claims center to get your questions answered. Most questions are answered on our website.

With your help, our claims agents can focus on resolving issues and helping Washingtonians who do not have access to the internet or have a complex issue the requires our intervention.


Filing a weekly claim?

We process hundreds of thousands of weekly claims each week, which can lead to site slowdowns if too many people are trying to log-in at once. Here are four things that will help everyone get the assistance they need:

  1. File a different day. This is a big ask, but it will help a neighbor in need: If you can afford to wait a couple extra days to get paid, please file after Monday. This will allow those who need the benefit most to file and get paid first.
  2. File late at night, or early in the morning. You can file online 24/7 and by phone from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 4 p.m. Friday. 
  3. Try submitting on the phone in off-hours. Submit your weekly claim via automated phone system before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. (800-318-6022)
  4. Reasonable accommodation. Information on reasonable accommodation is available for unemployment-benefits customers with disabilities.

Tips to find what you are looking for

  • Apply online: The fastest way to access benefits is to apply online. We have updated our website to make it easier to use.
  • Be prepared: Before you apply, read the instructions and watch our training videos. This will help you complete your application and speed up processing times. Remember to download the checklist and gather your documents before you start your application.
  • Search the website: Please don’t call us unless you absolutely have to. Use our website—the Unemployment page is a great place to start.
  • You will get paid: After your application is approved, you will get paid for all the time you qualify for. When you apply, start your claim from the date you lost your job.

Phone strategies that work

We're committed to helping you. If you must speak to a claims agent, these tips might help.

Call early

  • We take calls Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – noon. The phones are extremely busy. Calling early increases your chance of  getting through to an agent. If the agent is unable to answer your question immediately, they will schedule a call back for the following day.
  • We process claims in the afternoons, evenings and on weekends. 

Pages that help

  • Unemployment page: Helpful links can be found in the left side Quick Links menu (found at the top of the page on mobile devices)
  • COVID-19 information: Answers to frequently asked questions about our response to COVID-19
  • Technical support: If you are having trouble signing in or need to recover your account, this page can help.
  • eServices user guide: For help navigating in eServices, this guide can help.
  • Free webinar: Join us for a free webinar to learn how to apply, how to submit a weekly claim, and more.