What to do if you’ve worked in or are moving to another state


Where should you file your claim?

  • If you have not worked in Washington during the last 18 months you cannot apply for unemployment benefits in Washington or file weekly claims in Washington state. You must file your claim with one of the state(s) where you worked in the last 18 months. Contact each state where you worked to find out your claim options for those states.

    The only exceptions are if you were in the military or worked for the federal government.

      • You may also call Washington's claims center to file your application (800-318-6022 or persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711).  The claims center takes new applications over the phone on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

      • Filing an application for unemployment benefits later in the week will not delay benefit payments.

  • If you worked solely in Washington in the past 18 months, you may apply for benefits from this state and file weekly claims here. File your benefits application and weekly claims online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also call the claims center (800-318-6022 or persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711), but please follow the schedule above to ensure the most timely service. You can apply for benefits either before or after you move.

  • If you worked in Washington and another state(s) in the past 18 months, you might receive more money if you apply for benefits in Washington and combine your wages from the other states(s). This is called a combined wage claim.  You cannot file a combined wage claim in Washington if you didn't work here within the past 18 months.

    • The easiest way to file a combined wage claim 24/7 is online at esd.wa.gov
    • You can also call Washington's claims center to file your application (800-318-6022 or persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711).  The claims center takes new applications over the phone on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    • Filing an application for unemployment benefits later in the week will not delay benefit payments.


If you have already moved or are moving out of Washington and are currently filing weekly benefit claims, you must
:

  • Live in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Canada to claim benefits.
  • Change your address with us after you move. You can do this online, or call 800-318-6022 and press option 4 (persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call the Washington Relay Service 711).
  • Continue to file your weekly claims as you do now. Although you're living in a different state, Washington will continue to pay you benefits.
  • Register for work-search assistance in your local area. Go online to find your local American Jobs Center.


If you have specific questions, call Washington's claims center (800-318-6022 or persons with hearing or speaking impairments can call Washington Relay Service 711).