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Affected by COVID-19?

On Dec. 27, 2020, the federal stimulus that changes and extends CARES Act unemployment benefits was signed into law. Visit the COVID-19 page for the latest info. Please do not call our unemployment claims center with questions as call volume remains high.

Pandemic Relief Payments

(en español)

The Pandemic Relief Payment (PRP) Program is a one-time payment of $550 for some recipients of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

On. Dec. 27, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee authorized the use of federal CARES Act funds to help Washington claimants whose PUA benefits expired on Dec. 26 and were waiting for federal legislation to extend those benefits. Federal legislation was signed into law on Dec. 27, which extends, expands and changes the CARES Act provisions. Regardless, claimants eligible for the one-time Pandemic Relief Payment will still receive it.

Read ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine's statement about these payments in our newsroom.


Payment amount

The payment amount is the same for everyone: $550.

If you elected to have the Employment Security Department withhold taxes from your other benefit payments, you will receive $495. We will withhold $55 for taxes. We also will withhold child support payments, if they apply to you.


Who gets the one-time payment

You will get the payment if:

  • You submitted a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim for benefits for the week ending Nov 21, 2020, and
  • We paid you for that week on or before Dec. 24.

You will not get the payment if:

  • We show a pending issue with your claim.
  • You are a recipient of regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Extended Benefits (EB).

When and how the payment will arrive

We will start to send PRP funds to claimants on or around Dec. 30, 2020. You don’t need to do anything to get paid. Eligible claimants should receive the payment sometime during the first week of January, depending on your financial institution.

The payment will be deposited in your bank or credit union account, or on your unemployment debit card — according to the method you chose when you applied for benefits.

Please don’t call our busy unemployment claims center to ask about your payment. If you don’t receive the payment, it means that you are not eligible.


How to know if you have been paid

  • For those with eServices accounts:

    1. After Jan. 1, 2021, go to your eServices account and select Manage my active PUA claim.

    2. Select the Weeks summary tab.

    3. Select the dollar amount listed in the Benefits paid column for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020.

    4. If you were eligible and received payment, you’ll see it as a payment in the Benefit detail called Federal or State Stimulus.

  • For those without eServices accounts:

Check your bank, credit union or debit card statement after Jan. 1, 2021. Please don’t call our busy unemployment claims center to ask about your payment. If you don’t receive the payment, it means that you are not eligible.


Q&As

Q: How can I find out if I’m eligible to receive the payment? 

A: If you have an eServices account, you can see if you’re eligible to receive the payment by viewing the Weeks summary tab in your PUA claim. If it shows Paid in the Status column for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, then you are eligible to receive the payment. 

Q: How did you choose the pool of recipients?

A: We tried to include as many people as possible.

  • We chose to include those with a paid claim for the week ending Nov. 21 because that week:
    • Came before most claimants ran out of benefits.
    • Had the highest number of claimants compared to other weeks in November.
    • Came after Gov. Inslee reinstated the stay-at-home orders, so it includes those who might have been affected by those orders.
  • We chose Dec. 24 (the date we needed to have paid the Nov. 21 claim) to include the largest number of claimants whose benefits expired with the CARES Act.

Q: Where is the money coming from?

A: The funds come from the federal CARES Act, which expire at the end of December.

Q: I get Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Why don’t I get the one-time payment?

A: Instead of the one-time payment, you will be able to apply for Extended Benefits (EB). You can apply when your PEUC benefits run out or when the link appears in your eServices account. If you don’t have an eServices account, call the Unemployment Claims Center to apply.

Q: I got a notice that I have been paid PRP funds, why haven't I received the money yet?
A: After we send payments out, funds take 2-3 business days to reach accounts depending on how quickly your bank or financial institution processes the payment.