Potential new claim alert
Did you get a denial letter because you didn’t respond?
Important! You need to call us so you don’t have to repay benefits.
If you’ve been denied benefits because of a potential new claim issue, and the reason is because you didn’t respond to requests for information, you need to call a special temporary number so we can work to resolve your issue. This phone number will be on the letter we sent you.
You need to call us, even if you've stopped claiming or returned to work. If you don’t call, we will make a decision based on the information we have. This means we might:
- Require you to pay back benefits you've been paid.
- Deny your future unemployment benefits
Why was I denied benefits?
If you don’t meet deadlines when we request more information, we usually have to deny benefits because we don’t know if you qualify. When this happens for potential new claim issues, you’ll get a letter that explains:
- Your benefits were being paid from the wrong program.
- You didn’t respond to repeated requests to start a new claim.
- Your options and next steps.
Overpayments for potential new claim issues
There are two kinds of overpayments related to potential new claim issues. The cause of your overpayment could be one of the following:
- You failed to respond in time.
- The correct program for your claim has a lower weekly benefit amount.
If you failed to respond in time
You’re responsible for the full overpayment amount until you give us the information we need.
You need to apply for a new claim to find out how much you actually owe.
When we move your claim to the right program, your overpayment situation will likely improve. But we won’t know the exact amount until you apply for the new claim. It depends on if your weekly benefit amount for the correct program is higher or lower. Each case is unique.
If you responded and still have an overpayment, your out-of-pocket amount may be less
In many cases, benefits from the correct program will cover all or most of your overpayment, and you may not have to pay anything out of pocket. Also, we’ll waive the overpayment whenever the law allows us.
If you disagree with our decisions
You can appeal and you’ll find instructions in our decision. Here’s how you can get started in eServices.
- Log into eServices
- Select the decision you want to appeal.
- Tell us why you want to appeal.
What is a potential new claim alert?
It’s an alert in your eServices account or a letter mailed to you. It will tell you that ESD needs information about your current or past claim.
Please watch for this alert or letter. If you receive it, respond by the deadline — even if you stopped claiming or returned to work.
You might get the alert more than once if your base year wages change, for example. We can’t legally reuse the answers you might have given us before. We must ask you again.
Why you might get the alert
You might be receiving benefits from the wrong program. Most people receiving the alert will be claimants receiving PEUC benefits. (See more about PEUC below.)
You might get the alert if:
- Your benefit year ended.
- We receive new wage information from one of your employers.
We are required by both federal and state law to ensure you were or are receiving benefits from the right program. We need to ask you questions to:
- Determine if the benefits you received in the past came from the right program.
- Ensure that the benefits you might continue to receive come from the right program.
Answering the questions in the alert also will tell us if you might be eligible for a new claim.
Why you're getting the alert now
On June 11, 2021, we finished system updates and started processing potential new claim issues.
What to do if you get the alert
- Respond by the deadline! If you don’t, we must deny your claim for benefits. The denial might result in an overpayment.
- Be prepared to answer all the questions at one time.
- Make sure the drivers license information you enter matches what appears on your license.
- Respond each time you get the alert. We can’t legally reuse the answers you might have given us before. If you get more than one alert, it means we must ask you the questions again.
- Answer all questions carefully. Double check your information before submitting. Any mistakes can delay your payments. Some questions will look familiar to you because they are similar to ones we asked on your previous unemployment application. We will ask you:
- Your name, Social Security number, drivers license information, birth date, contact information.
- Your work history for the past 18 months, including: employer names, addresses, phone numbers, start/end dates of employment.
- Refer to the unemployment page on our website for general information.
What happens after we receive your answers to our questions
- We might need to move you to a new claim. In most cases, we will need to move you from Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to a regular unemployment claim. (See more information about PEUC below.)
- You might get an overpayment notice, saying that you must repay benefits you already received.
- You might receive a statement saying you have a zero weekly benefit amount.
When following the instructions from the PNC alert you received, you’re filing a new claim in our benefit system. We use this new claim information and check it against the number of hours you worked in the base year used for calculating benefits.
When we review the new claim, we are looking to see:
- If you worked 680 hours in the new base year; AND
- If you returned to work and earned 6 times the new weekly benefit with bona fide employment since the date you separated from your employer on your prior claim.
At that point, if you don’t meet these two qualifications, you receive a statement stating you have a zero-benefit amount.
Then the system moves you back to your previous claim and continues your PEUC benefits. You will receive a second statement a short time later stating the weekly benefit amount on your previous claim.
All of this is necessary because federal law requires us to check to see if you are eligible for a regular unemployment claim. We are required to check when we receive new information about your wages, at the end of your benefit year and at quarter change.
More about Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Most people receiving potential new claim alerts will be claimants receiving PEUC benefits.
The federal Continued Assistance Act requires that we continue to pay current PEUC claimants PEUC benefits from their active claim if:
- We decide they are eligible to receive PEUC.
- Their benefit year expired after Dec. 27, 2020.
- They have PEUC benefits remaining on that benefit year.
- They qualify for a new unemployment claim in Washington or another state, and the weekly benefit amount on that new claim is at least $25 lower than the weekly benefit on their active PEUC claim.
PEUC, along with other federal pandemic unemployment benefits, expire on the week of Sept. 4. Read more.
Questions about PEUC or about a notice you received about it?
See questions and answers about PEUC.