Federal programs ended

The CARES Act and other federal programs that expanded and extended unemployment benefits expired the week ending Sept. 4, 2021. Visit the COVID-19 page to learn more

Two-step verification adds security to online applications!

 (en español)

Starting Aug. 11, Employment Security added a two-step verification system to eServices, which will help protect your information. Note: two-step verification is also referred to as multi-factor authentication or MFA.  

Why change?  The new two-step verification system strengthens security and offers more protection of your secure, personal information.

What is two-step verification?

Two-step verification, also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA), is designed to make your content more secure. Every time you log into eServices, you will sign in with two pieces of information: your password and a verification code sent to your email address or phone.

When we turn on two-step verification, you need to know your password and have access to your email or phone in order to sign in to eServices. This authentication method helps ensure that only you have access to your account, even if someone knows your password.

To guard against fraud, there will be no links in the text message or email sent to you containing the code. We will never ask for this code. Do not share the code with anyone.

When you receive the code on your phone, it may look like this:


Text message/SMS and data rates may apply


How does it work?

After you enter your usual logon credentials, you’ll receive a temporary verification code in a text message or email from SecureAccess Washington. You must retrieve and enter that code before you can log in.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I file my weekly claim, when I can't get into my account? 
You can file your weekly claim by phone using the automated system at 800-318-6022.  If the issue is that you cannot log in, call the SecureAccess Washington (SAW) help desk at 855-682-0785 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Why do I need to check my email address if I'm already getting email from Employment Security?
Due to heavy security, the login system is separate from our communication system, so the email addresses could be different. After you've checked your login email (following the steps above), you may also want to check your contact information:

  1. Log in to eServices and click on “Apply for unemployment benefits.”
  2. On that page, click on “Settings” in the upper right corner (on a mobile device, click on the three bars on the left side of the screen to find “Settings” under “Profile”).
  3. On the right side of the Settings page, click on “Update contact information”
  4. Verify your email address there.


What happens if I don’t have access to the email in my SecureAccess Washington account? (see Primary Email in the image below)
You will be locked out and will no longer have access to your account. This cannot be reset. You'll need to contact the SAW help desk, 855-682-0785, to set up a new account. For more information go to our technical-support page.

What if my device isn’t remembered? 
If the device you are using is not recognized, you will have to log in using the two-step verification process.

What if I don’t receive the verification code (challenge isn’t received)? 
 a.  If the email isn’t delivered, you may need to check your junk/spam mail or contact your email provider. 
     b. If the text/SMS code isn’t delivered, you may need to check with your mobile provider.

Why should I add a cell phone number or an additional email for authentication?
Adding additional email addresses or mobile phone numbers gives you more options for where you choose to receive the validation code.



Changes for employers

On May 5, 2021, Washington state replaced the two-step verification system (also called multi-factor authentication) that protects online applications that house confidential data. On that date, the Employment Security Department updated two-step verification on three applications for employers:

  • Employer Account Management System (EAMS)
  • Collection Subpoena Processing System (CSPS)
  • eServices (for employers only)


Why change?  The new two-step verification system strengthens security and offers more ways to receive identity verification codes.

Whether you need to hire employees, are facing layoffs, or have to let an employee go, we have resources and information that can help you. 


Important!  Due to the change on May 5, 2021, you can now add additional email addresses, as well as a mobile number to receive challenges by text.


What’s different?

  • After the change, all employer users will need to complete a two-step verification (or multi-factor authentication) the next time they log in, even on a remembered device.
  • We’ve removed the option to receive verification codes by phone call.
  • We’ve added the option to receive verification codes in a text message or at different email addresses than the primary one associated with your account. Text message/SMS and data rates may apply.