COVID-19 Unemployment Resources

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  • Lots of the rules have changed. So, apply early, apply often, and don’t assume you don’t qualify.  There are several unemployment related changes described in the CARES Act
  • 80% of jobs lost were blue collar jobs
  • In Washington:
    • 1-833-572-8400
    • Weekly claims can be filed seven days a week. They can also be filed over the automated phone system: 800-318-6022
    • If you are having difficulty filing your application, please visit ESD’s help page.
    • Due to continued high demand for unemployment benefits, ESD is offering a webinar for customers to learn more about setting up a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account and submitting a claim for benefits online.
    • New  ESD is aware of the backlog and is hiring more staff to fix problems. Hear more from ESD’s commissioner, Suzi Levine.  ESD also offered the following tips:
      • New If you applied online through eServices, you’ll get messages from asking you to sign in. Sign in and respond to those requests within five days—the sooner the better. You may also get follow-up emails from ESD. Make sure you reply to those emails directly.
      • New Answer your phone if you get a call from 800-318-6022. If you miss a call from ESD, the only way to call back is through the main line for the claims center—and it won’t be easy to get through. Last week, ESD was getting 100 calls per second.
      • New Under normal circumstances, it takes around 21 days to adjudicate issues on a claim: But ESD got more applications in the last 7 weeks than the previous three and a half years combined. With so many businesses closed, it’s harder to reach employers to verify information with them.
      • New Stay tuned for more: ESD will be posting updates on its progress to resolve adjudication cases on its website.
    • ESD created a tool kit for businesses and workers with the latest information and resources related to filing for unemployment benefits
    • Unemployment scenarios and benefits chart
    • This helpful video from Washington’s Employment Security Department explains the latest changes to unemployment benefits.
    • See this SharedWork and Standby program briefing sponsored by CREDC and Workforce SW Washington (at minute 33 of ~50 mins)
    • The SharedWork (reducing hours of permanent and hourly-paid employees by 10% to as much as 50%) program has expanded allows partial employment or placing employees on standby for up to 8 weeks.
      • Employer must keep funding employee benefits.
      • Employer will not see an increase in their unemployment insurance rates as a result of using this program
      • Employee can go on and off this program as needed
      • The Standby program – where employees can get unemployment benefits without looking for a new job has been expanded to 12 weeks.
      • Part-time workers are now eligible for unemployment. ESD’s system will auto-generate a denial letter – they’re working to fix that.  In the meantime, you can ignore it.
      • Temporary Layoff & Furlough Assistance for Businesses
      • Layoff Assistance for Businesses