If you have lost your job in Washington State through no fault of your own, you can apply for unemployment benefits through the Washington State Employment Security Department (esd.wa.gov).
You can find instructions at esd.wa.gov/unemployment.
- You must prove that you have worked at least 680 hours during the last 12-18 months, at least some of that in Washington State.
- You must provide basic information, including:
- Your name, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Names and addresses of all employers
- Dates you worked at each employer
- Your citizenship status or authorization to work
- Once you are approved, you will need to submit a weekly claim for each week you are unemployed.
- You may need to prove you are looking for a new job. However, if you have been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 you do not need to look for a new job.
There are extra protections in place for people who have lost work due to COVID-19. These are described at esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19. These extra protections cover you if your employer closed because of lack of business or a government order, or if you must take time off to quarantine or care for a family member and do not have paid sick leave.
- WA State ESD general Unemployment Benefits info page https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment
- WA State ESD COVID-19 Info page https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
- Webinars on Filing Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims Online from WA State Employment Security Department (ESD). More info, register for a webinar, and download slide deck @ https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/introduction-to-unemployment-insurance-public-webinar
- WorkSource Online/Virtual Workshops for Job Seekers Now Available. No-cost workshops include: Resume & Cover Letters; Interviewing; Employment & Training Orientation; and more. Calendar of all online workshops and how to register @ https://www.worksourcewa.com/microsite/content.aspx?appid=WAWORKSHOPS&pagetype=simple&seo=virtual
- WA State Employment Security Department (ESD) “Schedule Unemployment Benefits Callback in Spanish” page https://esd.wa.gov/espanol/unemployment/UI-callback
*ESD’s English language callback schedule is now full for weeks but their Spanish language callback schedule currently has next day appointments!!!
- WA State ESD General Unemployment Benefits info page in Spanish https://esd.wa.gov/espanol/unemployment
- WA State ESD COVID19 Info page in Spanish https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19-coronavirus-info-spanish
- WA State ESD YouTube Video in Spanish “How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance” https://youtu.be/Sx1Z3iNtwr0
(video is from 2018)
- WA State ESD handbook in Spanish “Handbook for Unemployed Workers” https://esdorchardstorage.blob.core.windows.net/esdwa/Default/ESDWAGOV/Espanol/ESD-ESP-claims-kit.pdf
(handbook was published in 2017)
- The Unemployment Law Project’s Spanish language flyer about the organization and services http://unemploymentlawproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Spanish.pdf
- The Unemployment Law Project’s April 6th Webinar: “More Answers to Questions About COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits” https://unemploymentlawproject.org/event/webinar-more-answers-to-questions-about-covid-19-and-unemployment-benefits/