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Unemployment Help

Unemployment Help

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 (


You can find instructions at

  • 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 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.

You can apply online 24/7 at

You can apply by phone at 800-318-6022 (8am-4pm)


(handbook was published in 2017)







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