Am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance?
The ESD has provided an eligibility checker to help you figure out if you are eligible for regular or expanded unemployment benefits. Click here to view the eligibility checkeropens PDF file .
Even if you don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits, you may qualify for the expanded benefits under the CARES Act.
If you are unsure of your eligibility after reading through the checker, apply anyway. Complete the application as best you can and Unemployment Claim Center staff will follow up with you as soon as possible via mail or eServices..
How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?
Before applying, review the ESD’s Application Checklistopens PDF file and gather all the necessary information and materials.
You can apply online or over the phone. However, call volumes are high right now and applying online will be faster.
Like most Washington State agencies, the ESD uses SecureAccess Washington (SAW) to manage customer accounts. Click here to create your SAW account or login. Need help setting up a SAW account? Watch this video and check out the ESD’s help page.
What are the expanded benefits under the CARES Act?
CARES Act expands unemployment benefits to those who otherwise would not be eligible including independent contractors and self-employed workers.
Everyone receiving a Unemployment Insurance benefit will get an additional $600 weekly benefit included in the federal CARES Act. This includes full-time workers, part-time workers, those already on Unemployment Insurance, and those who are eligible for expanded benefits under the CARES Act.
The $600 payments are retroactive to March 29 and you do not need to request it. The additional $600 will be added to your benefit after the ESD’s system is updated on April 18.
To estimate your weekly benefit, check out the ESD’s Benefit Calculator. While you won’t know how much you will receive until you apply, this will give you an estimate.
When should I apply for Unemployment Insurance?
If you are eligible for regular unemployment benefits, apply now! After April 18, the volume of applicants is expected to increase significantly. Apply as soon as possible.
If you don’t qualify for regular benefits but do qualify for expanded benefits under the CARES Act, set up your SAW account now and apply on April 18. Keep an eye on the ESD Newsroom for updates on how to apply.