Unemployment Benefits — If you have been laid off or had your hours reduced, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, which is partial wage replacement from the state. Under the new emergency rules, benefits are also available to workers who have been quarantined due to exposure or are self-quarantined because they are immune-compromised. The Washington State Employment Security Department is where you apply for these benefits. Here are step-by-step instructions, a schedule of webinars on how to do it, and an Eligibility Checker form to see if you are eligible. (This information is available in multiple languages.) Below is ESD’s easy-to-read comparison guide explaining the most common scenarios and what benefits that may apply. Learn more here.
Problems With Unemployment? — If you are experiencing delays and technical issues applying for unemployment, you’re not alone. The Employment Security Department updated its system to include new federal COVID-19 benefits on April 18, but the system has been overwhelmed by the many thousands of people trying to apply at once. Get the latest ESD updates here. Also, Working Washington wants to hear from people who have faced problems applying for unemployment. You can fill out their survey here.
Denied Unemployment? — If you have been denied unemployment benefits, contact the Unemployment Law Project. With offices in Seattle and Spokane, the ULP provides low-cost representation and free advice and counsel to people in Washington state who have been denied unemployment benefits or whose award of benefits is being challenged. Learn more here.
Job Opportunities — Many employers are HIRING right now. Thousands of of good union jobs with good wages and benefits are available in grocery stores, supply chain positions, and even at the aforementioned Employment Security Department. Learn more here.
Disaster Cash Assistance Program — The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is administering the Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) in response to the COVID-19 emergency. DCAP is available for one month, in a 12-month period, to all Washington families and individuals, who meet income and resource rules and who are not eligible other cash programs. You can apply by calling 1-877-501-2233 (operators have access to interpreters) or by applying online here.