How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Washington State

***This post is adapted from the Washington State Employment Security Department web page. Be sure to check there for additional detail and any future changes to the unemployment claims process in Washington State.

 

Many in our community are being laid off from work due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the Washington State Employment Security Department. These unemployment benefits provide “temporary income when you lose your job through no fault of your own. The money partly replaces your lost earnings and helps you pay expenses while looking for new work”.

Step 1 – Eligibility
To see if you qualify for benefits, check the Employment Security Department’s web page, and know that emergency rules have been adopted that expand who is eligible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re out of work, and not sure if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits, please use the links above and below for information about your possible eligibility.

      • If you were laid off as a result of COVID-19, you are likely eligible.
      • If you are unsure of your eligibility, apply anyway. Complete the application as best you can and we will follow up with you as soon as possible.

Step 2 – Apply online or by phone
Know that Washington has seen an eight-fold increase in unemployment claims, so be patient. The Employment Security Department is currently hiring as many as 60 or more staff to help speed up the claims process, and adding a call center.

Whether you apply online or by phone, be sure to have the necessary information ready before you start. Both systems will “time out” after a short period to protect the security of your personal information.
Have this information ready  |  Online application questions  |  Phone application questions 

Apply Online
https://secure.esd.wa.gov/
Apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week with eServices. It’s much faster. You must use a laptop or desktop computer for this initial step—not a mobile device. Need help? Start with the eServices User Guide or read technical support FAQs. 

Apply by Phone
800-318-6022
We are experiencing extremely high call volumes.
The claims center number at 800-318-6022 will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (except holidays) as follows:

      • Monday: New applications for those with Social Security numbers ending in 0-3. Open only for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.
      • Tuesday: New applications for those with Social Security numbers ending in 0-6. Open for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.
      • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Everyone (Social Security numbers ending in 0-9) can submit new applications. Open for questions about weekly claims and other general questions.

Step 3 – After you apply
You will receive an Unemployment claim determination letting you know if you are eligible for benefits and how much you will receive. Please let us know immediately if you find errors.

Sign up for direct deposit | Sign up for a benefits debit card | How soon will payments start | Estimate your benefit amount | See our jobs and training section | Update your information

Step 4 – Look for work
The job search requirement to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits is now optional
 in order to increase access to unemployment benefits for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will be retroactive to March 8, 2020, and will continue until further notice. There are many employers still hiring, even now, so we encourage anyone who has been laid off to continue in their job search through WorkSource or other online job search websites.

Also be sure to check out The Seattle Public Library’s Job Resources web page for a guide to discovering career paths, getting new jobs skills, working on a cover letter or resume, and finding available jobs. 

Step 5 – Submit a weekly claim or restart a claim
After you apply for unemployment benefits, you must submit a weekly claim for every week you wish to receive benefits. Your weekly claim covers the prior week. For unemployment purposes, a week runs from Sunday through Saturday – you cannot claim for the week until it is over. 

How & when to submit a weekly claim | Weekly claim application questions |  Watch weekly claim video | Missed a week of filing?

For more information and guidance, register for a webinar on filing unemployment insurance claim online, and download a slide deck at https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/introduction-to-unemployment-insurance-public-webinar.

Be well. 

 ~posted by Mychal L.

 

Reconnect Virtually with Seattle Museums 

Connecting virtually with our friends, families, co-workers, classmates – this new way of life is quickly becoming the norm. The way we interact with the world will forever be changed by this pandemic. 

What seems to always be true in times of national crisis is the rise of creativity and ingenuity among people and communities. When we come together, we make great things happen amidst the chaos and uncertainty. 

Many of our favorite institutions across the city are offering new ways to connect with resources, digital content, and online learning opportunities. Here are just a few of my favorite discoveries this week. 

Burke from Home
The Burke Museum is providing a variety of coloring pages, prehistoric craft ideas, and a printable nature scavenger hunt. You can also sign-up to receive weekly curriculum packets to support your child’s at home learning. Continue reading “Reconnect Virtually with Seattle Museums “

Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition

Need to escape your house? Looking for some peace and quiet? Enjoy the spring weather and get outside for a walk or bike ride.

For lovely walking in Seattle, I would suggest you get a hold of a digital copy of Seattle Walk Report. You can find a walk for every neighborhood. Some other digital titles with cool walk suggestions are Walking Seattle: 35 Tours of the Jet City’s Parks, Landmarks, Neighborhoods and Scenic Views, Seattle Stairway Walks: And Up-and-down Guide to City Neighborhoods, and Urban Trails, Seattle: Shoreline, Renton, Kent, Vashon Island.

Continue reading “Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition”

Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008

Seattle Reads, the arts, and gentrification was the topic in our Throwback Thursday post on March 31, 2008.

Image result for the beautiful things that heaven bears

If you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008”

Upcoming Author Events for February

Check out these upcoming events with Livewire’s hosts Hameister and Burbank, open mic readings at the Columbia and Ballard Branches, Phillip H. Hoffman, Director of the Alki History Project, discusses the story of the Town of Alki at the Southwest Library, and Ginger Gaffney discusses their memoir.

The free programs listed below are held at a variety of library locations in February; please check our online Author and Books Events calendar for complete details on these featured events and more.

Writers Read
Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m.
Columbia Branch
Join us for a monthly reading series featuring an open mic and selected author readings from local writers. Local writers will read from their diverse repertoires of poetry, short stories, novels and essays. The event will end with a Q&A session, followed by an open mic session.

Courtenay Hameister and Luke Burbank talk about 'Okay Fine Whatever'Courtenay Hameister and Luke Burbank talk about ‘Okay Fine Whatever’
Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m.
Central Library
Join us to hear Livewire’s hosts Hameister and Burbank talk about Okay Fine Whatever, Hameister’s hilarious account of facing her fears. Refreshing, relatable, and pee-your-pants funny, Okay Fine Whatever is Courtenay’s hold-nothing-back account of her adventures on the front lines of Mere Human Woman vs. Fear, reminding us that even the tiniest amount of bravery is still bravery, and that no matter who you are, it’s possible to fight complacency and become bold, or at least bold-ish, a little at a time. Continue reading “Upcoming Author Events for February”