District of Columbia

If you are unemployed but previously work ed in the District of Columbia, you may want to apply for unemployment benefits. If you have lost your job in the District of Columbia, you may be eligible to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. The Department of Employment Services’ Unemployment Compensation Program pays unemployed workers partial wages while they actively search for a job.

The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) will review your claim and decide if you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

Eligibility requirements include:

1. Unemployment through no fault of your own.
You must also be willing and able to work.
2. Earned at least $1,300 in one quarter of your base period.
The base period is a 12-month period of earnings, divided into three-month quarters.
3. Earned at least $1,950 in wages for the entire base period.
4. You make at least two job contacts each week.

When applying for unemployment benefits you will need the following:

• Your Social Security card.
• Your driver’s license or ID card.

Wage information:

1. Recent W-2 Forms.
2. Recent earnings statement.

Previous employer’s information, including:

• Name.
• Address.
• Phone number.
• Reason for unemployment.
• Last day of work.

Unemployed workers have several options for filing an unemployment benefits claim.

Apply in person at the One-Stop Career Center.
Choose the Franklin Street One-Stop Career Center or the Naylor Road One-Stop Career Center.
Unemployment compensation insurance services are available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Call the center first to make an appointment.
Apply online using the DOES online unemployment compensation insurance application.

The easiest way to file your claim:

Call the DOES at their local number (202) 724-7000 or at their toll-free number (877) 319-7346. Hours available:

Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mail your application to:

Workforce Development Bureau
609 H Street, NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002

You will need to file a claim bi-weekly to get your benefits. File the Sunday or Monday following the week ending date of the second week you are claiming.


Inside District of Columbia