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If you have found yourself out of work, you may be able to get help from the state. Your employers pay an unemployment insurance tax so that people who are laid off can receive weekly checks. The amount you are eligible for will be determined by your past wages earned.

To be eligible  in the state of Washington you must:

  •  Have worked 680 hours in your base year
  •  Have earned income in Washington
  •  Not be responsible for losing your job (unless there are special circumstances)
  •  Be able to work
  •  Be willing to look for work
  •  Be available to accept any job offered to you

You may apply online at www.esd.wa.gov.   Click on Claim unemployment benefits under the Job Seekers heading.

 You may also apply by calling a telecenter.   Call 800-318-6022, or 800-365-8969 for TTY.   Call between the hours of 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. weekdays.  You will first answer automated questions with your touchtone phone.  Then you will then be transferred to a live specialist.  It will take up to two weeks to process your claim. Your former employer will be contacted to make sure that you lost your job at no fault of your own, and you will have an opportunity to respond to their statement if there is a disagreement.

If you have not heard anything after the second week, call the telecenter to check on your claim.

Inside Washington