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- Washington Unemployment: Free Training and Education for Washington Residents
How to File an Online weekly claim for your Washington Unemployment Benefits
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To Contact the Washington Unemployment Office
First, don’t panic; this happens all the time. It doesn’t necessarily mean your application has been cancelled or that you are in trouble with the agency. Washington’s UIA regularly requests additional information from applicants in order to filter out those who do not meet their eligibility requirements.
You can receive a request for additional information by mail, email or even by phone. It is in your interest to reply as soon as possible to these requests and answer truthfully. Until the UIA receives your reply your benefits application they will not approve it and you will not receive your unemployment checks.
Notice that regardless of the stage of your unemployment benefits application you must continue filing your weekly claims even if it is still pending approval. This is important because once your application is approved the Washington UIA will only pay for weeks you claimed for.
Therefore, even if you do not agree with the Washington’s UIA concerns, continue filing your weekly claims while you wait for a decision. Fill in the questionnaire as soon as possible and send it back to the address included in the letter. Sometimes, however, the agency will request a telephone interview instead of sending a questionnaire. In that case make sure you have all the information you need to answer their questions handy for the telephone conference.
What information will you need to provide? It depends on your work history and the concerns the Washington UIA has with reference to your case. However, it is safe to assume you will need to provide evidence of your work history during the base period, the twelve-month period your application is based upon. For instance, you will need to provide a list of your employers during that period, how much income you received each month and how many hours a week you worked. They may also have questions about the reasons you terminated your employment, details about your severance package and any sources of income you may now have. It is possible that your employer has provided the UIA with information that does not correspond with the information you provided in your initial application, so be ready to back your claims with documents or other types of evidence.
How long will you have to wait while the UIA is dealing with their concerns with your unemployment application? It depends on the issues they have and their workload, but according to the UIA the process can take from six to eight weeks and in some cases even longer. Although payment will not start until your application has been cleared, you will be paid for all the weeks you were waiting for a resolution as long as you filed claims during those weeks.
If you are receiving unemployment benefits from the Washington unemployment insurance agency, mark April the 21st in your calendar. Unfortunately, it is not good news. Due to a drop in unemployment, which is good news for those who have landed a job, Washington workers no longer qualify for the federal Extended Benefits program.
This means the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, also known as EUC, will be the the only long-term benefit available to workers who exhaust their regular state unemployment benefits. Washington unemployed workers will experience a reduction of 20 weeks in their potential unemployment benefits. So what is available to workers who exhaust their state unemployment benefits?
Based on Washington’s current unemployment rate, which is the benchmark that determines the number of EUC levels a state qualifies for, workers qualify for an additional 47 weeks once they finish their state benefits. So why are Washington workers eligible for 47 weeks, a benefits allowance reserved for states with relatively high unemployment, and not Extended Benefits. The answer lies in the methods each program uses to calculate state eligibility. In the case of EUC, the main factor is total unemployment rate. In the case of Extended Benefits, the main factor is whether the state’s unemployment rate has risen, remained the same or dropped in the last few years. Washington’s modest drop in unemployment disqualifies it from Extended Benefits.
What must you do to apply for EUC benefits? If you are receiving state unemployment benefits, simply continue filing for your weekly benefits and the unemployment insurance agency will send you paper applications by mail when you are close to exhausting your benefits.
However, if you are close to running out of benefits and you have not received the EUC applications from the Washington UIA, you can pick up an application package from your closest WorkSource office or by calling the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Unit at 877-558-8509 during business hours.
The requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits under the EUC program are similar to those under the state program but enforced more closely. For instance, as with the state unemployment program, workers are required to actively search for work but under the EUC program workers may be asked to provide a written record of a minimum of three work search instances per week. Failure to meet this and other requirements could cause you to lose your benefits.Newer Posts »