COVID-19 & Unemployment Benefits

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COVID-19 & Unemployment Benefits

graphic of coronavirus
  • If you have lost your job, the most important step is to apply for benefits online or call 800-318-6022.
  • If you are laid off because of slow business or a closure, you automatically qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • The state is waiving the normal “waiting week” so that workers can start receiving benefits as soon as possible.
  • If your hours or pay are cut by more than 25%, you may have good cause to quit and obtain unemployment benefits
  • If your employer closes operations temporarily, they may be able to obtain “standby” status and allow you to claim benefits for up to 8 weeks, possibly longer. Standby status is now available for part-time workers as well.
  • If you need to self-isolate or quarantine, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
  • If you are ill and cannot work, Paid Family and Medical Leave exists to provide you support until you recover.
  • If your employer is forcing you to work when you are sick, that’s a safety hazard. You may have good cause to quit and receive unemployment benefits while you find a new work.
  • If your employer needs to reduce staff levels, they may initiate a work-share program so that people can work part time and obtain some partial unemployment benefits.
  • If you are fired for reasons that are not your fault, you have a strong case to receive unemployment benefits.

If you reside anywhere in Washington and are denied benefits, the Unemployment Law Project may be able to help you. Call us today at 206-441-9178, 509-624-9178, or toll free at 1(888) 441-9178.

Working Washington wants to hear from you about your experience with filing for unemployment. Please fill out their survey.

Frequently Asked Questions

More FAQs being added soon!

What is the difference between UI and PUA?

What are the different programs? PEUC? PUC? EB?

What does standby mean and how do I get it?

Are job searches still waived, and what does that mean? Where can I keep track of the most current updates for this?

What is a work-share program & how would it affect me?

I’m at high risk for illness. Can I quit or turn down a risky job?

I was offered a job/my employer said I can return to work, but I don’t feel safe because of the COVID risk. Can I say no and still keep my unemployment benefits?

I filed an appeal weeks ago, and never heard back. What do I do?

I’m a substitute teacher. How does this affect my benefits?

Can I collect unemployment benefits if I was fired for refusing a vaccine?