Not working due to coronavirus? Check here for WA benefits

Employment Security has programs designed to help
WA Jobs Inslee Coronavirus Covid 19
Courtesy: Washington Employment Security Department

Washington workers: if you’ve lost work, may lose work, or have been laid off in Washington state due to coronavirus, you may be able to get unemployment benefits.

The Washington State Employment Security Department has new, emergency rules to help with layoffs and quarantines that may affect you:

Bottom line: if you’ve worked over the last year or so, you likely can be approved for state unemployment benefits.

Businesses needing to temporarily lay off workers can request to put an employee on standby for up to eight weeks; the employee can collect benefits without having to look for other work.

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday waived the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance.

Washington State Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine said Wednesday the agency experienced a 150-percent increase in claims last week and an even more dramatic increase this week. New unemployment data is set to be released on March 19.

“Our website,, had 280,000 users on Monday and Tuesday, for more than 500,000 users in just two days. Typically, we would expect 30,000 users during that time. On Tuesday alone, we received 19,250 calls which is 827-percent higher than last Tuesday,” said LeVine.

There are COVID-19 Q&A sections on the site for both workers and businesses. Eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Start here:
Unemployment Insurance (800) 318-6022
Find local WorkSource WA assistance here