Unemployment Office

The unemployment insurance (UI) program is intended to be used as temporary income replacement for individuals who are unemployed and actively seeking work. The program was developed by the Employment Security Department in Washington State.



You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own if you wish to be eligible for UI benefits. You must be available to work and actively seeking employment. However, you can still benefit from the UI program if you were fired or quit your job, but the reasons for separation must be assessed by the department. For instance, you must not have loss your job due to misconduct in the workplace. As part of your application, your last employer will need to fill out a questionnaire regarding your separation in order to verify that you are being honest in your claim.

Work Search Requirement

The work search requirement applies to the state of Washington, and it requires you to submit a work search record at least once per month to the department. Without this weekly notice, you will not be eligible for UI benefits. The work search record is used to prove that you are actively seeking out employment opportunities. Thus, it must include the details of your efforts in making contact with potential employers, such as the name, address, telephone number of the individual who was contacted. You must also include the date of contact, the position of interest, and the result of the contact.

Monetary Eligibility Requirement

Your benefits will be determined based on your earnings or hours worked within a specific 12-month period known as a “base period.” This period is made up of the first four quarters out of the five last completed quarters before the week in which your claim is filed. The requirement states that you must have worked at least 680 hours in your base period in order to qualify for UI benefits. However, you can use an “alternate period” if you did not work enough hours in the former base period, and it is made up of the last four completed quarters of the calendar year.


If you wish to determine your potential earnings through the UI program, you will need to add the wages from the two quarters of your base period in which you earned the highest amounts. Then, you must divide this number by two and multiply the result by 0.0385; this will give you the amount that you are eligible to receive weekly. In total, you can receive UI benefits for up to 26 weeks within one benefit year, which is a period of 52 weeks. However, you must file a weekly claim in order to continue receiving UI benefits. In the state of Washington, the maximum amount of UI benefits you can receive is $624 per week, and the minimum amount is $148 per week.

How to File a Claim

The easiest way to submit a claim for UI is online. However, claims can be made over the phone by contacting 1-800-318-6022. You will need your Social Security Number and the details of your employment history from the last 18 months, including the contact information of all your previous employers.

Latest News


Employment Security Department 212 Maple Park Ave SE Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 902-9500 View Website Unemployement Claim File