Washington State’s Employment Security Department (ESD) will be updating its system today – Saturday, April 18, 2020 – and when service resumes, if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, a part-time worker who was ineligible for regular unemployment benefits or someone that works with a business that does not report your wages, you may be able to apply for new benefits.
Pandemic unemployment assistance applications are coming this weekend.
Here’s more from ESD:
eServices and phone lines will be down Saturday, April 18
The claims center will be closed, and eServices will be unavailable from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This means you won’t be able to log-in to your unemployment accounts or call the claim center tomorrow.
These outages are necessary, though, so we can deliver the next big change…
Pandemic unemployment assistance application coming this weekend
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, a part-time worker who was ineligible for regular unemployment benefits or someone that works with a business that does not report your wages and hours to ESD, you will be able to access the new application after 8 p.m. on Saturday. Look for eligibility details, application instructions and more resources on our website. And speaking of our website…
Using our new tools and resources, you’ll be able to:
- Find out what you’re eligible for.
- Get ready to apply.
- File a complete application.
833-572-8400: a new way to get answers
To prepare for a surge of new callers who need information about the new federal unemployment benefits and to allow claims agents to focus on processing claims, we are making changes to the unemployment benefits phone system.
Beginning Friday, April 17, if you have general questions about unemployment benefits, call 833-572-8400 first.
They will likely be able to answer your questions, and if not, they can transfer you to a claims agent. Call volumes still remain very high, so it is always best to start at esd.wa.gov when looking for an answer.
Join a webinar!
Want a guided tour of the unemployment and expanded benefits applications? Join us next week for a webinar.
We’ll be hosting a number of webinars next week to walk people through the unemployment application and expanded benefits application (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or “PUA”). We’ll also do some Q&A at the end. Not all the information will be relevant to you, but it will help you file your “PUA” application for expanded benefits. More information and registrations are on our webinar page.
We will continue to provide regular updates here, as well as through our social media channels, as this situation quickly evolves. The Employment Security Department Commissioner, Suzi LeVine, provides periodic video updates as well, which you can see on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook