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How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Washington State

In Washington State, you are allowed to file a claim for unemployment insurance once per benefit year (52 weeks). In order to qualify for unemployment insurance, your unemployment must be the fault of your employer and not your own. This includes layoffs and cut backs. You must have an accumulation of at least 680 employment hours in your base year. You must also be ready, willing and able to find new work. Washington State allows you to apply for unemployment benefits three ways: in person, over the Internet or via telephone.


Visit a local WorkSource office. To find the address for a local office, use the My WorkSource Office Directory. (See Resources.)

Meet with an office representative to complete an application for unemployment insurance. During the meeting, the representative will ask for information, such as your name, address, social security number, two-year employment history and wages.

Start submitting your weekly claims for benefits. You will receive a letter in the mail to let you know whether or not your benefits are approved. However, you should not wait to receive this letter. You can start claiming benefits, as early as 12:01AM Sunday until 5:00PM Friday, for the previous week.

Internet & Telephone

Visit the Washington State Employment Security website.

Select the option to apply for benefits online.

Complete the online application by entering information, such as your name, social security number and two-year past employment history (including wages).

After clicking the “Submit” option, wait to receive your confirmation number. If you don't receive a confirmation number, it means that the submission of your application was unsuccessful.

Call the TeleCenter to speak with a live claims specialist, if you want to complete an application over the phone. The TeleCenter number is (800)318-6022. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.