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Eligibility And Benefits

If you were laid-off, furloughed or your place of business shut down due to COVID-19, you are eligible for unemployment benefits from Washington state and the federal government. The Employment Security Department (ESD) of Washington State has a checklist that users can fill out to determine eligibility. The ESD encourages users to apply for unemployment benefits if the checklist did not help them determine their eligibility status.

Self-employed individuals are eligible for benefits from Washington state and the federal government.

If you receive unemployment benefits then usually you have to look for work and document the process. During these times, looking for work is optional until further notice (this change started March 8th).

While on unemployment, you must submit a weekly claim to receive benefits. The easiest way to do this is online at ESD. You can usually receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. During this pandemic, you can receive an extra 13 weeks of benefits. Additionally, you can receive an extra $600 per week of federal unemployment benefits which is added on top of existing benefits until July 31st, 2020.

What Do You Need To Apply?

  • Your Name
  • SSN
  • Birthdate
  • Contact Information
  • Your work history for the past 18 months
    • employer name(s)
    • address(es)
    • phone number(s)
    • start and end date(s)
  • Your account and routing number (only if you want direct deposit)


The IRS views unemployment benefits as taxable income (including the additional $600 of federal unemployment benefits). In Washington State, there is no state income tax so you will not owe anything to the state for receiving unemployment benefits. That does not mean you won’t owe anything to the federal government.


The ESD checklist.

Additionally, you can learn more about unemployment benefits from Zach Friedman.

Also, Jim Wang discusses unemployment benefits.

Lastly, you can learn more about our services here!