Should you apply for benefits? When? How? We’ve got answers.

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1. Find out what you’re eligible for.  

Visit and download the eligibility checker 

Eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI)? Apply as soon as possible!  

Before you apply, go to, and: 

Can’t get regular UI? You might be eligible for expanded benefits under the federal CARES Act.  

Wait to apply until after April 18. Stay tuned for next steps about how to get ready and what you’ll need.  You can still set up your account any time though - see the next step below.

2. Set up your Secure Access Washington (SAW) account. 

If you’re planning to apply for regular or expanded benefits, you’ll need a SAW account.  

We know it’s not the most intuitive thing. That’s why we made a video 

Watching this 9-minute video may save you a lot of time 

Especially if there’s a chance you may already have a SAW account. That can cause issues that are tricky to fix down the road.  

Last but not least, that $600. 

Everyone receiving a weekly UI benefit will get the additional $600 included in the federal CARES act.  

  • Full-time workers.  
  • Part-time workers.
  • Those already on UI.
  • Those who are eligible for expanded benefits under the CARES Act.

Other important info

  • $600 payments are retroactive to March 29. 
  • You do not need to request it. The additional $600 will be added to your benefit after our system is updated on April 18.

(There is one exception: People who receive in-training benefits won’t get it.)  

There's always something new to learn on the COVID-19 page

Take a look at the worker Q&A on our COVID-19 webpage.

We're updating it with new information on the federal stimulus legislation.

Stay tuned

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 YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

We're hiring!

Here at Employment Security, we believe in the power to help when people need it most. 

We are recruiting for a variety of positions - both permanent and temporary. If you have the desire and drive to help others, please join our team! We encourage you to apply now.

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