We expect nearly 1 million weekly claims to be filed

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What's a weekly claim, anyway?

Weekly claims are how you get paid. 

  • You must submit a weekly claim every week to get paid every week.
  • Start submitting weekly claims the Sunday after you apply for benefits, even if your application is not yet approved. 

Submitting a weekly claim? Start here.

With the rollout of expanded unemployment benefits last weekend, we expect nearly 1 million weekly claims could be filed this week, starting on Sunday. 

This is a staggering number for our system – or any system for that matter – to handle. This represents many hundreds of thousands of people trying to get into the system at once.

3 things you can do to help level traffic and file faster

  1. This is a big ask, but it will help a neighbor in need: If you can afford to wait a couple extra days to get paid, please file after Monday. This will allow those who need the benefit most to file and get paid first.
  2. You can file online and by phone 24/7. Traffic is lowest late at night to early in the morning (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
  3. Submit your weekly claim via automated phone system – best after 6 p.m. (800-318-6022). Note: You cannot file backdated claims via phone. Please use your online account if you need to file more than one week at a time.

What about job search requirements?

On your weekly claim questionnaire, you can click, "No" when asked if you completed a job search this week. That requirement is optional right now and you don't need to report job search activities to us.

If you have other questions, like:

  • When do I get the additional $600 per week?
  • Why am I getting letters that say something different than the website?
  • Where's the link to file a weekly claim?

Head to our updated COVID-19 Worker Q&A


There's always more at ESD.wa.gov

You may have noticed the changes to our website last week. We're continually updating content and adding resources designed to help you navigate the newly available benefits.

Head to esd.wa.gov and look for new details specifically for folks who:

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.

Stay tuned

We will continue to provide regular updates here, as well as through our social media channels, as this situation evolves. The Employment Security Department Commissioner, Suzi LeVine, provides periodic video updates as well, which you can see on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.