Business & Workers Newsletter

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    October 15, 2021

What you should know about...

New COVID-19 Orders

Starting November 15th, large indoor and outdoor ticketed events will need to verify the vaccination status or recent negative test of all those entering the event. This order will not apply to youths under 12 years old. Continue to visit the governor's website for forthcoming details.

Updates from the Employment Security Department

Washington employers: You will receive your third-quarter billing or Statement of Benefit Charges in the mail this month. Now that federal pandemic unemployment benefits have ended, you might see more benefit charges starting with that statement.

You might see:

  • Higher benefit charges starting Sept. 4, 2021. The federal government is no longer paying any benefit charges for former employees receiving regular unemployment benefits or SharedWork benefits. Previously, the federal government was paying 75 percent of regular benefits and 100 percent of SharedWork benefits.
  • More former employees listed. Some claimants transferred to regular unemployment benefits when federal pandemic unemployment programs expired on the week ending Sept. 4.

Incorrect charges? 

  • Check your statement for employees who shouldn’t be listed and who you haven’t already reported to us. To report fraud, visit our website and follow the instructions in the Employers section at If we confirm fraud, we’ll credit your account. 
  • If you have questions about your statement, call the Account Management Center at 855-829-9243. If agents there can’t answer your questions, they will route you to those who can.

WA Cares: Exemption application now available

Some workers already have a long-term care plan. WA Cares can supplement private long-term care benefits, especially for workers who won’t retire for three or more years, but some qualifying workers may still choose to apply for an exemption from WA Cares coverage. Learn more about WA Cares Fund and Private Long-Term Care Insurance.

Remember, exemptions are permanent. Workers who apply and are approved for an exemption will be permanently disqualified from WA Cares. This means they may never re-enroll and they’ll be unable to collect WA Cares benefits in their lifetime, even if they need them.

We answer frequently asked questions. Check out our Learn more page, were we answer the questions we get most, including specific questions about the application process.

Monthly business-friendly webinar series

The Employment Security Department SharedWork/Business-Friendly Programs feature this important new business webinar series. The webinars provide program overviews and highlight the requirements and resources, and the most current information for businesses. This valuable information will help businesses make informed decisions for their operational effectiveness, stay resilient and thrive during the ebb and flow of economic cycles. Find registration information and a complete list of the webinars through June 2022 on Eventbrite.

Updates from the Department of Commerce

OPEN NOW: Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program

The Washington State Department of Commerce has opened a new grant program to help certain small businesses hurting due to the U.S.-Canadian border closures.

The Working Washington Grants: Border Business Relief Program focuses on customer-facing businesses that have experienced hardship specifically as a result of COVID-19 and the extended border restrictions. Businesses must have reported annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 to the WA Department of Revenue and be located in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens or Pend Oreille counties.

The application materials and information in English and Spanish are available now at The application portal is open through October 18 at 5:00PM PT. Grants to eligible businesses will be up to $50,000. Award amounts will vary and will take into account previous Working Washington awards received from Commerce or affiliated partners.