Washington Unemployment Benefits Information

Understanding Your Washington Statement of Wages and Hours


Before you claim unemployment benefits in Washington, there will be no way to estimate the amount you will receive, but your Statement of Wages and Hours will provide you with a fairly accurate estimation. The maximum amount of federal unemployment benefits a worker can receive on a weekly basis is $681, and the minimum is $162. The actual amount you receive will be calculated using your weekly benefit amount (WBA) and maximum benefits payable (MBP), based on the initial wage information you provided. 

The state calls your last four or five working quarters a base year, and the state will factor in your earnings from this time. For example, if you file your initial WA federal unemployment benefits claim on March 20, 2016, your base year will run from December 30, 2014, to November 30, 2015. The state also provides an estimation formula on the Employment Security Department website.   

If your Washington federal unemployment benefits claim is accepted, you will receive an official Statement of Wages and Hours in the mail. Your statement will display the following information: 

•    Previous employers and the earnings they paid you during each quarter of the most recent base year. 
•    The weekly benefit amount you are eligible for and the maximum amount of benefits you can receive in a calendar year. 
•    The date that your benefit year begins and ends. You will only be allowed to claim benefits between these two dates. 

Before you can claim unemployment benefits, the state will require you to wait for a full seven days. This time is called a waiting week, and even though you will not be compensated for waiting, you will still need to meet the WA unemployment insurance eligibility requirements during this week. If you meet these requirements, you will receive payment during the second week, and if you wish to continue receiving benefits, you will need to file a claim every week. Most workers receive their WA state federal unemployment benefits the day after the file a continued claim, but if you file a claim after 5:00 pm, the state may issue payment two days later. 


Claiming Your Washington Unemployment Benefits 


You can have your Washington federal unemployment benefits deposited directly into your bank account. You can sign up for direct deposit 24 hours after you file your initial unemployment claim online. The state of Washington does not accept handwritten direct deposit requests, so you will need to enter your account and routing numbers online. After your request is received, you may have to wait up to two weeks before the state can verify your account information with your bank. Until this information is verified, the state will send you a paper check in the mail. Your funds cannot be directly deposited into your account if: 

•    Your bank is not in the United States. 
•    The banking information you provide is not correct. 
•    You change banks without updating your information online. 

To opt out of direct deposit, log into your online unemployment benefits claim account and change your payment options.  

If you receive W.A. state federal unemployment benefits through the mail and you believe that your unemployment insurance check has been stolen or lost, you will need to contact the claims center. Please wait at least seven business days before you report your check as lost or stolen, and in the meantime, you will still need to file for weekly benefits. 


Unemploymentclaims.org is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.