Washington State residents may qualify for emergency unemployment benefits

More than 100,000 Washingtonians may qualify for emergency unemployment benefits
The state Employment Security Department has mailed applications to more than 100,000 Washington workers who potentially qualify for emergency unemployment benefits. So far, Washington has paid out more than $2 million in benefits.

Mailings went to anyone who had filed a claim for unemployment benefits on or after May 7, 2006, and later exhausted those “regular” benefits or whose benefit year has ended.

The emergency unemployment compensation recently approved by Congress provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to people who exhausted their regular benefits, are still unemployed and meet other qualifications.

Eligibility requirements for Emergency Unemployment Compensation include:

— The individual’s last claim was against Washington; and

— The claim began on or after May 7, 2006; and

— The individual is not eligible for a regular claim against Washington, another state (including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia) or Canada.

The weekly benefit amount is the same as claimants received on regular unemployment. The first week of eligibility was July 6-12. Applications will be accepted until March 28, 2009.

People who believe they meet the specific eligibility requirements must complete a paper application. If they did not receive one in the mail, the form and other information about the program are online at http://www.euc.go2ui.com or at a local WorkSource office.