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Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT)


Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT) allows you to collect your regular unemployment benefits while attending an approved, full-time training program. If approved for commissioner-approved training, you do not have to look for work while receiving unemployment benefits. CAT does not pay for books, tuition or school-related fees. It does not extend your benefits.

To apply for commissioner-approved training, there are several options available:

  1. Download and print an application online.
  2. call the claims center at 800-318-6022 and ask for a Student Eligibility Questionnaire/CAT Application
  3. Go to the nearest WorkSource employment center

Mail or fax your completed application to:

   Unemployment Insurance Imaging
   PO Box 19019
   Olympia WA 98507-0019
   Fax: 800-301-1796

You also can drop off your completed application at the nearest WorkSource employment center.

You may be eligible for CAT if you are:

  • Otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits, and
  • A dislocated worker as defined below:
    • If your claim started before July 1, 2012, you:
      • Were fired (but not for misconduct) or laid off from your employer; and
      • Your skills are no longer in demand, so you are unlikely to get the same type of work again.
    • If your claim started July 1, 2012 or later, you:
      • Were laid off because your employer permanently reduced operations; or
      • Lost your job for a reason we allow benefits, and because there are few employment opportunities in your type of work, you are unlikely to get the same type of work again.

An approved training program is a course of education which:

  • Is full time, as determined by the school or training facility;
  • Provides you with skills in an occupation for which there are reasonable job opportunities in your labor market;
  • Is not primarily intended to meet the requirements of a baccalaureate or higher degree; and
  • Is generally of short duration, as commissioner approved training does not extend your benefits. If you will run out of unemployment benefits before completing your training, you must show us that you have the financial resources to complete your training.


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