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Benefit Charging Notice FAQ

Why did I receive a Benefit Charging Notice?
A. This letter notifies you that a former employee of yours filed an unemployment claim. It shows the wages and hours your business reported for the individual.

Q. What should I do with this?
A. Examine the document to ensure the information is correct and matches your payroll information for your former employee. The letter also explains how to request relief of benefit charges and shows the separation types eligible for relief under the law.

Q. How much can my former worker receive?
A. The WBA (Weekly Benefit Amount) is how much the individual can draw each week. The MBP (Maximum Benefits Payable) is how much the individual can receive in their benefit year.

Q. How does this affect my tax rate?
A. If an individual collects unemployment benefits and you are a liable employer, your account will be charged. The experience-rated tax account uses the benefits charged against your account, divided by your reported wages to determine your benefit ratio and tax rate. The more benefits charged against your account, the more your tax rate increases. Benefit charges are factored in to the calculation of your experience-rated tax for four years.

Q. What is a base year?
A. A base year consists of the first four of the last five completed quarters prior to the date the individual applied for benefits. An applicant’s earnings during this four-quarter period helps determine the maximum amount of unemployment benefit the individual can receive. We can also look at an alternative base year (the most recent four quarters) if an applicant didn’t work enough hours in the regular base year to qualify for unemployment.

Q. How long can a claim stay open?
A. A regular claim lasts one calendar year, starting at the effective date of the claim. That means the claimant has one year to collect all benefits available as part of that claim.

Q. Should I request relief of benefit charges?
A. The Benefit Charging Notice lists the reasons you could get relief of benefit charges. If you request relief, you must do so within 30 days of the date we sent the notice to you. We will notify you when we make a decision on your request.

Q. How can I request relief of benefit charges?
A. You must submit your request in writing. Include the Benefit Charging Notice and any supporting documentation (ie. resignation letter).

Online: You can submit your relief of charges online using eServices. In the Client Account view, select the Issues tab then the “Relief of charges” link.

Fax: 800-301-1796

Employment Security Department
Registration and Rates Unit
PO Box 9046
Olympia, WA 98507-90462

Q. Who do I call if I have more questions?
A. Contact the Registration and Rates Unit at 855-829-9243