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Victims of domestic violence or stalking

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you had to leave work because you are a victim of domestic violence or stalking.

You must show that it was necessary to leave work to protect yourself or your immediate family members from domestic violence or from stalking

For more information, read Washington state law regarding domestic violence and stalking.

Applying for benefits

Your mailing address is provided to your former employer and other interested parties when you apply for benefits. If you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or trafficking, and you want your current address to be confidential, you can enroll in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP).

This program is offered through the Washington State Secretary of State’s Office and helps participants keep their home addresses confidential by providing a substitute mailing address.

Once you have an address from the address confidentiality program, you can file online through eServices, our online UI benefits system. It is not necessary to speak to an agent. While our benefits system attempts to validate the address with the post office database, the system will accept the address you provide. An anti-harassment order is not necessary to use a confidential address.

Although you can file your initial claim without speaking to an agent, there are still cases where you will need to speak with one of our representatives. Due to the current COVID-19 emergency, ESD is allowing any claimant to backdate their initial claim for benefits for up to four weeks. If you request via eServices to backdate a claim more than four weeks, your claim may be delayed until staff can contact you to verify that the request is valid. Once emergency rules related to COVID-19 expire, it is likely that you will have to call the Claims Center if you want to backdate your initial claim more than one week.