Strategies that work

(en español)

We know many of you are struggling to reach our call center to get your questions answered. Most questions are answered on our website.

With your help, our customer care team can focus on resolving issues and helping Washingtonians who do not have access to the internet or have a complex issue the requires our intervention.

Filing a weekly claim?

We expect nearly 1 million weekly claims to be filed starting Sunday, April 26. Here are four things that will help everyone get the assistance they need:

  1. File a different day. This is a big ask, but it will help a neighbor in need: If you can afford to wait a couple extra days to get paid, please file after Monday. This will allow those who need the benefit most to file and get paid first.
  2. File late at night, or early in the morning. You can file online 24/7 and by phone from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 4 p.m. Friday. 
  3. Try submitting on the phone in off-hours. Submit your weekly claim via automated phone system before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. (800-318-6022)
  4. Reasonable accommodation. Information on reasonable accommodation is available for unemployment-benefits customers with disabilities.

Tips to find what you are looking for

  • Apply online: The fastest way to access benefits is to apply online. We have updated our website to make it easier to use.
  • Be prepared: Before you apply, read the instructions and watch our training videos. This will help you complete your application and speed up processing times. Remember to download the checklist and gather your documents before you start your application.
  • Search the website: Please don’t call us unless you absolutely have to. Use our website—the Unemployment page is a great place to start.
  • You will get paid: After your application is approved, you will get paid for all the time you qualify for. When you apply, start your claim from the date you lost your job.

Phone strategies that work

We're committed to helping you. If you must speak to an operator, these tips might help.

Call early
We take calls from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Calling early will increase your chances of reaching an operator. We use evening hours and Sundays to process claims.


Answer the phone
It might be us! We will call if you scheduled a call back or if we need to ask about your application. Our name won’t appear on your caller ID. If you miss our call, you’ll have to call us back. That sends you to the back of the line.

Pages that help

  • Unemployment page: Helpful links can be found in the left side Quick Links menu (found at the top of the page on mobile devices)
  • COVID-19 information: Answers to frequently asked questions about our response to COVID-19
  • Technical support: If you are having trouble signing in or need to recover your account, this page can help.
  • eServices user guide: For help navigating in eServices, this guide can help.
  • Free webinar: Join us for a free webinar to learn how to apply, how to submit a weekly claim, and more.