American Rescue Plan: Unemployment Assistance

Overview

The American Rescue Plan provides unemployed workers in Washington state and across the country with enhanced unemployment benefits through September 4, 2021This includes additional payments of $300 per week for beneficiaries through that time. The number of total weeks a recipient may receive unemployment benefits has also been increased to 49 weeks for individuals who exhaust state and federal UI benefits, and 75 weeks for individuals receiving unemployment benefits under the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. 

For individuals or households with adjusted gross incomes less than $150,000 in 2020, the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits will not be taxed.

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The American Rescue Plan reauthorizes, extends, and expands benefits you may be eligible for, first provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Families First”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (COVID relief law). 

Eligibility
Even if you are not eligible for benefits under standard UI eligibility, you may qualify for UI benefits under the PUA program if: 

  • You are self-employed, including an independent contractor, freelancer, or a gig-economy worker; 

  • You are a part-time worker; 

  • Your work hours have been cut or reduced to zero, but you are still employed; 

  • You have a limited work history that would typically disqualify you from UI; or 

  • You turned down a job offer due to an unsafe worksite, are unable to telework and are not receiving any paid leave. 

Benefits 

  • Your base weekly benefit amount is estimated by dividing the wages in the two highest quarter of your base period by 2, then multiplying by 0.0385 up to a maximum of $844 per week. 

  • If you are partially unemployed, your weekly benefit amount is reduced depending on your weekly earnings. For details on how these earnings may be deducted from your weekly benefit, please click here

  • Please ask the Washington State Employment Security Department if you have questions regarding your weekly benefit amount. 

How can I file a claim? 

More Information
For more information, please visit https://www.esd.wa.gov/unemployment