Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Inslee, with support from the Legislature, suspended job search requirements for anyone seeking unemployment benefits starting March 20th. That suspension has been extended with a current end date of August 8th. This leaves many businesses and job seekers asking, “what does this mean for me?”
What does this mean for job seekers?
Unless the order is extended, beginning August 9th, those claiming unemployment benefits will again be required to submit weekly claims along with job search documentation.
To learn more about COVID-19 resources, visit the Employment Security Department website https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
For resources to support you with your job search, go the WorkSource PacMtn Orientation to Virtual Services.
Want to know who’s hiring? Go to Job Listings at PacMtn.org
Job search can also include participating in a virtual resume workshop, brushing up on interviewing skills with a virtual interviewing webinar or connecting with your previous employer to see if they are able to offer hours, to name only a few options.
To find out what else can count towards your jobs search activities check out the Unemployment resources at https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment.
To find workshops that count as UI job search activities, go to: https://www.worksourcewa.com/microsite/content.aspx?appid=WAWORKSHOPS&pagetype=simple&seo=virtual.
What does this mean for your business?
Businesses can apply for standby (the waiving of job search requirements) for employees who they anticipate will return to work by September 19, 2020. Previously, businesses were expected to have a probable return to work date within eight weeks of the standby requests. However, this timeline has been extended due to COVID. For more information for your business, visit the ESD website.
The CARES Act created three expanded unemployment benefit programs.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA opens unemployment benefits to individuals who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. This includes part time workers, self-employed, independent contractors and Gig workers. Unless extended by the federal government, this benefit will expire December 26th, 2020
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Typically, those seeking unemployment benefits are only eligible for 26 weeks. PEUC allows claimants to apply for an additional 13-week extension, for a total eligible window of 39 weeks. This benefit will expire December 26th, 2020.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
FPUC pays the additional $600 of benefits each week along with the other Unemployment Insurance (UI) and other benefits. This benefit will end July 21st. Those receiving the additional $600 will receive their last check the week of July 25th.
If you need help getting started with your job search, connect with your local WorkSource office. To find your local WorkSource office, check https://www.worksourcewa.com/microsite/content.aspx?appid=MGSWAOFFLOC&pagetype=simple&seo=officelocator.
To view additional job search opportunities, visit Virtual Services, https://pacmtn.org/worksource-virtual-services/#/.
For further resources in your job search, see additional links below.