Who is eligible for unemployment insurance?

In these tough economic times, it is not unusual for a person in the Bellevue area to find that, through no fault of their own, they have been laid off. This can be a very distressing situation, as the prospect of having no income could mean the loss of your home, ever-growing bills that you cannot pay, and the stress of wondering how to put food on the table.

Fortunately, many people in Washington may be eligible to seek unemployment benefits. There are certain requirements that must be met for a person to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Steps to qualify for unemployment benefits

First, you must have worked for a minimum of 680 hours in the “base year.” The base year is not the same as the calendar year. Instead is made up of the first four of the last five quarters of the calendar year.

Second, you must have been laid off through no fault of your own. If you were laid off for committing an infraction at work, you may not be able to seek unemployment benefits.

Third, to stay eligible for benefits each week you must have the physical ability to work and you must be actively applying for suitable jobs. This is verified through the filing of a weekly claim either online or over the phone. Seeking work means you are engaging in at least three “work search” activities such as submitting job applications, going to job interviews or attending workshops provided by your local WorkSource employment center.

Exceptions to the rule

There are some exceptions to the above requirements. First if you are a domestic violence victim of the victim of stalking, and you voluntarily leave work for protection reasons, you may be able to seek unemployment benefits. In addition, if you had to leave work because your spouse was transferred, you may also be able to seek unemployment benefits if you worked as long as possible before the transfer occurred.

Seek help if you are denied benefits

Ultimately, it is important if you were laid off to understand if you qualify for unemployment benefits. This post cannot guarantee any specific result for those seeking unemployment benefits, as each worker’s situation is different. It is possible that you may be denied unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons. If this happens, you may want to seek legal advice to determine what steps to take moving forward.