We Washingtonians seem to be in a much better place and space than a lot of others suffering around the country so there is an unemployment benefits adjustment coming for the entire state that you need to be aware of.

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Due to the lower unemployment rate in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) notified the Employment Security Department last week that our state’s Extended Benefits (EB) program is ending March 13, 2021.

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Per the guidance from USDOL, Washington will continue to pay EB through this week – the benefit week ending March 13, 2021.

The EB program goes into effect when the unemployment rate is high and provides an additional 13-20 weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits and other extension programs.

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However, currently, the U.S. Congress is diligently working on a stimulus bill to extend unemployment benefits. If this bill passes, claimants currently receiving EB can be eligible for additional weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The best thing for claimants to do is to continue filing weekly claims and keep an eye out for more information from the Employment Security Department of Washington State.

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Extended Benefits come with strict job search requirements that are different from regular unemployment job search requirements and the consequences for failing to meet these requirements are high.

On December 13, 2020, federal law reduced the number of EB weeks available from 20 to 13. And now, again, due to the lower unemployment rate in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Labor has notified Washington that our state’s Extended Benefits program is ending in four days on March 13, 2021, but that stipulation could evolve pending the passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID aid package, and then there will most likely be some sort of re-set.

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