Whether you work for or manage a business in our state, you have undoubtedly been impacted by COVID-19. See below for a few highlights of recently released information about the state’s Safe Start plan and unemployment assistance. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Commerce has compiled a significant number of tools and resources for businesses and workers to navigate the economic impact of COVID-19, which it updates frequently. If you are interested in receiving a weekly digest of new information about business and work-related information, click here to sign up for the Department of Commerce's weekly newsletter.
Safe Start Plan to Reopen Washington’s Economy
Governor Jay Inslee recently announced Washington’s Safe Start plan, a four-phase approach to re-opening our economy. The Safe Start plan amends some components of the original Stay Home, Stay Healthy order that was extended to the end of May to allow businesses and activities to reopen in phases with adequate social distancing and health precautions. Each phase will be at least three weeks — data and metrics will determine when the state can move from one phase to another. Read the full Safe Start policy plan here.
Unemployment Assistance Grant
Washington won a $12 million disaster recovery grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will enable laid-off workers to be placed into jobs that help the state respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to receive career coaching and job search assistance. The grant will also help the state’s workforce system adapt to providing services virtually. Read more about the grant here.
Unemployment Benefit Adjudication
Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) recently provided the following information regarding unemployment benefits claimants in its adjudication process:
- The ESD is adding additional staff to clear up any outstanding issues for items not related to COVID-19.
- Check your spam folder regularly for messages from adjudicators if they do not appear in your inbox. If you applied through eServices, you’ll receive messages from [email protected] asking you to sign in to respond to requests within five days.
- Answer any call you receive from 800-318-6022, because the only way to return a missed call is through the ESD’s severely overloaded claims centers main line.
- The ESD posts updates on resolving adjudication cases here.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Take care, and stay safe.