Important updates/Messaging from Employment Security
Updated On: Apr 27, 2020
Beginning Sunday, April 26th, workers eligible for the new pandemic unemployment assistance program are filing their first claims – 1 million weekly claims are expected to come in this week. Since this is unprecedented volume for the Employment Security Department (ESD), some workers may benefit from guidance on how to access unemployment during covid-19. Where appropriate for your membership, I invite you to share the ESD talking points, websites, and social media content (below) on Sunday, April 26th. Additionally, for your reference, below is the email that hundreds of thousands of workers received from ESD in the past couple days.
While these suggestions may improve workers’ chance of getting a timely benefit, we know that far too many eligible workers are experiencing long delays in receiving unemployment benefits, by no fault of their own. As we share this information, we continue advocacy for an effective unemployment system that provides relief to workers when they need it.
Some ESD talking points
The money will not run out and you will not miss out. Benefits won’t run out and they will be paid retroactive to the date of eligibility.
There is a misconception, especially since the expansion of eligibility was from the federal CARES act, that the money is going to run out and that people need to be first in line to be sure to get the money.
If you can wait, that’d be great. Weekly claims can be filed over multiple days and at all hours.
There is also a misconception that weekly claims must be filed on Sunday – this is not true. Claims can be filed Sunday through Saturday night online. Plus, both the online and the phone application systems are available 24/7.
Calling on people’s better angels. If you do not have a dire financial situation, consider holding off until after Monday to file weekly claims – at least for now – so that others who do have deep and immediate needs can get their funds sooner. This is an exceptional ask, but we know that these are exceptional times and we need to manage this scale. Throughout this crisis, people have shown incredible heart and caring for their friends and neighbors and we’re asking people to apply that sentiment now to this situation.
Submit weekly claims every week to get paid every week.
Work search is optional. Click “no” when asked if you completed job search this week. That requirement is temporarily optional and you do not need to report your job search activities at this time.
ESD messaging and materials
We have updated our Help page to lay out top weekly claims tips for smoothing their process and leveling out traffic.