How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Washington?

There is no minimum amount of time or wages an employer has to meet in order to qualify under unemployment compensation.

To qualify for UI in WA, you must work a minimum of 680 hours during the base period with corresponding wages.

WA offers an alternate base period, which considers the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period (instead of the first four); however, an extended base period is not offered.


  • Denise R Hayes

    The company I work for reduced my hours from 40 per week to 24 per week for the next 4 weeks, do i qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • You can open a claim but, depending on your state, you may not be paid for the first week – most states have one unpaid waiting week before benefits are paid.

      Second, depending on the amount of your benefit (varies by state) as it relates to your gross earnings, you may receive little or no benefit at all. Gross earnings are an offset to benefits. Each state has its own partial benefit formula. In some states, 100% of earnings are a direct offset, others range between 20% and 60% of gross benefit disregard before a deduction is made.

      Without knowing your state and past earnings, can’t tell you what you might receive as a partial benefit. Usually, when one is working 24 hours, there is very little net benefit paid.

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