The beautiful city of Seattle was recently ranked the 6thbest major city for finding a job. Seattle was the lone West Coast city on the list that looked at factors such as: diversity of industry, range in size of companies offering employment and cost of living.
The Seattle Times quotes labor economist Scott Bailey, “The labor market is continuing to improve at a moderate but accelerating rate, somewhat faster than the nation.”
So Seattle is a great city to find work but there are still many people in Seattle and throughout Washington that are in between jobs or struggling to find a permanent position. Enter unemployment benefits. The purpose of unemployment benefits is simple—to offer Washington employees a temporary source of income while he or she is out of work. A common misconception about Washington unemployment is the notion that if you are out of a job then you qualify. That is not the case, the state (like every other state in the nation) has certain eligibility thresholds that must be met before considering an applicant.
Here’s a general look at some things an applicant must meet in order to qualify for Washington unemployment:
1. Minimum earning threshold: The city of Seattle requires an employee work for a certain period of time and earn a minimum amount of money before finding him or her eligible to receive unemployment compensation.
2. Work availability: Are you willing, able and looking for employment? The whole purpose of unemployment benefits in Seattle is to help an out-of-work individual stay afloat in between jobs. With this in mind, an employees’ time out of work should really be as minimal as possible and placing an affirmative obligation on the individual to be actively looking for a job helps to achieve this end.
3. Unemployment circumstances: you must be able to answer questioning related to reasons why you are unemployed with reasons that do not have to do with something you did. Or, put differently, your unemployed status cannot be your fault if you wish to collect benefits. Layoffs, company downsizing and office relocation are some of the more common reasons that would qualify an individual for unemployment benefits in Washington.
When it comes to applying for Seattle unemployment benefits, it is the third criteria listed above that many individuals have a hard time with. Because courts require “good cause” when leaving your job, individuals should be aware that their answer may not match up with their former employer’s answer. Working with a Washington employment law attorney can help you get approved for unemployment benefits and get you the money you need to survive during this difficult time. For many this could mean the difference between making rent and eviction.