OLYMPIA – Employment Security Department Acting Commissioner Cami Feek released this statement regarding the passage of the new federal stimulus bill. This bill is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden later this week, averting the expiration of several key unemployment benefits.
“We’re grateful that Congress has taken action to provide this much needed support for unemployed workers. The threat of these benefits going away this week, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, adds incredible stress for Washingtonians and their families in what is an already very stressful situation.
“We know that these benefits provide a critical lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians, and we’re working quickly to implement the new measure. At this time, we do not expect there will be a gap in benefits for most claimants as long as they remain eligible and continue to submit weekly claims. However, it’s important for people to know that anytime there are changes to benefit programs, we need to navigate and resolve many complexities. Like all states, we must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to fully put these changes in place.
“We’ll provide updates on the implementation of these benefits through direct claimant communication, the COVID-19 page on esd.wa.gov, outreach to the media and through our social media channels. Current claimants should continue to submit weekly claims as usual and watch for more updates from us.”