How to file for unemployment benefits

The state Employment Security Department (ESD) recommends workers take the following steps to help ensure their unemployment benefits are filed correctly and start quickly:

  1. Review the unemployment page on Here you’ll find key information and the steps to take in the application process.
  2. Review the tips to avoid delays before applying.
  3. You need a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to file an unemployment claim. If you don’t already have a SAW account, sign up for one to get started.

Note: When filling out your application, please re-read the instructions and check your work several times. Many issues people are having start with small errors made when filling out the form. You can find more helpful tips at the Employment Security’s unemployment-benefits help page.