WSR 15-02-051
[Filed January 5, 2015, 10:50 a.m., effective February 5, 2015]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The department is changing the hours during which the unemployment claims centers will accept incoming telephone calls into the live agent phone queue from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The deadline for filing weekly unemployment claims is changed to 4:00 p.m. Friday. There is no change in the hours during which individuals may file internet initial applications for benefits. WAC 192-140-005 is further amended to require claimants filing via paper to provide all requested information before the claim is accepted. In addition, the amended rule allows the agency to assist a claimant with filing a weekly claim without requiring the claimant to disclose his or her personal identification number. The goal of these changes is to improve customer service and reduce agency costs.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 192-110-005 and 192-140-005.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 50.12.010 and 50.12.040.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 14-21-181 on October 22, 2014.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: December 31, 2014.
Dale Peinecke
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 07-22-055, filed 11/1/07, effective 12/2/07)
WAC 192-110-005 Applying for unemployment benefits—General.
(1) How do I apply for benefits?
(a) You may apply for benefits by:
(i) Calling the unemployment claims ((telecenter)) center listed in your local telephone directory; or
(ii) Using the department's internet web site. However, you must apply by telephone if you worked in any state other than Washington during the previous two years, or you were off work for 13 or more consecutive weeks because of injury or illness.
(b) If you have a physical or sensory disability, or are in unusual circumstances that make((s)) filing by telephone or internet difficult, the commissioner may authorize other methods of applying for benefits.
(2) When can I apply?
(a) You may apply by telephone ((at any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday)) (excluding state holidays) during the days and hours designated by the department, even if you are working. To control workload, the department may assign certain days of the week on which you may file your claim by telephone.
(b) You may apply on the internet at any time.
(3) When is my claim effective? Your claim is effective on the Sunday of the week in which you file it.
(4) What information am I required to provide? The minimum information needed to process your application is your:
(a) Legal name; and
(b) Social Security account number.
You should also be prepared to provide the names, addresses, dates worked, and reasons for job separation for all of your employers during the past two years. Other information may be requested in individual circumstances.
(5) Will I receive benefits immediately? The first week you are eligible for benefits is your waiting week. You will not be paid for this week. However, you must file a claim for this week before we can pay you any benefits for future weeks.
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 10-11-046, filed 5/12/10, effective 6/12/10)
WAC 192-140-005 Filing weekly claims for benefits.
(1) How do I file my weekly claim for benefits? You may file your claim ((by calling)) using the department's automated systems. The term "automated systems" includes the department's unemployment information and weekly claims telephone line((, using)) or the department's internet web site((, or filing)). You may also file a paper claim. At the agency's discretion, you may be allowed to file a weekly claim with the assistance of a claims center representative.
(2) When do I file my claim? You must file a claim for every week for which you want to be paid or have counted as your waiting week. Every week begins at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday and ends at midnight on Saturday. You must file your claim after the end of the week(s) you are claiming.
(a) File your telephone or internet claim after 12:01 a.m. Sunday, but before ((5:00)) 4:00 p.m. on Friday, following the week you are claiming. (In case of a legal holiday, file your claim before ((5:00)) 4:00 p.m. on the last working day of the week.)
(b) If you file by paper, file your claim anytime Sunday through Saturday following the week you are claiming. If you file by mail, your claim is considered filed on the postmarked date. If you file by fax, your claim is considered filed on the date of receipt.
(3) How often do I file my claim? File your claim weekly. The department may approve other filing schedules in cases of emergency or in unusual circumstances.
(4) What happens if I miss a week? If you do not claim a week, you must reopen your claim. See WAC 192-110-050.
(a) If you have not yet received your first payment, you may claim benefits for one week prior to the week in which you contact the ((telecenter)) claims center to reopen your claim.
(b) If you have received your first payment and not more than four consecutive weeks have elapsed since you last filed a claim, you may claim benefits for any of the four weeks prior to the week in which you contacted the ((telecenter)) claims center to reopen your claim.
(c) Except as described in (a) and (b) of this subsection, we will consider unclaimed weeks late. The department will not pay you for these weeks unless you show good cause for not contacting the ((telecenter)) claims center earlier to reopen your claim.
(5) What information do I have to report? Your claim must include:
(a) The Saturday date of the week you are claiming;
(b) Answers to the questions((:
(i) The telecenter)), the claims center cannot process a claim ((filed by telephone or internet)) unless all questions are answered;
(((ii) The department will process a claim filed in writing if at least one question is answered and other information required by this subsection (5) is provided, but your eligibility for benefits will be in question and you will be asked to provide complete information, which could result in a denial of benefits;))
(c) Your personal identification number if filing by ((telephone or internet, or)) automated system, your signature if you filed ((your claim)) in writing or your verbal authorization if you filed with the assistance of a claims center representative;
(d) The amount and source of any pension you are receiving for the week claimed;
(e) Any holiday earnings received during the week claimed;
(f) Any vacation pay received during the week claimed, including the dates for which payment was received, if applicable; and
(g) Any earnings and the number of hours you worked during the week claimed.
(6) What happens if I don't provide this information? The department cannot process a ((telephone or internet)) claim filed via automated system that does not meet the requirements of subsection (5) of this section and you will receive instructions to contact the ((unemployment)) claims ((telecenter)) center. A written claim that does not meet these requirements is incomplete and the department will return it to you with a request for additional information.