DOES: DOES Unemployment Compensation Program
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DOES Unemployment Compensation Program

Welcome to the DC Department of Employment Services Unemployment Compensation Program. The District offers two ways to file for unemployment compensation – Internet and telephone. We strongly encourage that customers seeking unemployment benefits do so online for quicker service. To begin the process to file for your unemployment benefits, you will need to have the following information readily available:

  • Your social security number;
  • Your most recent 30-day employer’s name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), and dates of employment;
  • Your Alien Registration Number, if you are not a US Citizen;
  • Your DD214, if you are ex-military;
  • Your Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50, if you are a former federal employee; and
  • Severance pay information (only applicable if you did or will receive severance pay).
The Federal Extended Benefits (EB) Program Ends on June 9, 2012.
The District of Columbia’s Extended Benefits (EB) Program will officially expire on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has notified the District of Columbia and DOES that, due to declining unemployment rates, the District of Columbia will no longer qualify for the federally-funded Extended Benefits (EB) Program and is therefore no longer eligible to pay federal EB to D.C. unemployment insurance claimants for weeks commencing after Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Claimants who are currently filing for EB will receive a notice notifying them of the end of the EB program. The last payable week for EB is the week ending Saturday, June 9, 2012. 
For detailed information regarding the Extended Benefits Program, please read our EB FAQs*.
Important Announcement Regarding Work Search Requirements
For Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Beginning March 23, 2012, the Department of Employment Services will be enhancing and enforcing strict work search compliance measures as mandated by a recent change in federal law.
Failure to conduct a thorough work search (through seeking and applying for employment) or refusing to accept suitable work will affect your eligibility and may result in a denial of benefits.
DOES verifies work search activities, and we may ask for evidence of your work search efforts at any time. Protect your eligibility for benefits by keeping a detailed record of your work search. Provide as much information regarding your contacts and applications as possible.
For detailed information regarding work search requirements and how to comply, please read our Work Search FAQs*.
Links to Start Your Unemployment Compensation Process
Manage Your Account
Unemployment Insurance Information for Employers
General Benefits Information:
You may be disqualified from receiving benefits in the District of Columbia for any of the following reasons:

  • Voluntary departure from your last employer without good cause connected with the work.
  • Discharge by your last employer for gross misconduct.
  • Discharge by your last employer for misconduct other than gross misconduct.
  • Refusal to apply for, or accept, suitable work without good cause.
  • Participation in a labor dispute other than a lockout.
  • Inability to work or unavailability for work.
  • Failure to register, as directed, with the Job Service.
  • Failure to report, as directed.
  • Failure to participate, as directed, in reemployment services.
  • Failure to attend a training course recommended by the Department of Employment Services.
  • Not being authorized to work, if you are not a US Citizen.
  • A reasonable assurance of continuing employment.
Extended Unemployment Insurance Information:

Extended Unemployment Insurance Information:

There are currently two federal programs that potentially extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for eligible claimants. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs are designed to assist claimants who have exhausted their regular UI benefits during this period of high unemployment. 
If a claimant is otherwise eligible for federal unemployment benefits, in order to receive additional weeks of benefits through EUC:
  • Claimants must exhaust all regular UI benefits by week ending December 29, 2012.
  • Claimants must have applied for EUC through the web, over the phone, or at a local DC Works! Career Center on or before the week ending December 29, 2012.
  • Claimants cannot be eligible for unemployment benefits on a new, regular claim in DC, another state, or Canada.
The law President Obama signed on February 22, 2012, which will extend unemployment insurance benefits through December 31, 2012, creates national job search requirements for everyone collecting state and federal UI benefits.  This work search is required for the life of the claim. 
  • Claimants MUST submit Work Search information each week to the DOES for review. Work search information can be supplied online or, in the case of hardship, the mail claim form may be submitted by mailing in a completed weekly claim form.
  • Payment for the week may not be made until we receive evidence that the required work search has been made.
  • Failure to perform an adequate search for work will affect your eligibility and may result in a denial of benefits.
  • In order to receive additional weeks of benefits through EB:
  • Claimants must exhaust all regular UI benefits and all EUC benefits before the week ending January 5, 2013. 
  • Claimants must continue to file each week through the web, over the phone, or by mail.
  • Claimants cannot be eligible for unemployment benefits on a new, regular claim in DC, another state, or Canada.
Additionally, all UI claimants are encouraged to utilize job-seeker services through our DCNetworks system, the One City One Hire web portal, or one of our DC Works! Career Centers.
This latest federal legislation does not include any additional weeks of benefits; it extends the filing deadlines for starting any new tier of the four tiers of federal extension benefits available.  It also extends the filing and payment dates for those who are currently collecting benefits under the Extended Benefits (EB) program.
Additionally, the legislation will gradually reduce the number of maximum potential weeks available from up to 99 weeks to up to 93 weeks. Click here to view the breakdown of the filing deadlines for federal extension benefits and the total maximum weeks of benefits available in the District of Columbia based on the current unemployment rate thresholds.
Other Related Unemployment Compensation Links
By Phone: Local (202) 724-7000 or Toll Free 1 (877) 319-7346
Effective immediately, the DC unemployment telephone lines will be open:
Monday - Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm
Please call during non-peak hours—weekdays after 5pm, and all day Saturday—to reach our automated line. Due to heavy call volume, if you call during peak hours, please be prepared for extended hold times. 
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