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Unemployment Compensation Process

A person circling job ads in a newspaper
On October 1, 2016, three (3) significant changes to the District’s Unemployment Program went into effect: 
1. The unemployment insurance (UI) maximum weekly benefit amount (MWBA) increased from $359 to $425 per week. 
2. All claimants will receive 26 weeks of UI benefit payments.
3. The amount a claimant receives in weekly benefits for part-time work has increased. 

Welcome to the DC Department of Employment Services Unemployment Compensation Program. The District offers three ways to file for unemployment compensation –  via the Internet, the phone, and in-person. We strongly encourage that customers seeking unemployment benefits do so online for quicker service ; however, you can reach the UI call center at 202-724-7000 or visit any American Job Center located throughout the District. The Office of Unemployment Compensation (OUC), also referred to as Unemployment Insurance (UI) Office, serves claimants and employers of more than 30,000 businesses in and around the District of Columbia. To begin the process of filing 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, address, phone number 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
  • Severance pay information (only applicable if you did or will receive severance pay)
  • Pension

Please note that confidential unemployment compensation information may be requested and utilized for other governmental purposes, including, but not limited to, verification of eligibility under other government programs. This notice is required by 20 C.F.R. § 603.11 – How do States notify claimants and employers about the uses of their information?

For information regarding the next steps after filing an initial unemployment claim, read the Unemployment Insurance What’s Next  

For detailed instructions regarding how to certify for weekly unemployment benefits, read the Instructions for Completing the Continued Claim Form  

For detailed information regarding our Identify Verification and Authentication Program, read the UI Identity Verification and Authentication Program FAQ’s

For detailed information regarding work search requirements and how to comply, read the Work Search FAQs 

Service Contact: 
Office of Unemployment Compensation - Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 724-7000
Contact Fax: 
(202) 698-5706
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
4th Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm