Department of Employment Services

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Unemployment Compensation

Welcome to the DC Department of Employment Services Unemployment Compensation Program. The District offers two ways to file for unemployment compensation –  via the Internet and the phone. 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. 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(s), address(es), phone number(s) and dates of employment
  • 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)
  • Your Alien Registration Number, if you are not a US Citizen

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 Weekly Claim Form 

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

The District of Columbia’s Office of Unemployment Compensation will incorporate a new security feature to further protect the personal information of claimants from identity theft during the online application process for unemployment benefits. During the application process, this new feature will verify personal data and authenticate a claimant’s identity by asking a series of questions only the claimant can answer. By adding this new security feature, an extra layer of protection against identity theft and a better, more secure online customer experience is provided to claimants while filing for unemployment benefits online.