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General UI Information

DOES is the only legitimate source of information for unemployment insurance claims. If you receive an email from an unknown sender, do not submit your personal information. DOES will report any fraudulent UI claim to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, including the U.S. Department of Labor, DC Office of the Inspector General, and will cooperate, as needed, in any investigations.

Federal Benefits Ending September 4

Effective September 4, 2021, in accordance with federal law, several federal unemployment benefits offered through the American Rescue Plan Act will expire.
Benefits will end for claimants who are currently receiving the following:

  •  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • UA covers individuals who were not eligible for regular UI benefits. This included self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • PEUC covers individuals who exhausted all rights to regular UI under state or federal law.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    • FPUC covers individuals who were receiving traditional UI or PUA, and individuals eligible under PEUC. Eligible individuals received an additional $300 per week.
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
    • MEUC provides a $100 weekly supplement to individuals with an annual self-employment income of at least $5,000.

Under federal law, no PUA, PEUC, FPUC, or MEUC payments may be made after the week ending September 4 regardless of the claimant’s balance at the time of program termination. The amount claimants will receive as part of their weekly unemployment benefits after September 4 will be impacted by these changes from the federal government. The benefit amount in D.C., based on eligibility and wage information submitted to DOES, can range from $50 to $444 per week. Claimants can estimate their weekly benefit amount by visiting DCNetworks.org and clicking Estimate Your Benefits.


It’s important to note eligible claimants receiving traditional unemployment insurance benefits in the District will continue to be paid. If a claimant’s traditional unemployment benefits have been exhausted or a traditional claim has expired, individuals must file a new claim or reopen an existing claim to be determined for eligibility or to continue receiving benefits to which they may be entitled.


Our agency is committed to supporting claimants through benefits and workforce development opportunities for re-employment. DOES offers the following resources to DC residents:

  • American Job Center helps residents find a new job, transition into something new, expand their skills, or explore a new career.
  • DC Infrastructure Academy trains, screens, and recruits residents to fulfill the needs of the infrastructure industry and infrastructure jobs.
  • DC Career Connections is a work readiness program that provides out-of-school and unemployed young adults with opportunities to gain valuable work experience.
  • Project Empowerment provides unemployed residents with opportunities to grow in education, training, and subsidized employment placements.

Download our detailed factsheet:

 

Click here to learn more about unemployment benefits.

 

Work Search Requirements
Starting August 30, 2021, everyone filing for unemployment benefits must verify they are actively looking for a job. For more information and to apply for benefits, visit dcnetworks.org.
 
The D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) will reinstate Work Search requirements for claimants in accordance with federal law starting August 30. After a claimant files to receive unemployment benefits, they must show that they are actively trying to find suitable employment. This requirement applies to active claimants.
 
Claimants Not Receiving Backpay
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) requires all unemployment compensation offices to review and assess each weekly claim that is filed.  In March 2021, the Biden Administration implemented additional provisions and extensions in the American Rescue Plan Act and the Continued Assistance Act.  With these improvements, all unemployment offices are federally required to extend these benefits to those who qualify.
 
Claimants are encouraged to apply for the benefits under any of these provisions.  Upon approval of each qualified claim, claimants will receive backpay from the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES).
 
Approval statuses can be reviewed within the claimant portal at dcnetworks.org.  DOES may request additional information from claimants to approve the qualifications for these provisions.  Claimants should frequently check their emails, including Junk or Spam folders.  
 
Timing of benefit disbursement cannot be guaranteed to claimants as DOES processes thousands of claims daily in the order of Benefit Year Ending (BYE) dates.
 
STAY DC
Under Mayor Muriel Bowser’s leadership, the District government is working to ensure residents have access to resources needed to help them stay in their homes. Stronger Together Assisting You (STAY DC) provides funds to assist households with rent and utilities.  STAY DC is a financial assistance program for DC renters and housing providers who need support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to apply, please visit stay.dc.gov.
 
Residents who need help applying for STAY DC or have question may call 833-4-STAYDC from 7:00am – 7:00pm ET, Monday through Friday. Contact Center Agents will answer your questions during the call, or in some cases may need to call you back. Please be prepared to leave your name and contact information.  Information about STAY DC is available in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese/Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and Amharic.
 
 
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA covers individuals who are not eligible for traditional UI benefits, including the self-employed, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, independent contractors, gig economy workers; and those who have exhausted their benefit eligibility under both traditional UI and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. To apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, click here.
 
Changes to the District of Columbia Unemployment Insurance Program
Effective January 5, 2020, the Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount in the District of Columbia has increased from $432 to $444 for new initial claims. All claimants who are currently receiving unemployment benefits as of January 5, 2020, will continue to receive their current maximum weekly benefit amount. 
 
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this change. If you have additional questions, you may contact the Customer Navigation Center at 202-724-7000.
 
Important Alert to District of Columbia Employers and Residents: Notice of E-Mail Identity Theft Scam
If you receive an e-mail that claims to be sent on behalf of the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) with an email address ending in @detma.org that requests information about a former employee, do not reply to the message and do not click the link in the message.
 
This appears to be an e-mail identity theft scam.
Neither the United States Department of Labor nor the Office of Unemployment Compensation at the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services sent the e-mail. The District of Columbia does not process DUA claims nor would either office request confidential information in this manner.
 
If you are an employer and responded to a request for employment or wage information from the Division of Unemployment Assistance or if you are a District resident and believe your identity has been compromised or stolen, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
 
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) enforces the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Laws.  You can file a consumer protection complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at http://oag.dc.gov/node/442592, e-mail the Office of the Attorney General at [email protected], or contact OAG at (202) 442-9828.
 
Visit the Office of the Attorney General at http://oag.dc.gov/node/442592 for additional resources on protecting the identity of your business and employees.