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General UI Information

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  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.


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

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 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, 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 for additional resources on protecting the identity of your business and employees.