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Unemployment Compensation

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.

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?

Federal Government Post-Shutdown Documents

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 work search requirements and how to comply, read the Work Search FAQs 

Identity theft occurs every two seconds in America. To further protect the personal information of claimants from identity theft, the District of Columbia’s Office of Unemployment Compensation has implemented a new security feature into the online application process for unemployment benefits. During the application process, this security feature verifies personal data and authenticates a claimant’s identity by asking a series of multiple-choice questions based on information only the claimant can answer correctly. 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. For detailed information regarding our Identify Verification and Authentication Program, read the UI Identity Verification and Authentication Program FAQ’s