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Bowser Administration Announces UI Benefit Flexibilities with the Passage of COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration announced additional resources to support residents with increased flexibilities and guidance for Unemployment Insurance based on the passage of the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 by the Council of the District of Columbia. In preparation for layoffs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the emergency legislation allows unemployment safeguards for certain impacted District workers.

Under the emergency legislation, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) may expand unemployment insurance and waive the work search requirement for District employees who become unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Additionally, the legislation allows expanded coverage to employees who have been quarantined or placed in isolation, and employees in the hospitality and restaurant industries whose employers have ceased or reduced operations.         

The Department of Employment Services is receiving a higher than normal call volume and encourages those who are applying for unemployment insurance benefits to apply online at Using Internet Explorer is recommended. For more information on how District government is supporting residents, employees and employers, please continue to visit