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Unemployment Compensation Process

A person circling job ads in a newspaper

The Department of Employment Services is receiving a higher than normal call volume and encourages claimants to apply for unemployment compensation online at


COVID-19 Scenarios and Benefits Available

Coronavirus FAQ for Employees

Coronavirus FAQ for Employers

How to File an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claim


With Mayor Bowser adjusting the District of Columbia’s operating status in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), District residents may file for unemployment compensation at


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, address, phone number and dates of employment
  • Your Alien Registration Number, if you are not a US Citizen
  • 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)
  • Pension


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 Continued Claim Form (English or Spanish)


For detailed information regarding our Identify Verification and Authentication Program, read the UI Identity Verification and Authentication Program FAQ’s




Service Contact: 
Office of Unemployment Compensation - Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 724-7000
Contact Fax: 
(202) 698-5706
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
4th Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm