District of Columbia Unemployment Guide



Where to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Apply for Unemployment

Unemployment Checklist

What information and documents you need.

  • 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


Waiting Period Week:

Claims filed after March 15, 2020 will have their waiting period week waived. We are working diligently to modify our system to accommodate this change. “Waiting Week” payments will be paid within 30 days of filing an initial claim for unemployment benefits. Please continue to file your weekly continued claim forms.

Work Search Requirement:

Effective March 15, 2020, the Work Search requirement is waived for all claimants. We are working diligently to modify our system to accommodate this change. Until these system modifications are completed, please continue to provide accurate work search information on your continued claim form. If you receive a message indicating that benefits will be delayed or denied for this reason, please disregard it. While DOES has a 21-day adjudication time period, we are working as quickly as possible to address all outstanding issues.

Able and Available Requirement:

The District has received authority to relax the able and available requirement for individuals affected by COVID-19. During this time, individuals will be considered able and available if you have previously demonstrated your ability to work and availability for work following your most recent separation from employment.

Reason for Separation:

If your employer has closed for business, reduced your hours or furloughed you due to COVID-19, you are considered laid off. Please note, there is an option you can choose on the initial clam application for benefits which allows you to specify “Laid Off Due to Lack of Work” as your reason for separation.

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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.