KGMI News Reporting
By Mike Curtiss
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of weeks that workers in Washington can get unemployment checks is about to decrease.
The state is losing access to nine weeks of long-term unemployment benefits starting August 11.
Sheryl Hutchison with the Washington State Employment Security Department says the decrease was triggered because the three-month average of the state’s unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent.
Qualified workers in Washington can currently claim 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits paid by the state and up to 37 weeks of long-term benefits funded by the federal government.
Those federal benefits will also be dropping down to 28 weeks.
In total, unemployment benefits will drop from 63 to 54 weeks for most eligible workers.
Officials estimate about 26,000 unemployed workers will lose their benefits by the end of the year.