Unemployment Insurance Benefits

If you are not able to work remotely and are not deemed an essential employee, you are eligible to apply for unemployment insurance benefits (UI) through the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD). Individuals collecting UI during the extended suspension of operation will continue to receive benefits from Boeing, including medical insurance coverage.

Normally, there is an unpaid “waiting week” before UI benefits begin. This requirement was waived by Governor Inslee for this crisis. Qualified individuals will receive benefits beginning on the date their application was submitted (the ESD uses a Sunday through Saturday week). For any week you receive pay, that pay will reduce your UI benefit for that week. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Washington’s executive branch waived the requirement to look for work while collecting UI benefits.

Washington State UI benefits max out at $790/week. Under the federal relief bill known as the CARES Act, SPEEA helped secure an additional $600 per week benefit for workers. Starting April 18, individuals will receive the additional UI benefit for up to four months. This means employees earning $62,500 and under annually will likely receive 100% of their wage for up to four months. Starting April 18, the maximum benefit for UI increases to $1,390 per week, which is roughly 72% of the weekly wage of someone making $100k annually (-$533 less than their standard weekly wage). 

An approved claim allows you to collect 26 weekly checks in the 52-week period that starts the day a claim is approved. There is also now a 13-week federal extension available which, if needed, would bring the total number of weeks to 39 in a 52-week period.

SPEEA advises you to regularly check the ESD website for additional information as it relates to COVID-19 and unemployment, as the situation may change as Congress considers additional stimulus/aid packages.

UPDATED: How to Apply for Benefits

Due to high demand, Boeing employees have been advised NOT TO CALL the unemployment insurance claims center to file their unemployment claim. ESD is requesting Boeing employees participate in a newly established process specifically made for Boeing employees, including participation in a joint webinar. 

To apply for benefits:  

  1. Set up a Secure Access Washington Account (SAW) online. Step-by-step instructions are included in a 9-minute video created by ESD at https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/technical-support.

    Employees should sign up for this account now, or any time before participating in a WebEx (see below schedule). Please keep the username, password, and email you used for this SAW account. You will need it later in the process.

  2.  Attend a WebEx session to begin the process of the initial unemployment claim. You can do this live during the presentation, or any time you prefer. These WebEx sessions will be recorded. Here is the schedule so far (WebEx meeting numbers and call in numbers to follow):

    a. Friday, April 10, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    b. Friday, April 10, 3 to 4 p.m. 
    c. Monday, April 13, Time – TBD
    d. Monday, April 13, Time – TBD
    e. Additional sessions could be scheduled later next week if necessary

    Watch for a communication from Boeing about signing up for and participating in the WebEx sessions. 

  3. Participating in these presentations is voluntary. However, participation is highly encouraged so employees can have a more successful application and begin collecting benefits immediately.

Additional Resources:

SPEEA is continuing to work these issues for our represented employees. Sign-up for Home Email and watch the website for additional information. 


Also see Layoff Information under Member Tools