Unemployment Benefits

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Your Unemployment Toolkit

Welcome to our page of helpful articles, FAQs, and tips about applying for unemployment insurance.

Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance

October 26, 2015

For higher education part-time faculty, unemployment eligibility is fundamentally based on a "reasonable assurance" of employment standard. It is not the only standard that is used, which complicates eligibility. Read on to better understand your rights and the process for applying.

You can also download the August 24, 2012 decision by the Employment Security Department's Commissioner regarding reasonable assurance and contingent employment.

As of 6/1/18, here is an updated list of schools who have 9- and 12-month academic years as it relates to unemployment eligibility.

9-month academic year
Bellevue College
Bellingham Technical College
Big Bend Community College
Cascadia College
Centralia College
Columbia Basin Community College
Everett Community College
Grays Harbor Community College
Lower Columbia College
Peninsula College
Pierce Puyallup
Skagit Valley College
South Puget Sound Community College
Spokane Falls Community College
Wenatchee Valley College
Whatcom Community College
Yakima Valley Community College

12-month academic year:
Bates Technical College
Clark College
Clover Park Tech
Edmonds Community College
Green River College
Highline Community College
Lake Washington Tech
Olympic Community College
Pierce Steilacoom
Renton Tech
Seattle Central Community College
Seattle North Community College
Seattle South Community College
Seattle Vocational Institute - Seattle Community College
Shoreline Community College
Spokane Community College
Tacoma Community College
Walla Walla Community College

Q&A on Applying for Unemployment Benefits

Q&A on Unemployment Benefits for Two-Year Part-time, Contingent Faculty
written by Annette Stofer, President at SCCFT #1789 (then VP of Contingent Faculty)

Annette Stofer is a contingent faculty member at Seattle Colleges' South Seattle Campus. Speaking from experience, she has written a question-and-answer piece that may be helpful in your application for unemployment benefits.

UI Benefits: Going to the Hearing

by Sarah Adams, Olympic College

What You Should Know About The Process

Community and Technical Colleges are reimbursable employers. That means, the state of Washington pays them up front for the unemployment benefits the schools expect to pay out. Under current Washington law, whatever monies the schools don’t pay out in benefits gets rolled into a general account for the school’s discretionary use. Briefly, whatever they don’t use, they get to keep. This system gives schools incentive to regularly fight unemployment claims, legitimate or otherwise. Schools hire out-of-state third parties to represent them and it costs them little to do so. (more)