Oso disaster victims get special unemployment claims phone line

OLYMPIA – The Employment Security Department has activated a special unemployment-benefits phone line for people affected by the Oso mudslide.

The toll-free number is 855-636-5610, option 1.

This phone line is intended for anyone who became unemployed as a result of the Oso disaster.

It's also for anyone who already had an active unemployment claim, but:

  • Is now unable to look for work because of the disaster (such as job seekers stranded in Darrington). They can call and ask to be placed on "disaster standby," and Employment Security will temporarily waive their job-search requirements.
  • Was unable to file a weekly claim last week due to the disaster. The claims agents can reopen and backdate claims for people who didn't have access to a phone or Internet.

Employment Security also has a special Web page with additional information about unemployment benefits related to the Oso disaster.

Local WorkSource offices offer free access to phones and the Internet for people who need to file unemployment claims or look for work. Free Internet access also is available at Snohomish County libraries.

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