Demand for paid family and medical leave has far exceeded what Employment Security expected. It anticipated 3,000 claims per month but has received 20,000 claims instead.
This has resulted in stretched out processing times, lengthy hold times on the phone and an apology from Commissioner Suzi LeVine.
Washington Retail urges you to contact Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations & Retail Services if you have encountered delays or confusion in efforts to apply for the program. You may contact her either at 360-200-6452 or [email protected].
Qualified applicants can receive a percentage of their pay for up to 12 weeks to care for themselves or a family member with a serious illness, to bond with a new child or for certain service-connected events for military families. In some circumstances, up to 18 weeks of time off from work may be available.
“We had originally estimated up to four weeks to process applications,” Commissioner LeVine said. “However, we have received a much higher volume than expected and believe we will exceed that threshold soon. Please know that we are doing everything we can to expand our capacity and process applications as quickly as possible while maintaining high-quality care and thoroughness.”
Go here to read ESD’s explanation for the crunch including updates on the status of applications.