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What is Standby?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Firm News

Possibly by virtue of how accessible and prominent the link is presented on a claimant’s online eServices account, claimants often apply for standby not fully understanding what it is and how it works. Subsequent approvals or denials of standby create more calls and appeals and traffic to the Employment Security Department and associated organizations, like us.

  • Standby only absolves you of the job search requirements once approved, not when you apply.
  • Standyby – when approved – only exempts you from job search activities for 2 weeks before the start date of a new job, or 4 weeks before the start date of a previous job, or eight weeks if your employer’s request for additional standby has been approved.
  • The list of activities that qualify as one of your three weekly job search activities can be found here: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/job-search-requirements

Since job search activities are a standard part of being unemployed, having to report three job search activities per week may not be difficult, so standby doesn’t necessarily provide a significant advantage.

Claimants will occasionally attempt to appeal a legitimate denial of a standby request under various misconceptions. The most common misconception is that their entire claim is in jeopardy or has been disqualified just because their standby request was denied. If only the standby request was denied, then the claimant will simply need to continue to do job search activities as they did previously and they can continue receiving benefits.

The only information in the Unemployed Workers Handbook about standby is 2 sentences in the Appendix on page 58. The Employment Security Department webpage that includes standby information is titled Temporary layoffs, standby and partial unemployment and this is a much better guide.

There are other ways to be exempt from job search activities: SharedWork, Commissioner Approved Training, Trade Adjustment Program, Self-Employed Assistance Program, and Training Benefits. If you would like to learn more about any of these programs, the Employment Security Department can help and more information on each of these programs will be available in later blog posts.

If you have had issues with standby, or have requested an appeal for a denial for standby, we can help you understand the decision and your options. Contact WEBA. Click here to schedule a free consultation.