Services for dislocated workers

Available programs

What programs are available for dislocated workers?
Training services and income assistance can vary. Be sure to contact WorkSource right away to review your options. Some programs have strict application deadlines, so be sure to get started right away.

Training and education
Education and training are the keys to a successful career. The WorkSource system operates a variety of programs that can pay for tuition, books, supplies, travel and other training-related expenses for eligible participants. Visit WorkSource to learn more.

Training Benefits Program (income assistance)
Dislocated workers may be eligible for this program, which may pay unemployment benefits beyond the usual limit of 26 weeks while retraining for a new career.

The program may admit eligible unemployed workers who are: disabled due to injury or illness; low-income; honorably discharged from the military or Washington National Guard within the previous year; or currently serving in the National Guard.

People accepted into the program are not required to look for work while in training and receiving unemployment benefits.

The Training Benefits Program does not pay for actual training costs, but financial aid may be available through other programs offered by WorkSource and/or your local community college.

To see if you qualify, contact WorkSource, or visit www.esd.wa.gov and type “training benefits” in the search box. You also can call 800-318-6022 and ask for a training-benefits application.

Commissioner-Approved Training
Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT) allows eligible laid-off workers to collect regular unemployment benefits without looking for work while attending full-time training.

CAT does not pay for training costs, and it does not extend your regular unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks.

Visit WorkSource for more information.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provides counseling, training and financial support to help trade-affected workers return to suitable employment as quickly as possible.

You may be eligible if you lost your job or your hours were cut due to foreign imports or shifts of U.S. production.

A petition must be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor for approval to participate in this program. Visit WorkSource for more information.

Self-Employment Assistance Program
Self-Employment Assistance (SEAP) allows eligible laid-off workers to collect unemployment benefits while participating in an approved entrepreneurial training program.

You can sign up for SEAP only if the Employment Security Department determines you will likely use all of your unemployment benefits before finding a new job. Every unemployment-insurance applicant is evaluated for the program.

If you are deemed eligible, the department will send you a letter outlining the steps to participate.