As some states nervously eye their dwindling unemployment-insurance coffers, the woman in charge of Washington's system has this message for workers fearing layoffs: no worries.
Washington unemployment trust fund -- a pool of money paid into by employers, then tapped to send checks to newly-jobless workers -- "is in good shape," state employment security commissioner Karen Lee said recently. "In fact, it's the largest and one of the healthiest in the nation."
The fund has more than $4 billion in it, which the Employment Security Department says is enough to pay nearly two years of benefits during a severe recession.
More than 200,000 Washingtonians have gotten payments so far this year.
The average check, according to the ESD, is $350 a week. The maximum: $541 a week.
To apply for benefits online: go to this Employment Security Department site