West Virginia Unemployment

The state of West Virginia's Department of Commerce provides temporary benefits for those who are unemployed and those who meet the requirements under West Virginia state law. The Workforce of West Virginia offers its own guidelines as well to conform to Federal guidelines. The value of the benefits under West Virginia will vary from other states due to the fact that every state has a different set of formulas and limits to consider when determining the amount of compensation to provide.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive benefits from unemployment insurance, you are required to have earned at least $2,200 in gross wages during at least two of the quarters of your base period from covered employment sources. You may also have earned this amount in wages during the alternative base period as well, which are the final four quarters that immediately precede the first day of your benefit year.

In addition, you must meet several other requirements:

  • You must have made a claim for benefits at a local office;
  • You must have registered to work with the Job Service Office and make regular reports;
  • You must be able to work full time at a position for which you are trained;
  • You are doing your best to find new work;
  • You have served the one week waiting period; and
  • You have earned less than your weekly benefit amount plus $60 for the week you claimed any benefits.
For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/app_media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/workforcewv/unemploymentcompensation/UC_Benefits_Poster.pdf

Find Out If You Are Eligible For Unemployment   Click this link to find out: Am I Eligible To Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Have Your Benefits Run Out?   Click this link to find out how to get an unemployment extension: Unemployment Extension

How Much Will You Get?

The amount that you get will be determined by how much you earned during the base period. This amount is based on how much you have earned in covered wages during the base period, and it must add up to at least $2,200 or more in covered employment in order to receive any kind of monetary unemployment compensation benefits.

The term covered employment refers to any kind of employment that the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act lists. This covers nearly all kinds of jobs with some exceptions:

  • United States government employees and all elected officials;
  • Some employees who worked in agricultural and farming industries;
  • Employees who work in a private home and perform domestic services;
  • Those whose employer is their spouse or their child;
  • Those who are under the age of 18 and are employed by their parent;
  • Those who work for certain universities, colleges or schools; and
  • Those who work for a church or a similar organization.
For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/unemployment_compensation/claimants/interstate_claims.aspx

Base Period

The base period is the frame of time that the state of West Virginia will take into consideration regarding whether or not you have earned enough money to receive unemployment compensation. This is a period of 12 months that is determined by when you start your new claim, consisting of the first four of the last five quarters you completed prior to the start of the new claim. If this time frame means you are not qualified, you can use an alternate base period instead that eliminates the first month and uses the final month instead.

For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/unemployment_compensation/claimants/interstate_claims.aspx

What If You Quit Your Job or Get Fired?

When you quit your job voluntarily or when you are fired from your job, circumstances can change. In the former case, you have the burden of proof, but the burden of proof will rest with your former employer if you are fired from your position. With the case of being fired, the employer will need to prove that you were fired due to misconduct before denying benefits, but this will not be a factor if it cannot be proven. If you quit, you will need to prove that your employer is the reason that you needed to quit your job.

Under West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Law, there are some special provisions that permit payment of benefits of unemployment compensation even when you voluntarily quit your job. This includes choosing to quit your job due to problems with your health, though you will need to have a statement from a doctor that says that you were personally affected by work, which aggravated or worsened the health problem. This also includes leaving a job to work for the most recent former employer within 14 days.

When filing for your claim, the Department of Commerce will need to obtain the facts that surround your reason for voluntarily leaving your job, which includes contacting your employer. The state will also issue a written decision to both you and the employer that your claim would affect; the decision will include whether or not you are eligible to receive monetary benefits for unemployment compensation. If either you or your employer disagree about the decision, you can both file an appeal.

For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/unemployment_compensation/claimants/interstate_claims.aspx

What You Need to File Your Claim

When you file your claim, you will need your Social Security Number and your driver's license to verify the number. You will also need DD Form 214 if you have been separated from the military. You will need documentation regarding your work status for those who are immigrants. In addition, you will need information that includes the names and mailing addresses of every employer with whom you have worked over the last 18 months.

For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/unemployment_compensation/claimants/frequently_asked_questions.aspx

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

To apply for unemployment benefits, you will need to report to the nearest office in person as soon as you lose your job. If you have a low earnings report that you received from an employer, then you can either file by mail or by person. If you do not file as soon as you lose your job, you are liable to lose credit for the weeks you spent unemployed and prior to filing.

Work Search Requirement

To benefit from unemployment compensation, you need to constantly seek work. You will also be required to register at a West Virginia Job Service Office in order to seek this work. Unless the Commissioner decides you have justifiable cause not to participate, you must participate in the services the office requires when being profiled.

You need to record your history of searching for work, which includes the addresses and names of all businesses you contact as well as the name of whomever you spoke to if applicable. In addition, keep note of what happened as a result of the contact. You'll need to report any income you earn during receiving benefits. In addition, you'll need to tell the state if your job service asked you to seek out an employer or if you received a job.

Weekly Certification

When you arrive at the local UC office for an initial claim, a representative will instruct you on how to file for the first two weeks. You'll be asked to arrive in person for this first claim form, but subsequent weeks can be filed through the phone at the following numbers:

  • Phone: 1-304-558-4686
  • Toll-free: 1-800-379-1032
  • TDD: 1-304-558-6046

You can also file online at http://www.wvuc.org.

When you seek to claim your two weeks of benefits, you must not do so prior to the week ending date of week 2. If you try to file early or too late, you may have your benefits denied. When filing through the phone, you will need to have your personal identification number and your Social Security Number available in order to complete the process. You will want to have a pen and paper to jot down information the representative provides.

When you wish to file a claim by mail, you need to do this within the first three days after the end of the week that you want to claim. For instance, you need to mail in a claim either on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday after the end of the second week you are claiming. Filing late can result in a loss of benefits.

For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/App_Media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/workforcewv/UCforWV.pdf

How Benefits Are Paid

The default method of receiving benefits is through a check. Before cashing this, make sure the amount listed to be paid is correct for the weeks that you have claimed. You must immediately contact your local office if the amount of pay does not seem right according to the reported earnings attached on the stub of the check. Do not throw away your pay check stubs either; you need these for your records, especially if you are asked to give another agency information about what you received for unemployment. You will also need to bring in these stubs to the local office if you believe you have not been paid everything you have claimed.

If you have not received a check by 10 days after your claim, call the local office. You will need to file a report for a missing check, and the office representatives can inform you on further actions to take.

The alternate method of receiving benefit payments is through the Chase Visa debit card. You will receive a packet in the mail that provides information about how to active and start using the card, as well as information about fees and surcharges to keep in consideration when spending money with the card. Some tips to avoid fees include:

  • Use a Chase ATM to avoid surcharges;
  • Use your card anywhere that accepts Visa cards rather than withdrawing money for cash spending; and
  • Request cash back during a transaction to get money without having to deal with surcharges and fees. This will require a PIN.
For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/App_Media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/workforcewv/UCforWV.pdf


You can earn up to $60 every week before you stop receiving the full amount for your weekly benefit. Earn more than this and it will be deducted from the benefit amount, matching a dollar for a dollar. You need to report any wages that you earned regardless of the amount.

You can be disqualified for benefits if:

  • You were fired from a previous job for misconduct at work;
  • You quit your job voluntarily, even if it were an odd job or a part-time position, without good cause.

You must be available to seek out work. There are many factors to consider about whether a job you are seeking is suitable. Above all, the state looks at your previous history and looks at how long you have been unemployed. The state considers your health risks and how far away a job is from your job as well as your fitness and how much the job is looking to pay. If you do not accept suitable work, you cannot receive benefits without good cause. If you are disqualified, you will not receive benefits for that week or the following four weeks.

For more information, go to: http://www.wvcommerce.org/App_Media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/workforcewv/UCforWV.pdf

How to Report Unemployment Fraud

Unemployment fraud is a very serious issue that must be reported. You can contact your local unemployment office to report someone, and you may be able to either offer your name or contact information or remain anonymous when filing this report.

To report someone for unemployment fraud, you need to give out as much information as you possibly can. This includes the name, address and phone number of the person suspected of committing fraud, as well as their work location and the amount of money they are currently earning.

Contact Information

The phone numbers and addresses you will require will vary significantly depending on your county. Please view the following website for information regarding your nearest office:

http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/unemployment_compensation/locations/default.aspxLocating additional offices: http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/workforcewv/locations/default.aspx

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# Jessika 2013-06-03 16:58
Hi, I've been working for my job for about 9 months now and I got laid off in Jan. They called me back to work and I went but on another shift. I also got a pay cut and less hours. Everything was fine but when I couldn't get a babysitter after I had to stop using the one I had due to my son getting sick from bedbugs. But I told my job and they wont work with me. After I talked to them 2 times and HR they still wouldn't. Therefor, I had missed time. Then we finally got a new manager. So, I talked to her and she finally said she would work with me. But now I have more then enough points for them to fire me. What does this mean for me? An would I be about to get unemployment? Also, just about everytime I had missed work it was with a doctors note for me or my son. Or I had no babysitter at the time. Please tell me what I should do. I do want to quite but I know I'm going to be fired soon.
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