WorkForce West Virginia regulates the state’s unemployment insurance benefits program. This agency manages every unemployment claim that is submitted anywhere in the state’s seven various regions. While applicants report to different centers depending on where they are located, program enrollment and eligibility requirements are uniform throughout the state. The paragraphs that follow explain how to apply for unemployment online, and cover the various options candidates have if they are denied unemployment by the state.
What is unemployment in West Virginia?
Unemployment in West Virginia is an issue that affects workers throughout the state. Regardless of whether their employers closed or they were laid off, this professional shift can leave enrollees in a tight space financially. However, unemployment insurance is available to qualifying workers who require the funds to provide for themselves and their families during this time.
While candidates with a successful unemployment claim are entitled to financial benefits, enrollees must remember the state enforces a limit on how many weeks petitioners may receive UI funds. During a 52-week period, beneficiaries may only collect UC for 26 weeks at most. This is because the program is only intended to serve as an interim support measure when candidates lose their jobs. Likewise, the maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA) candidates may receive in unemployment insurance benefits in WV is $426.
What are the requirements to get unemployment in West Virginia?
WorkForce determines eligibility for unemployment in West Virginia by assessing candidates’ personal and financial profiles. To determine monetary eligibility, the agency surveys the wages candidates earned as income during their base periods. Base periods refer to the first four of the last five concluded calendar quarters that were completed before candidates applied for UC.
Unemployment insurance eligibility requires that candidates earned at least $2,200 in wages from covered employment providers through at least two calendar quarters of their base periods. Covered employment is only achieved when petitioners’ workplaces paid taxes into the UC fund.
When determining the qualifications for unemployment in WV, the state also needs to know the reasons that candidates have lost their jobs. Across the state, only petitioners who are unemployed due to external circumstances may receive UC. As a result, candidates who are not working for the following reasons do not meet the state’s eligibility for unemployment requirements:
- Quitting work:In many instances, candidates who quit their jobs do not qualify for UI. Petitioners who leave their petitions for personal reasons, such as needing to take care of their children or because they did not enjoy their work, will not receive benefits.
- Petitioners who are on an elective labor strike are ineligible to enroll in UC benefits.
- Being fired:There are some situations when claimants may be fired and still receive UI. However, candidates who are dismissed from work due to workplace misconduct may receive benefits from the program.
How can I sign up for unemployment in West Virginia?
In-state residents must know how to apply for unemployment online in West Virginia. However, out-of-state residents also have the option of filing their petitions over the phone. These verbal applications may only be submitted on Tuesday and Wednesday, so claimants must plan accordingly.
Regardless of whether candidates elect to submit an online application for unemployment or petition through a telephone call, they must be prepared to verify their identities with Social Security cards or driver’s licenses. Conversely, applicants who were born abroad must provide the WorkForce with documentation that proves they are legally permitted to work in the United States.
When attempting to apply for unemployment benefits in WV, international petitioners have some variety regarding which documents they may use to verify their work status. However, their identification papers must include:
- The petitioners’ identification numbers.
- The complete names of the agencies that issued the documentation.
- The documents’ corresponding expiration dates.
Next, candidates who file for an unemployment claim must also provide a summary of their work history. Petitioners are obligated to provide the company names and related mailing addresses for each business they worked for in the 18 months before they file for unemployment. In addition, applicants must also report the specific dates when they worked for each of these businesses and the reasons why they no longer work at these establishments.
Finally, when they apply for unemployment benefits, candidates who had specific professions are required to submit additional documents to the WorkForce. In particular, claimants who:
- Served in the military must turn in the long form Member 4 copy of the DD Form 214.
- Worked for the federal government need to turn in a copy of the SF-8 to the WorkForce.
- Were employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are required to submit their SF-8 or SF-50.
How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in West Virginia?
After petitioners submit their program applications, they will need to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in West Virginia. Referred to as a “new claim interview,” this unemployment phone interview is a standard part of the UC enrollment process. The purpose of this conversation is to help the WorkForce determine whether or not petitioners truly qualify for UI benefits. As a result, the majority of the questions asked during the unemployment interview relate to why claimants are not currently working. To gain a more complete understanding of these reasons, the agency may also require an unemployment interview with the employer who the claimants most recently worked for. However, these conversations are never conducted simultaneously with the applicants’ interviews.
Petitioners must be honest during their UI phone interview because the WorkForce representatives cross-check their testimonies with what is stated by former employers. Instead of focusing on how to pass the unemployment insurance interview, claimants would be better served by devoting their energy to properly preparing for these conversations.
Before an unemployment phone interview, petitioners should ready any proof they have to support their statements. For example, if claimants quit due a breach in their contracts, they should bring a copy of these documents to their interviews. Likewise, petitioners who were fired for breaking company protocol should have their employee handbooks on hand to reference during the calls. The only way for candidates to prepare for the UI interview is to collect any documentation that supports their truthful statements beforehand.
How do I claim unemployment benefits in West Virginia?
Claimants are not automatically eligible to claim unemployment benefits in WV weekly once they are admitted into the state’s UI program. In fact, petitioners need to certify their unemployment benefits claim each week they intend to collect benefits. Enrollees may accomplish this task online or over the phone. Regardless, beneficiaries are obligated to complete this requirement in a timely manner.
When petitioners are claiming benefits for unemployment, they will be required to answer a variety of questions relating to how they spent their past week. In particular, candidates must disclose:
- If they worked.
- Whether or not they were available to work each day.
- If they had any physical disabilities or illnesses that prevented them from working.
- If they searched for work and whether or not these efforts yielded any results.
To claim UI benefits in West Virginia, there are several additional requirements candidates must meet. Within the first six weeks they claim UC, petitioners need to register for work with their town’s job service or career center offices. In addition, enrollees may only maintain their UC benefits claim by reporting how much income they earned during the weeks they are claiming for the program.
What do I do if I am denied unemployment in West Virginia?
When applicants are denied unemployment in West Virginia, they are offered various opportunities to petition to have these decisions overturned. Employers are also granted these rights. After the state deputies mail their original determinations, claimants who had their unemployment benefits denied have eight calendar days to submit their appeals. These petitions must be submitted in writing in order for them to be processed.
Once the unemployment denial appeal is processed, employers and candidates receive Notices of Hearing from the administrative law judges (ALJs) who will hear their cases. These ALJs are tasked with listening to plaintiffs’ cases from start to finish, and they must make decisions independent from what the WorkForce previously determined. Many of these denied unemployment benefits hearings are conducted over the phone. However, they may be offered in person. Applicants must thoroughly read their notices to understand where and when their trials will take place.
For the UI denial appeal hearing, candidates must be sure to resubmit any evidence or testimony they previously included in their program petitions. Furthermore, candidates who would like legal support may consign their cases to lawyers who can be present to represent them during their hearings. However, this is not a requirement in order for candidates to effectively present their cases, and applicants are responsible for finding their own representation.
Once the denied unemployment hearings conclude, the ALJs mail written determinations to petitioners and their former employees. If either party finds these new decisions to be unfavorable, they may appeal these decisions to the Board of Review. Candidates have an additional eight days to complete this task.
How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in West Virginia?
A federal unemployment extension in West Virginia permits UI recipients to claim program funds beyond the state’s 26-week maximum enrollment limit. However, an unemployment benefits extension is only offered during elevated periods of statewide unemployment. Therefore, the unemployment extension is not commonly available to local enrollees. Candidates will know when this addendum is available because WorkForce representatives will contact them and notify them about the program.
How do I contact the West Virginia unemployment office?
The West Virginia unemployment office is reachable for candidates and employers who have questions regarding their UC claims or applications. There is a WorkForce UI benefits office in 18 urban centers and communities throughout the state. Petitioners and their former employers may contact these locations via phone or fax. WorkForce WV also maintains a toll-free number that claimants may call to resolve any unanswered inquiries they have.
In addition, candidates who live near an unemployment insurance office may visit these locations and speak directly with a state worker regarding their claims. The WorkForce WV in Charleston is situated at:
1321 Plaza East Shopping Ctr.
Charleston, WV 25301
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is WorkForce West Virginia?
WorkForce West Virginia is a state government agency that gives West Virginia residents access to resources such as job training, job opportunities, unemployment compensation and much more. WorkForce West Virginia has 13 career centers throughout the state. They offer the largest online database of job listings in the state.
When should I apply for unemployment?
As soon as possible. No matter what state you are applying in, you should always try to apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you lose your job. The state does not recognize the time between the day you lost your job and the day you filed your claim. Only the date you filed for your unemployment claim is important when it comes to receiving your benefits.
What is a waiting week?
Most states will have a waiting week when filing for unemployment benefits. This is the week when your case is reviewed for approval or denial. Even if your claim is approved, you will not get paid for the waiting week.
Can I get unemployment in West Virginia if I quit my job?
Usually, unemployment benefits are granted to those individuals that have been fired from their jobs through no fault of their own. However, there are certain situations where an individual can qualify for unemployment even though he or she quit. You must file a claim to know for sure.