COVID-19 and Unemployment Updates

Relief for CARES Workers 4.13.2020 RAB (PDF)

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) - Initial Notice (PDF)

WorkForce West Virginia encourages patience while waiting for CARES Act benefits, continues to process state unemployment benefits

Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on Thursday, March 19, directing WorkForce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 and administer them to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.


Click here to view the full executive order

Gov. Justice's executive order allows WorkForce to: 

• Waive the one-week waiting period for eligible West Virginians to receive unemployment benefits

• Waive the able and available work requirement

• Waive the work search requirement

• Unemployment benefits will be available to eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed.

To file for unemployment benefits, click here.

Those who do not have internet access, have a disability requiring assistive technology or need further assistance should call 1-800-252-JOBS.

Due to an influx in website traffic, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, WorkForce WV’s systems are experiencing intermittent disruptions and temporary outages. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are working diligently to resolve the problems. Workforce WV is committed to providing excellent service to each person attempting to access our systems or file an unemployment claim. During this difficult time, we ask you remain patient as we work to resolve these issues.

Click here to read the full press release.





How do I file for Unemployment?

The preferred method for Unemployment Compensation claim filing should be done online at: Please note that many cell phones experience problems when using the site, and we suggest using a computer.


How do I use the website?


Once on the website, the Claimant should select the top option, “To file a new/additional Initial Unemployment Claim.” Following the onscreen prompts, the website will then walk the Claimant through the filing process. The Claimant should be ready to provide basic information such as Date of Birth, Social Security number, Address, Telephone #, name of Employer, and Dates of Employment. The claim is made effective on the Sunday in which the claim is filed (Benefits weeks run from Sunday through Saturday).


When I start my claim, the site asks me “Have you filed a new unemployed claim with West Virginia in the last 12 months? What does this mean?


This question is asking whether, during the 12 months leading up to the day that you are filing the claim, you applied for a NEW claim. Example: If you are opening a new claim on March 15, 2020, have you done the same thing since March 15 of 2019? It is a “Yes” or “No” answer.


Do I have to claim each week?


After filing this Initial Claim, a Claimant needs to certify each week while claiming benefits. To do this, the Claimant may file their weekly certification via the website, selecting the option “To file your Weekly Certification for Benefits,” or via phone at: 1-800-379-1032. Don’t forget to list any work you’ve done during the week!

Each weekly claim must be file between 12:01 AM Sunday and 4:59 PM Friday. If you do not file within that timeframe each week, your claim will automatically close and you will not be able to file the following week.

Due to the high volume of new claims, you may not be able to file the first week on Sunday. If the system does not allow you to file, please try the following day.


Do I get directed to another website while filing the claim?


As required by law, you will be enrolled in WorkForce Wet Virginia’s Job Service. You will be sent to the Job Service registration pages to complete your registration.




How do I know how much my UI Benefits are?

Claimants of UI benefits should have worked and earned wages in West Virginia within the past 18 months. The Weekly Benefit amount of Unemployment Compensation is based on the total covered wages paid during the Base Period, which is a twelve-month period determined by the beginning date of the claim. During the Base Period, the claimant must have been paid wages of at least $2,200 and have been paid wages in a minimum of two quarters in the base period. Shortly after filing an Initial Claim, the Claimant will receive a “Monetary Determination” letter in the mail. This is not an approval or denial notification, but rather a document that shows the Weekly Benefit Amount, based on the employee’s Base Period wages. You may also check your benefit rate from the main page of




What is a Deputy’s Decision?

If an “issue” exists on the claim, including situations such as conflicting information between the Claimant and the Employer, the case goes to an Unemployment Claims Deputy, who, applying the Unemployment Compensation Law of West Virginia, adjudicates the claim. Once a claim is adjudicated by the Claims Deputy, either party (Claimant and Employer) maintain Rights of Appeal, which they may choose to exercise if in disagreement with the Deputy’s Decision.




What is my Weekly Benefit rate?

You may check your benefit rate from the main page of


How and When will I get paid?


As each week of being out of work is certified by the Claimant, payments are issued on a week by week basis. Generally speaking, once a Claimant certifies his/her week, it takes roughly 3 or 4 days for the payment to appear on the debit card or in the Claimant’s bank account. You will have the option to enroll in direct deposit. You will not be able to enroll when you sign up for unemployment benefits. You should enroll when you file your first weekly claim. To enroll select the third option on

If you do not enroll in direct deposit, your benefits would be placed on a KeyBank debit card which you should receive in the mail in around fourteen days.


How long do my benefits last?


A benefit year is valid for one year, with 26 weeks being available for payment at each Claimants Weekly Benefit Rate.


Can Low Earnings Reports be used?


Yes, EMPLOYERS may issue you a Low Earnings Report instead of filing a Total claim. Your Weekly Benefit Amount is the same whether you are using a Low Earnings Report or if you filed a Total claim.


I’m an employer. Will the claims being filed now have any effects on my business’s UI account and rate?


Employers with questions about their UI Accounts should contact the Contributions and Accounting Office at 304-558-2676.


Is there an age limit for receiving UI?


There is no age limit.


If you are receiving Social Security, can you receive UI benefits?


As long as Executive Order No. 4-20 signed by Governor Justice remains in effect, receiving Social Security will not prevent you from receiving UI benefits.


If I work a separate part time job, can I still receive UI benefits?


You can receive unemployment benefits while working part time, however you must report your gross earnings for that week even if you had not yet received them. Anything you earn above sixty dollars will be deducted dollar for dollar from your UI benefits that week. If you are not sure how much you earned, please ask your employer.





Revised 3/20/20 11:30AM