Claimant Frequently Asked Questions

Filing For Unemployment

How do I file for unemployment?

You may file an unemployment claim online. You may also report to the nearest WorkForce WV local office for assistance with filing your claim.

If you receive a Low Earnings Report from your employer, you may file in person or by mailing the Low Earnings Report to the nearest WorkForce WV local office. This form must be filed within ten days of receipt, or you may lose credit for any weeks you were off work.

Initial Claims

Do I get directed to another website when filing my initial claim?

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

Is there a waiting period involved?

There is a one-week unpaid waiting period per claim year. You cannot serve the waiting period before you apply for a claim.

What documents do I need to file my initial claim?

When filling out your initial application you will need to upload a copy of your government issued photo ID for verification purposes. Upon request from WorkForce WV, you may also be required to provide your Social Security Card and proof of residency. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will be asked to supply government issued documentation showing your work status. Your documentation must include an identification number, the name of the agency that issued the document, and an expiration date.

How do I navigate the unemployment application?

Once you’re in the WorkForce West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Division Web Application, please select “To File a New/Additional Initial Unemployment Claim”. The website will then walk you through the filing process. Please be ready to provide basic information such as your Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Address, Telephone Number, Name of Employer, and Dates of Employment. Benefit weeks run from Sunday through Saturday, so your claim will be made effective on Sunday the week your claim is filed.

One of the questions on the application is “Have you filed a new unemployment claim with West Virginia in the last 12 months?” What does this mean?

This question is asking if you have filed an unemployment claim during the 12 months leading up to the date you’re currently filing a new claim. Example: If you are opening a new claim on March 15, 2023, have you done the same thing since March 15 of 2022? It is a “Yes” or “No” answer.

Unemployment Eligibility

Is there an age limit for receiving unemployment?

No, there is no age limit.

What type of claim could I be eligible for?

Regular/total unemployment- you are totally unemployed when you are completely separated from employment, earning no wages, and performing no services.

Low earnings/partial unemployment- you are partially unemployed if you were hired as a full-time employee, but your regular hours and earnings are reduced due to lack of work. You are on the employer’s payroll, but that employer cannot give you full-time work. Your employer may issue you a Low Earnings Report while your work hours are reduced.

Benefit Requirements

What requirements must I meet to receive my benefits?

You must be able to work full-time, available to work full-time, and actively seeking full-time work each week. You are required to register with your local job service office or one-stop center before filing for your sixth week of benefits.

Those who are in good standing with a union hiring hall are not required to seek work or complete job service registration. If you are receiving benefits with a Low Earnings Report, you are not required to look for another job or take a job offered by another employer. However, you must be available for full-time work as it is available through your employer.

Working, Income, and Unemployment Benefit Eligibility

How does working affect my benefits?

No matter how small the amount, you must report your gross earnings during the week in which you earn the money. You may earn up to sixty dollars per week without money being deducted from your weekly benefit amount. Any earnings over sixty dollars will be deducted dollar for dollar from your weekly benefit amount.

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

You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while working, however, you must report your gross earnings for that week, even if you have not yet received them.

What type of other income will affect my benefits?

All income must be reported to your unemployment claims office, however, not all income is deductible from unemployment benefits.

Unique Form Needs

If you were separated from the following entities, you will be asked to provide the following forms:

Military: DD-214 form, Member 4 or Service 8.
Federal government: Form SF-8 (separation notice).
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Form SF-8 and Form SF-50.

Unemployment Benefits and Payments

How are my benefits going to be paid to me?

When filing your initial claim, you will have the option to select direct deposit or debit card as your method of payment. Please be advised that once you select debit card as your method of payment you will be unable to enroll in direct deposit for the remainder of your benefit year. For more information about WorkForce WV’s chosen debit card provider, visit our Unemployment Insurance Benefits Resources page.

We estimate your first payment will made within two weeks, provided there are no issues on your claim.

How is my payment amount determined?

You should have worked and earned wages in West Virginia within the past 18 months. Your weekly benefit amount is based on the total covered wages paid during the base period, which is a twelve-month period determined by the beginning date of your claim. You must have been paid wages of at least $2,200 in covered employment during your base period and been paid wages in at least two quarters of your base period to be monetarily eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. The regular base period consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the starting date of your new claim. If you are not monetarily eligible during the regular base period, we would then explore the alternate base period to assist you in possibly becoming monetarily eligible.

How much money will I receive?

Shortly after filing an initial claim, you will receive a Monetary Determination letter in the mail. This is not an approval or denial notification, but rather a document that shows your weekly benefit amount, based on your base period wages.

Visit to receive an estimate of your weekly benefit amount based on West Virginia wages reported to WorkForce WV. Please be aware that this figure is only an estimate and may not be exact. It does not include out-of-state wages, military wages, or federal wages.

How do I find out when my last payment was made?

Visit to view the last six weeks of your payment history.

When will I get paid?

Payments are issued on a week-by-week basis. Once you file your weekly certification it takes approximately four days for payments to post to your account and/or debit card. For faster payment, enrolling in direct deposit is recommended.

Deputy’s Decision and Claim Denial

What is a Deputy’s Decision?

If an issue exists on your claim the case goes to an Unemployment Claims Deputy who will adjudicate your claim by applying the West Virginia UC Law. Once your claim is adjudicated, the claimant and/or employer have the right to file an appeal if they disagree with the Deputy’s Decision.

Could I be denied?

When you file your unemployment claim, we will gather the necessary facts. Any time an issue is raised that might affect your right to receive benefits, we are required to investigate and issue a formal decision. This is a written notice that describes the issue, the facts we gathered, and our reason for concluding that you are, or are not, eligible to receive benefits. You have the right to appeal any decision with which you do not agree. It is in your best interest to file your claim and allow us to determine whether an issue exists.

Filing Weekly Certifications

How do I file my weekly certifications?

You may file your weekly claim certification online or by reporting to your nearest WorkForce WV local office. Please be advised that you are required to certify your answers are correct prior to submitting your weekly certification. Once you submit your weekly certification, your answers become final and may not be changed. If you are not sure about a question, please stop the filing process and contact your local office for clarification.

How often do I file my weekly certifications?

You must file your weekly claim certification every week between Sunday at 12:01a.m. and Friday at 5:00p.m. Eastern Standard Time.