by Dana George | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on April 6, 2020
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Losing a job for any reason can be jarring. If you've lost your job in West Virginia, here's how to file for unemployment benefits.
More than 90,000 West Virginians have filed for unemployment benefits since businesses began stuttering due to COVID-19, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus. If you don't manage to snag another job right away and need to file for benefits, you might have questions. Read on to find out whether you are eligible, how you should apply and how much you might receive.
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To be eligible for unemployment benefit payments in West Virginia, you must:
Normally, you would also need to be able and available for work, and actively seeking it in order to receive benefits. However, West Virginia has waived these requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. You will still need to complete a weekly claim application.
The best way is to apply online through the WorkForce WV website. Try to avoid using a cell phone or tablet as they don't work well with the site. Be aware that the system is experiencing temporary outages due to high demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you don't have internet access or have a disability that requires assistive technology, call 800-252-5627.
Be prepared to supply the following information:
Your specific weekly benefits will be based on the amount you earned during your base period (the first four quarters of the last five worked). West Virginia provides an online calculator that will help you estimate your weekly benefits. All you need to supply is your Social Security number.
The federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act may also entitle you to an additional $600 per week.
Your benefits will be placed on a prepaid debit card each week unless you enroll to have them directly deposited into your bank account.
Currently, West Virginians can collect unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If your unemployment claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You'll need to do so in writing within eight calendar days of the date the initial decision was mailed to you. A hearing will be scheduled with an impartial judge so that you can present your case.
Unemployment can be a shock to the system, no matter the circumstances. Make it a little easier on yourself by taking advantage of any financial assistance and unemployment benefits you're eligible for.
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