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West Virginia Unemployment Eligibility

In order to collect unemployment insurance benefits, you must meet the following WV eligibility requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be either totally or partially unemployed as defined in the law
  • You must be able to work and available for full-time work
  • You must register for work with a West Virginia Job Service Office
  • You must participate in reemployment services offered through the Job Service Office when you are selected for profiling
  • You must quit or get fired “for good cause” connected with employment

Monetary Eligibility

You must have sufficient wages in employment covered by a state or federal unemployment compensation law to become eligible monetarily.

During your base period, you must have been paid wages of at least $2,200 in covered employment. In addition, you must have been paid wages in at least two quarters of your base period. Your base period is a twelve-month period that is determined by the beginning date of your new claim.

Eligibility Questions

I was discharged from my job. Will I be eligible to receive benefits?

When an employee is discharged from a job, the burden of proof rests with the employer. The employer must be able to prove that the individual was discharged for work-related misconduct before benefits are denied. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has defined misconduct as “conduct evincing such willful and wanton disregard of the employer’s interests as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employees, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to his employer. . . on the other hand, mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good faith errors in judgment or discretions are not to be deemed misconduct within the meaning of the statute.”

There are two types of disqualifications possible for work-related misconduct. The duration of a disqualification for simple misconduct is the week in which the separation occurred plus six additional weeks. Gross misconduct carries a disqualification that begins the week of the discharge and continues until the claimant returns to covered employment and works at least 30 days.

When you file your UC claim, the unemployment department will gather the needed facts relating to your discharge. They will also request information from your employer. Based upon the information obtained from both parties, a written decision will be issued. This decision will tell you whether you are eligible for benefits. Both you and your employer will have the right to appeal this decision if you disagree with it.

What happens if I am laid off?

Usually, in West Virginia you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. It simply means that the company in which you worked doesn’t have enough work and could no longer afford to pay you for the job.

Once you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

If I quit my job, will I still be eligible to receive UC benefits?

When an employee voluntarily quits a job, the burden of proof rests on the employee. Generally, the employee must be able to prove that the employer was at fault in the separation before UC benefits can be paid. There are, however, special provisions in the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Law that specifically allow the payment of UC benefits to individuals who quit their employment.

One of the special provisions applies when an individual quits due to personal health problems; in order to obtain benefits, the claimant must present a doctor’s statement that says that the work aggravated, worsened, or would have worsened the health problem. Another provision applies when the claimant leaves employment to return to work with the last preceding employer and does, in fact, return to work with that employer within 14 days.

When you file your UC claim, the unemployment department will gather the needed facts relating to your discharge. They will also request information from your employer. Based upon the information obtained from both parties, a written decision will be issued. This decision will tell you whether you are eligible for benefits. Both you and your employer will have the right to appeal this decision if you disagree with it.

How much can I earn and still be eligible to receive UC benefits?

You may work and earn up to $60 per week and still receive your full weekly benefit amount. Wages of more than $60 are deducted from your weekly benefit amount on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Any amount of wages earned must be reported.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>West Virginia Unemployment Eligibility

  1. I have an employee that worked for us for several years full-time. He recently quit his job to take another job with a different company. After working there for about a month, he was laid-off. We received a letter stating that he had applied for unemployment against our company. Could we be liable? We already filled his position so we cannot employ him at this time.

    • Hi, Kim – if your company has legal counsel, it’s a smart move to double-check with them about the specifics of your situation. In general, if an employee quits a position to take another job somewhere else, they would not be eligible for unemployment benefits. There are some exceptions, though, so it’s wise to run the details by legal counsel.

  2. I work at a daycare and am going to quit. The reasons are due to my health being aggravated and the center not abiding by state rules. I was diagnosed with MS and if it get too hot I get major hot flashes. The rooms are very warm that even The children complain. The other reason is that they do not follow child ratio. I am only supposed to have 16 children aged 5 and up. However, I have 21 children that includes 3 year olds. I am out of ratio by almost double that amount. Also, they do not follow their own guidelines for behavior issues. They have a 3 stripes you are out rule. This meals that if a child hits, bites, etc they get a strike

    • Dear Susan,

      Please document all that you observe at the Day Care in violation of reasonable working conditions. I would also strongly advise you to apply for SSDI and SSI, which you can do online through SSA or at a local office in West Virginia. The disability process takes a long time but it’s worth applying if your medical condition keeps you from being able to work.

      As for unemployment, apply right after quitting. Write down what you see there, and keep all emails from the company regarding your complaints. It’s worth writing an email to your supervisor and/or the owner explaining why you can’t continue working there. When they respond (even if they deny it) it can be used to show you quit for good cause.



  3. My husband was hurt in a work related accident, will be out for 3-4 months total, and is now receiving workers compensation, but it is not the same amount as his weekly pay would have been. Would he be eligible for unemployment or something similar?? Does it matter that he is considered self employed and gets a 1099 at the end of the year??

    • Deseray,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who are able and available for work. Please check on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  4. I have been approved for unemployment benefits and then after receiving 2 weeks of benefits, I accepted a job that was supposed to be over 30 hours per week. I worked one week and then the next week my hours were cut to 16. With no set days or hours to work, it makes it impossible to find a second job. I can’t live on this and must have an income that I can depend on so I will have to quit this job and find another. Did I just mess up and lose my unemployment?

  5. I left my job of 7 months because I felt it was a hostile work environment. Not only was I belittled on a daily basis, my co-workers made it clear (through actions or snide comments) that I was not accepted as part of their “group” – that I was an outsider. The stress of dealing with that work environment on a daily basis was starting to affect my health. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits in a situation such as that?

    • Amber,

      You might be just eligible. However, your employer might dispute at the time of processing. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy and call the Unemployment Office before making a decision on your employment.

    • I am currently employed but i was out of work for 2 & 1/2 months due to vertigo. I didnt qualify for temporary disability. I have returned to work and had FMLA to save my job. Could i claim unemployment for the time i missed? Also i have ro have carpol tunnel surgery on both hands and was told workmans comp wont pay me while im out. Am i able to collect unemployment during my time out of work? If i loose my car and do not have a way to work, can i get unemployment? Asking because due to missing work they are threatening to reposes my car.

      • Michelle,

        Unfortunately, personal reasons such as medical conditions are not generally considered. Please check further on the Unemployment Office’s website.

        • Can I receive UI while attending a State Approved Vocational Course and quit my job while attending the course ?

        • Angela – you should probably talk with someone with WorkForce West Virginia about your specific situation. Typically, unless you quit your job for good cause, which usually means as a result of harassment, medical condition, etc., you cannot draw UI benefits if you voluntarily quit. However, if you’ve lost your job through no fault of your own and are taking a state-approved training course, some of the stipulations around looking for work may be relaxed. Check out to find the contact information for your nearest branch.

  6. After a vehicle accident I received short term disability from the company I worked for. I was in the process of scheduling surgery when this ran out and the insurance would no longer cover where I had been off work so I had to cancel the surgery. In February 2017 after discussing this situation with HR they said I could come back to work in another position but I am unable to do the labor until I have the surgery. Therefore I am unemployed and they said that I could reapply when I am physically able to work again.

    • That is correct. UI benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available for work.

      If the injury was work-related, please explore the benefits under the Workers Comp scheme.

  7. I live in West Virginia but have worked in Pennsylvania for 28 years and now have been laid off. Can I file for unemployment in WV or do I have to file in Pa.?

  8. I had quit my job to relocate to another state for my spouse work, then the job Didi not materialize, can I file for unemployment from WV the state I left?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  9. If I am a part time employee and I do not want more then 2 or 3 days per pay period can I receive benefits if I refuse to work more hours and the fire me?

    • I was told I will have the option to resign or they will move forward with termination of employment. If I resign will I still be eligible for unemployment benefits? This is all over being a few minutes late to work multiple times. I worked there for 15 years.

      • Ana,

        You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  10. I was injured on the job and not able to return to work because they do not offer medium duty work, was told to seek vocational rehab. Can I collect unemployment while undergoing voc. rehab?

  11. My mother is sick and is/will only continue to become worse. I asked my employer for one week day off during the week on a temporary basis to help take care of her. My employer flat out refused and said, “No, we can not decrease your hours” so I was forced to give my 2 weeks notice. I was not there long enough (1 year) to qualify under FLMA and WV does not offer any additional laws similar to FMLA like other states. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Generally, personal reasons are not considered. However, it looks like forced resignation in your case.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  12. I worked for this company for almost three months, left my job of 3 years to go to this company. I ended up quitting due to many reasons. First, the District Manager (DM) everyday is forcing us to put in false numbers to corperate, saying if we don’t then we all will end up losing our job. In May, I was off work twice for days that I requested before I was hired and promised I could have. When I came back on both cases I had write ups for things that happened while I was away. Stating that it was still my fault because I am the store manager. I called HR with no response back to me until 3 days after I quit. Also, my evaluation was emailed to the store email to where all my lower managers were able to read it before I was. I felt that I was being punished due to I took time off that I was promised. The DM did not have a problem cutting me down and making me an example of how he would degrade management. Since I was working in a unfair and hostile work environment and left due to emotional damages, would I be able to get unemployment

    • Yes, you can be eligible to receive Unemployment Benefits if you quit due to hostile work environment.

      Be ready to provide supporting documents if your employer raises a dispute after you apply.

  13. I have worked for this Company for 18 years. I’m 62 and my health is failing. So if my health Causes me to lose my job. Can i still get Unemployment. Thanks

    • Personal reasons such as health issues are not considered.

      You may not qualify for UI benefits if you leave voluntarily.

  14. I started receiving unemployment at the first of the year. after two weeks I accepted a full time position with a temp agency and worked one week for them. then I was offered another position in another state for more money. after working there for a week I was laid off due to lack of work. am I eligible to reactivate my unemployment claim, Or do I have to go back to the temp agency?

  15. If I took a job and tried to work it, but it is a 2 hour drive there and 2 hour drive back, if I quit am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Depends. If you quit voluntarily, you may not qualify.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state and decide further.

  16. I have to quit my job in West Virginia to move my husband to Florida for his health. He has COPD which has worsened and he will have problems if he is in West Virginia during the winter. I will look for work in Florida. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  17. Would I be eligible for benefits if I quit because I was demoted from a permanent position to a temporary position 2 days after returning from FMLA because I was being reprimanded for something that actually happened in 2013. The position also is paid 10,000 less than my current position.

    • Unfortunately, voluntary resignation is not considered.

      Please call the customer service to check if there can be exceptions to match your situation.

  18. I took FMLA due to my mother falling and breaking her hip. Her dr. has since said she will need 24 hour care. I then quit my job. I am available for work, from home, do I qualify for unemployment? I have worked for 15 years and never drawn unemployment.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  19. I have been currently working for my employer almost 2 years as a direct care worker and have made them aware that my client has been saying things he shouldn’t and I’ve had enough if I quit can I get unemployment benefits till I find another job

  20. Another question- I was told that even if you have applied for disability retirement from your employer, you are not eligible to get Unemployment in WV. That seems discriminatory to me. Even if I have not been approved for anything, I am still unable to get unemployment after working for my employer for many years, and am no longer employed due to no fault of my own.

  21. Can I receive unemployment after my severance package has been paid out. I received a severance package that has been paying me a regular bi weekly income – which lasts for 26 weeks. I have about 3 months remaining, and have not filed for UE because I have enough money from my severance payments and agreement. I was released from my federal job at no fault of my own and hope to get UI once my severance is over. Can you help with my questions?

    • You sure can claim unemployment insurance after the severance pay period ends.

      Please consider applying for benefits towards the end of third month.

  22. I live in West Virginia but work in Ohio. According to the page on eligibility in Ohio a person must be a resident of Ohio to receive Ohio unemployment. Can I receive it in West Virginia if I’m laid off in Ohio?

  23. how far will they go back on unemployment pay / worked on and off since april. will they pay for the weeks not worked.

    • Please inquire further about the related labor laws in your state and perhaps, you can file a plaint if there are legal provisions.

  24. I have retired and receive social security, I have gone back to work part time. If I would lose my currant part time employment can I receive unemployment benefits?

    • Depends as you’re already receiving SS benefits. Please check with the customer service of the labor dept in your state.

  25. Can an employee who is laid off and then is called back to work but cannot return due to a short term disability continue to collect unemployment and short term disability benefits?

    • I am unable to comment about short term disability benefits.Please check with a relevant forum or authority.

      With regard to continuing to avail UI benefits,please be informed that these benefits are only extended to those who are totally unemployed are able to work.

  26. I was on unemployment compensation until July of 2013. I wasn’t unable to find a job until October 2013. The position I obtained is a contracted temporary job thru a temp agency. According to the agency since my position is temporary I will only be working for six months-Oct to March, at which time as a contractor my position will be terminated. Can you tell me if I will be eligible to go back on unemployment? If not, can you tell me what factors I need to look at to determine if I will be eligible ..

  27. I am on seasonal hours but have only been able to work very little this year and I am a full time student. How do I know if I qualify? When my job needs me I can’t work sometimes but sometimes I need to work but the business’ hours were cut

    • Thank u Martin for your response I think I should have been more clear on my question. I have been being verbally harassed for the past year from my client. He makes many sexual comments towards me daily and I have told my boss and the only response I have got from my boss is he’s old and u know how he is. And to me it doesn’t matter how old he is. I don’t deserve to be talked to like that . Thanks tracy

      • Sure. You can be eligible to receive benefits if you’re able to provide supporting documents in this regard in case of a dispute.

        Please consider applying to begin with.

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