West Virginia Unemployment Extension
A variety of West Virginia unemployment benefit extensions are available when the WV unemployment rate climbs too high or when there is a disaster in the area.
Please note: Currently in West Virginia, extended benefits are not available.
Extended Benefits (EB)
Extended Benefits (EB) is a special program designed to support workers who have run out of regular unemployment insurance benefits during times of high unemployment.
The Extended Benefits program offers up to 13 more weeks of benefits when the West Virginia unemployment rate is high.
Eligibility for the Extended Benefits program kicks in after an individual has exhausted all other forms of unemployment insurance benefits. However, this does not include Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
When the EB program is active, qualifying for regular benefits does not automatically mean you will be eligible for Extended Benefits. Workforce West Virginia will evaluate your situation and inform you of your eligibility for Extended Benefits.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are a specific type of unemployment insurance for people who lost their jobs or self-employment, or can’t work due to a major disaster. These benefits apply if you can’t get regular unemployment insurance.
To activate Disaster Unemployment Assistance, the president of the United States must declare an emergency in West Virginia.
Your job loss must be a direct result of the disaster. This includes situations where:
- Your place of work was damaged or destroyed.
- You can’t access your work because the government closed the area in response to the disaster.
- You lost a majority of income because your business in the disaster area was damaged, destroyed, or closed by the government.
You may qualify for DUA benefits if the following happened because of the disaster:
- You lost your job, which was over 50% of your income.
- You live, work, or travel in the disaster area.
- Your workplace was damaged or closed.
- You were about to start work, but the job no longer exists or can’t be reached.
- You were injured or incapacitated.
- You became the main income provider due to the death of the head of the household.
DUA benefits exist to help when a major disaster disrupts your employment, providing support during financial uncertainty.
Short-Time Compensation for Individuals
Starting in January 2023, the Short-Time Compensation (STC) Program became an alternative to layoffs for employers dealing with a decrease in work availability. The dual-purpose STC Program helps keep employees’ jobs intact and maintains an employer’s trained workforce.
By preventing layoffs, STC softens the negative impact of a business slowdown on workers. Moreover, it ensures that affected workers can return to their previous employment levels when business demand rises again.
The STC Program offers a prorated amount of the unemployment payment that individuals would have received if they were completely unemployed. The application process for the STC Program must be started by the employer.
CARES Act Benefits (expired)
The COVID-19 pandemic that struck in early 2020 presented numerous challenges for everyone, including the loss of jobs for many West Virginians.
To combat the economic fallout, the U.S. Government introduced several unemployment assistance programs under the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan. These programs ended in 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA was a lifeline for many in West Virginia who did not typically qualify for regular unemployment benefits. This included self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others who found themselves without work due to the pandemic.
PUA benefits were distributed through WorkForce West Virginia. This program ensured that many of the state’s workers, who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks, received some financial support during the crisis.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC was another significant program introduced under the CARES Act. This program extended regular unemployment compensation to West Virginian workers. In West Virginia, PEUC offered additional weeks of unemployment benefits, providing economic security to many in a time of high unemployment.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation supplemented regular benefits with an extra weekly benefit amount. Recipients of unemployment received an extra $600 per week during the pandemic. It was later lowered to $300 per week until the program expired in 2021.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
MEUC was designed to assist those with a mix of income from both employment and self-employment, who often received smaller unemployment benefits due to their lower-wage employment. Through MEUC, these ‘mixed earners’ in West Virginia received an additional $100 on top of their regular unemployment benefits.
All extended benefits programs under the CARES Act expired in 2021.