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Interstate Claimants

Frequently Asked Questions for Filing from Out of State

I live in another state but I have worked in WV within the last 18 months. How do I file a claim for unemployment benefits in WV?

There are two ways you can file. You may call the toll free number, 1-800-379-1032, select Option 6, then select Option 1 for a new claim. If you are filing an additional claim select Option 2, or if you are re-opening a claim select Option 3. The toll free number is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

You may also file through the Internet by accessing our website at

What do I need to file my Interstate claim by telephone or internet?

You will need your social security number. You will also need to know the names, dates, and addresses of all your employers for the past 18 months. Be prepared to provide a four (4) digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).

How do I file for my weekly benefits?

You may file by telephone using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system or by the Internet at These are the fastest and most efficient ways to file. You may also file by mailing your claim form to the Interstate Claims office but this may slow the receipt of your weekly benefits.

Is there a waiting period?

Yes, there is a one-week unpaid waiting period during a claim year. You cannot serve the waiting period before you apply for a claim.

What wages are used to determine the weekly UC benefit amount?

Your weekly benefit amount is based on the total covered wages you were paid during your base period. You must have been paid wages of at least $2,200 in covered employment during your base period and paid wages in at least two quarters of your base period to be monetarily eligible to receive UC benefits.

What is a base period?

A base period is the time frame we look at to determine whether you have been paid sufficient wages to be eligible for unemployment compensation. It is a 12-month period determined by the beginning date of the new claim. The 12-month period consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the starting date of the new claim. If you do not qualify for benefits based on this time frame, an alternate base period may be established to help you qualify. This period is the four most recently completed quarters.

How long will it take to receive the first payment?

We estimate that it will take approximately three weeks from the date you file your initial claim to receive a payment.

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, we will gather the needed facts relating to your reason for quitting. We also request information from your employer. Based on information obtained from both parties, we will issue a written decision to you and your affected employer. This decision will tell you whether you are eligible for UC benefits. Both you and your employer will have the right to appeal this decision if you disagree with it.

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, we will gather the needed facts relating to your discharge. We will also request information from your employer. Based upon the information obtained from both parties, we will issue a written decision. 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 are the other requirements to be able to receive benefits?

You must be able, available for, and actively seeking full time work. You must register with the nearest Job Service Office before filing for your sixth week of benefits unless you are a member, in good standing, of a union hiring hall.

If I work can I still receive benefits?

You may work part time and still draw unemployment benefits as long as your earnings do not exceed your weekly benefit amount plus $60.00. Any earnings over $60.00 in any week will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount dollar for dollar. All earnings in any week for which you file for benefits much be reported regardless of the amount.

Are retirement benefits, severance pay, or wages in lieu of notice considered to be deductible income?

Retirement benefits are deductible if they are received from a fund contributed to by a base period and/or chargeable employer. Severance pay is not deductible. Wages in lieu of notice are deductible.

What is the difference between filing for regular UC benefits and low earnings?

Regular – You are totally unemployed which means you are completely separated from employment, earning no wages, and performing no services. You may do some part time work and still be eligible for either full or reduced UC benefits (depending on your earnings). You must report any work and earnings , including odd job.

Low Earnings – You are eligible for low earnings when you are still attached to (employed by) your employer. You must be a full time employee but your work hours were reduced due to circumstances beyond your control, i.e. lack of work. Your employer may issue you a low earnings report when your hours are reduced. You are not required to look for work because you are still employed by the employer who issued you the low earnings.

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Initial Unemployment Compensation Claim Form Download PDF.

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