WorkForce West Virginia Helping Unemployed File for Benefits

   CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on Thursday, directing WorkForce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 and administer them to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.

   Gov. Justice’s executive order allows WorkForce to:

• Waive the one-week waiting period for eligible West Virginians to receive unemployment benefits

• Waive the able and available work requirement

• Waive the work search requirement

• Unemployment benefits will be available to eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed.

   WorkForce’s plan to process influx of claims:

Since Gov. Justice declared a state of emergency on March 16, WorkForce has processed more than 4,000 new claims for unemployment benefits. To manage and process the influx of claims, WorkForce has implemented the following measures:

• Extend phone hours to 7 p.m.

• Permit staff to work overtime and on weekends

• Train additional staff 

• Train and utilize Department of Commerce staff

• Utilize temporary employees

   Those seeking to file an initial claim for unemployment benefits should do so online at

   “As we face these uncertain times, we want to reassure every person who has recently lost their job that financial assistance is available to them,” said Scott Adkins, acting commissioner for WorkForce West Virginia. “But there’s no time to waste. As soon as employment ends, you should file for benefits because each day you wait is a day you have to wait for that much-needed help.”

Where to file

   The fastest way to file for benefits is online at A step-by-step guide to filing an initial claim may be found by going to Unemployment section of WorkForce’s website and then clicking the Claimants tab. Those who do not have internet access, have a disability requiring assistive technology or need further assistance should call 1-800-252-JOBS.

When to file

   It is important to file a new claim immediately after employment ends. 

How to file

   To file an initial claim, applications need to register as a job seeker at 

   After filing an initial claim, a WorkForce West Virginia staff member will contact the applicant by email or by phone. To learn more about WorkForce West Virginia services and programs, visit