CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginians receiving unemployment benefits are unlikely to experience a gap in payments as WorkForce West Virginia officials work with the U.S. Department of Labor to implement provisions of the American Rescue Plan, which extends several federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs another 29 weeks.
“Gov. Justice has tasked us with making sure West Virginians don’t miss a payment now that the federal unemployment benefit programs are extended through the first week of September,” said Scott Adkins, acting commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia. “We’re grateful Congress was able to extend current programs before they expire, which will save thousands of West Virginians from financial hardship and experiencing a gap in payments like we saw earlier this year due to a delay in federal action.”
The American Rescue Plan as signed into law on March 11 by President Joe Biden includes:
- Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for independent contractors, the self-employed and gig workers through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.
- Extension of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an extra $300 in benefits each week, through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.
- Extension of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.
- A $10,200 federal tax exclusion for unemployment compensation income for tax year 2020 for households with incomes under $150,000.
Individuals currently receiving unemployment need to file weekly certifications to continue receiving benefits extended by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
To ensure a seamless transition and make sure there are no gaps in benefits payments, WorkForce asked the U.S. Department of Labor and Employment for approval to deploy the extended programs before receiving official guidance from the Department of Labor.
To learn more about federal pandemic and regular state unemployment benefits or to file a claim, call 1-800-252-JOBS or visit workforcewv.org.