Ronald E. Radcliff, the WORKFORCE West Virginia Executive Director, announced today that on July 1, 2007, West Virginia's maximum unemployment compensation weekly benefit amount will increase from $391 to $408.

The benefit rate is determined by the amount of wages paid in a claimant's base period. Other eligibility requirements and possible causes for disqualification may also affect a claimant's benefit entitlement.

By law, the maximum weekly benefit rate in West Virginia is 66 2/3 percent of the average weekly wage paid in covered employment in the state during the preceding calendar year.

"Covered employment" refers to work covered by the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Law.

To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit rate, an unemployed worker must have earned wages of $38,500.00 in covered employment during two or more quarters of the worker's 12-month base period.

All unemployment compensation claimants are potentially entitled to 26 times their weekly benefit amount during each benefit year.

Therefore, the maximum total benefit amount available is $10,608. The minimum weekly benefit rate will remain at $24.

  The maximum rate is subject to change each July and this year will apply to unemployment compensation claims effective on or after Sunday, July 1, 2007.

  Unemployed individuals should call the nearest unemployment compensation office if they have any questions regarding the maximum weekly benefit increase.