How To File For Virgin Islands Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Virgin Islands. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Virgin Islands Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Virgin Islands unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Virgin Islands unemployment eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible for Unemployment Benefits, you must meet certain eligibility conditions. You must be totally or partially unemployed. You are considered totally unemployed any week in which you did not perform work and no wages were paid to you. You must report all of your work and earnings including any self employment income. You must report to the local office in person to file a claim for Unemployment Benefits. You are required to register for work at the Job Service office. You must participate in reemployment services offered through the Job Service office when you are selected.

Failure to report/participate in any reemployment services, in which you are required to participate, may result in the denial of benefits, unless you have justifiable cause that you have completed such services or are attending similar services. You must file a claim and meet these basic requirements:

  • You must be able to perform full-time work which means that you must be physically and mentally able to work each day of the week. Benefits cannot be paid for any week during which you are unable to work. While claiming benefits, you must indicate on your claim form whether there were any days which you were not able to work due to illness, injury, or for any other reason
  • You must be available for full time work. It means you must be ready and willing to accept suitable work while you are claiming unemployment benefits. In general, work is suitable if it is within your training, capabilities and experience. You must not place undue restrictions on accepting offered work, such as limiting times and places for a job. Transportation and child care problems are not acceptable excuses for not being available for certain jobs that are otherwise suitable
  • You are required to actively seek full-time work on your own and keep a list of employers you contact for jobs. You must not limit your search to part-time work. If you are only partially employed, you must make a continuing effort to find full time work. If work is not available in your regular occupation, you are expected to look for work in other areas for which you are qualified. The Job Service will make every effort to assist you in finding suitable work
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. If your separation from your last employer was for anything other than lack of work they will have to conduct a fact-finding interview by secure information from you, your employer, and any other relevant parties before they can determine your eligibility. No payment can be made until they have issued a decision. If you are determined to be responsible for being unemployed a disqualification may be imposed

Unemployment benefits

Within one week after you filed your initial claim you will receive a Monetary Determination regarding eligibility. Only wages earned in "covered employment" can be used to establish benefits. The Determination will contain the following information:

  • The Weekly Benefit Amount
  • The Total Potential Benefits
  • The Benefit Year beginning date of your claim
  • The Benefit Year ending date of your claim
  • A list of Base Period employers for whom you worked
  • The quarterly wages from each employer
  • Total Compensable Weeks. Review your Monetary Determination carefully. Check your mailing address and Social Security number. Be sure all employers you worked for during the base period are listed and all wages are listed in every quarter that you worked. If you do not have sufficient wages for a valid claim your Eligibility Report will show “Base Period wages less than minimum”. This means you can not receive benefits at this time and may file a new claim next quarter.

If you should disagree with any information on your Eligibility Report or if wages are missing you should notify the local office and request a re-determination within ten days from the date of delivery. In order for a re-determination to be processed you will be required to provide evidence of earned wages, such as pay stubs or W-2 tax forms.

Your wages from employment in other states may be combined to increase your Weekly Benefit Amount. If you qualify for benefits, you will be assigned a benefit year, that is the one-year period beginning with the Sunday of the week in which you filed your initial claim for benefits. Being monetarily eligible does not automatically entitle you to receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Separate decisions are made to determine your entitlement.

Apply for Virgin Islands unemployment

To apply for these benefits you must do the following:

  • Apply at one of local offices listed below in person to file a claim
  • Register with their Workforce Development agency
  • Actively seek full time employment while receiving benefits
  • To access online portal for weekly claims click here
St. Croix
4401 Sion Farm Suite 1
340-773-1994 M-F: 8am to 5pm
St. Thomas/St. John
2353 Kronprindsens Gade
340-773-1994 M-F: 8am to 5pm
Accurately Report the Reason You Are Unemployed

Accurately report your reason for separation from your job when you initially file your claim for benefits. It is important that you provide the UI office with the precise reason for your separation so that we can best assist you and help you to avoid fraud.

Report Any Wages You Are Earning

You must report your gross wages (before your taxes are taken out) for each week you work and certify for benefits, even if you don't get paid until later. Be sure to accurately report on all earnings during your weekly claim certification, even those from part-time or temporary work. If you collect more UI benefits than you are eligible for because you fail to report earnings, you may be committing fraud and may be prosecuted.

Register with the Virgin Islands Employment Service

Unless exempt by law, you must register with the Virgin Islands Employment Service to be eligible to collect UI benefits. If you are not required to register, you still may seek help in finding a job from the Virgin Islands Employment Service. The Virgin Islands Employment Service provides valuable resources that are available for your use, including job referrals, resume building and reemployment services.

Be Available for Work

In order to collect benefits, you must continually verify that you are able, available and willing to accept suitable work. Possible conflicts like attending school during work hours or limitations with child care or transportation could limit your work availability and be an eligibility issue. Report such issues on your claim forms.

Actively Search for Work

You must search for work each week that you file a claim for benefits. If you do not search for work during a week in which you file a claim, benefits may be denied until you show that you have started looking for work.

Develop an Effective Work Search Plan

Many UI claimants do not have an effective plan for searching for work. The Virgin Islands Employment Service is a great place to learn about different kinds of jobs, their availability, and how to get training. Contact the Virgin Islands Employment Service for more information and assistance with planning an effective work search.