PARKERSBURG - Long-term federal unemployment benefits for more than 7,000 West Virginians will be cut off today.
Without an extension, federal funding for the benefits will run out Saturday.
An official with Workforce West Virginia estimated that would include 455 people in Wood and surrounding counties served by the Workforce West Virginia Region Four office in the Lakeview Center in Parkersburg.
The benefits are available for people unemployed for at least 26 weeks.
Workforce officials said the benefits apply to a small percentage of the unemployed served by the agency.
"Individuals receiving state compensation for 26 weeks are not affected by the change in federal compensation," said Beth Carenbauer, acting director for Unemployment Compensation. "I want to make it clear it is not an across-the-board situation."
Workforce West Virginia said it is contacting those whose federal emergency benefits will run out by the end of this week.
Joyce Okes, program director for Workforce Investment Board, said while the benefits will end, the unemployed will still receive services from Workforce West Virginia.
"Services to assist in finding employment will not end," she said. "We will still help with resume and interview help and our staff will help with job searches online."
Okes said funding is still available for retraining.
"Funding is available for retraining if someone can't find a job with their current skills," she said. "We will evaluate their skills and that will help us find out what will be the best retraining for them."
Jeff Noland, manager of Workforce West Virginia in Parkersburg, said those receiving benefits are also enrolled in the Job Service program to help them find work.
"Once they lose the benefits they will still have the Job Service where they can look for a job; we will continue to offer job service," he said.
"If they need help with other issues, they will have to contact the Department of Health and Human Services," he said.