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Those in NCWV feel the affects of waiting for PUA

Unemployment claims just aren’t enough for those in the area.
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 8:40 AM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Through the pandemic, it has brought many challenges. One of those being unemployment, and for many families like the Meyers', it’s affecting their daily lives.

“Do I want to leave West Virginia? No, but I have to go where the money is in order to take care of my kids,” Monongalia County resident, Leah Meyers said.

She has been unemployed since early April after being let go from Longview Power as a control worker.

“I didn’t want to keep being laid off because I’m used to working all the time,” she said.

Which is why she accepted a job in the Virginia Beach area and will be heading to the neighboring state on Friday.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate is under 10 percent, but many are out of work and are receiving minimum funding from Workforce WV. That can change for some when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that the governor extended until the end of the year back in August is added. However, that funding still hasn’t been seen in bank accounts yet.

For Leah, with no work and a little over $200 per week from unemployment, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills and take care of her two children.

That’s when she decided it was time to back her bags and head toward better opportunities.

“We’re kind of just taking everything we’ve known from here and just leaving because we have to," she said. "I can’t go without a job, I’ve tried putting in applications and even with degrees, you don’t hear anything back, it’s like, what am I going to do next?”

“I appreciate unemployment but it’s not enough to steadily provide for my family,” she said.

Although Meyers is moving away from home and all that she knows, she says she hopes this new beginning helps her get back on her feet.

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