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Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP)


In 2007, the State Legislature authorized the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) to help unemployed individuals who are likely to run out of unemployment benefits before they find work so they can create new businesses and job opportunities. SEAP allows people to collect benefits while they train to start and operate their own business.  Due to COVID, the ESD sent letters to many unemployed individuals about the SEAP program, and the information included here will be important as you decide if this is a good program for you.


To be eligible for SEAP, a person must:

  1. Be eligible to collect regular unemployment benefits.

  2. Be identified as “likely to exhaust” under the ESD worker-profiling system or be eligible for CAT. 

  3. Be enrolled in a self-employment assistance program that is approved by the department. (You are looking at an  approved program right now.

  4. Make satisfactory progress in the approved program.


Like CAT and Training Benefits, SEAP does not pay for books, tuition or school-related fees. It simply pays the regular unemployment-benefit amount each week while the participants are satisfactorily progressing in their approved program. However, enrollment in a self-employment assistance program does not entitle the participant to any benefit payments he or she would otherwise to be entitled to, had he or she not enrolled in the program.

As a SEAP-approved partner for Employment Security Department, WVC’s Center for Entrepreneurship ensures access to a fee-based program that includes:


  1. Entrepreneurial training – structured curriculum related to starting a business

  2. Business counseling – scheduled one-on-one business counseling sessions

  3. Technical assistance – necessary technical assistance related to starting a business (e.g. assistance with market research, developing a business plan, access capital, etc.)

  4. Other activities – required program activities related to setting up a business and becoming self-employed


To be approved for SEAP, you must:

  1. Determine your Eligibility and info about the SEAP Program

  2. Download the application and instructions to submit

  3. Send the completed application to for a signature

  4. Submit the application to Employment Security Department directly

  5. Notify WVC's Center for Entrepreneurship if you are approved

  6. Read and complete the information and steps in the three sections below:  Your Responsibilities, Required Components, and The Application Process.

Click above to review your responsibilities once you're officially approved for the SEAP Program. There are four classes you must complete, business counselors to meet with consistently, and reports to complete on a regular basis. 

The SEAP Program requires completion of four - five courses and business counseling throughout your completion period. Click above to learn more about the specific options.

Click above If you are interested in the SEAP program and would like to apply, please read more about the process here and be prepared to follow each step.

Once you have been approved for the SEAP program, you will need to get started with the required components of the program.  Click here to find your checklist to ensure you start on track and stay on track.

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