In Virginia, unemployment benefits are paid weekly through the Virginia Employment Commission. To receive benefits, you must file weekly claims with the department.
You may qualify for unemployment in Virginia if you are not to blame for losing your job, or are partially employed. Apply through the VEC website or by calling the agency's toll-free number or filling out an application at your regional VEC office. Your benefits will not start until you have filed an application, met the eligibility requirements, and filed your first weekly claim.
When you apply for benefits, you must provide the names and addresses of all employers you worked for during the last 18 months plus dates of employment and reasons for separation.
You will not receive any payment for the week in which you were approved for benefits. This period is called a waiting period, which does not apply prior to you filing your claim; it only applies after you have met the eligibility requirements. The waiting period does not lower the total amount of benefits for which you are approved.
First and Subsequent Weekly Benefits
File weekly claims with the VEC to receive your first payment plus benefits for the following weeks. To get the first amount, file your claim within 28 days after your application date. To receive subsequent payments, file your claims within 28 days from the Friday following your last weekly claim request.
Benefits last between 12 to 26 weeks. As of this publication, the most you can get weekly is $378, and the minimum is $60.
Generally, you will not receive benefits if you fail to file weekly claims on time, even if you meet the eligibility requirements. An exception may apply if you can show good cause, such as your filing delay was caused by the VEC or a situation beyond your control.
To qualify for benefits, you must meet the VEC's monetary and separation requirements.
As of publication, you must have earned at least $2,700 in two quarters during your base period, which includes the first four of the last five quarters prior to when your claim took effect. To meet the separation criteria, you must prove that you are not to blame for your unemployment. You won't qualify for benefits if you were fired for misconduct. If you have a good reason for quitting your job, such as your safety or health was at risk, you may be eligible.
You might qualify for partial benefits, if your earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount, and due to insufficient work and your full-time hours were reduced.
To keep receiving benefits, you must be able to work, actively looking for work and available to work. Generally, you are required to initiate at least two job searches per week, and accept offers for acceptable work. If you refuse a job offer, you must report it to the VEC when you file your weekly claim.