The unemployment insurance (UI) program is administered by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). There are several locations that provide employment services to residents of Virginia. Although you will need to visit the official website to find the office nearest you, the local offices in Richmond, Mechanicsville, and the Tri-Cities are considered the main customer service locations in the state.
Eligibility & Benefits
The main factor concerning your eligibility will be your reason for separation from employment; you must be unemployed due to no fault of your own. For this reason, you must present your situation and reason for unemployment to a deputy of the VEC. In support of your claim, your last employer will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your separation. Upon receiving his/her response, the deputy will determine your eligibility for UI benefits. As part of your application, you must indicate that you are available to work, willing to work, and actively seeking work at the time of your claim. You must also report all of your wages, including any holiday, severance, or sick pay that may have been rewarded to you by your last employer.
Recently, the work search requirement was established, which states that you must register with reemployment assistance service provider which is supervised by the government of Virginia. In doing this, you will prove that you are making all efforts to find employment while benefiting from the UI program. You must also keep a record of your search for employment, which must include the date of contact and the name, address, and telephone number of the employer who you wished to reach. You must also include the name of the individual with whom you spoke, the reason for your call, and the result of contact.
Your eligibility will be based on whether you meet the monetary requirement, which involves the amount of your earnings from a 12-month period known as your “base period.” This period consists of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters before the date your claim is filed. Your earnings from this period will determine the number of weeks that you are eligible to receive UI benefits. In most cases, you can benefit from the UI program for up to 26 weeks in one benefit year. However, you must wait a mandatory one-week period of unemployment before your payments can begin. In terms of payment, you can choose to receive your benefit payments through direct deposit, or you can request a Virginia Debit Prepaid MasterCard that can be used to access your UI benefits.
How to File a Claim
You can submit an application for UI benefits online or by telephone. You can contact 1-800-897-5630, which is an automated Voice Response System (VRS) that allows you to file your claim; however, you have limited access to this system. In contrast, the online system is available 24 hours per day and seven days per week. All you will need is your Social Security Number (SSN) and the details of your employment history from the last 18 months. In particular, you will need the contact details of all your previous employers from this period. If you require assistance or more information regarding the application process, you can contact the VEC by telephone and obtain the necessary information through the automated system.