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A Detailed Look At Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation In Virginia

Updated : October 27th, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the United States by storm. Virginia is one of the states worst hit by both the pandemic and pandemic-induced economic shutdown. According to the reports, more than 600,000 Virginians have lost their jobs since March 2020. As tough it is to lose a job, people struggle to collect unemployment benefits, especially under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. 

To help people with the process, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has recently launched an online portal. In this article we’ll guide you on the online portal, but before that, let us quickly look at the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. 

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia is a federal program announced under the CARES Act in March 2020. It offers an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The weekly PEUC benefit amount will be the same as that received under the traditional/regular unemployment benefits program.

Benefits under the PEUC program is given only to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Some of the requirements include:

  • The individual must have exhausted all benefits received under the regular unemployment program under the state or federal law that ended after or on July 2019
  • The individual must be capable of taking a job, available to work, and should actively look for work 
  • The individual should certify that he or she is not collecting unemployment benefits with respect under any other Unemployment Compensation law of Canada

Facts About PEUC Program-

  • The first payable week under PEUC program is the week that starts on March 29, 2020, and ends on April 4, 2020
  • The PEUC benefits are taxable
  • The last payable week of PEUC benefits is the week that ends on December 26, 2020

Online Portal For PEUC Program

The Virginia Employment Compensation has witnessed a surge in the number of unemployment claims. Since March, the total claims filed is more than that the Department received throughout 2 years of the Great Recession. The considerable amount of claims has burdened the authorities at VEC, making it challenging for them to process claims in addition to slowing down the VEC website. 

To address these issues, the Employment Commission has taken several steps, such as adding more workforce, updating phone lines, and launching an online portal. 

The link to the online portal is available on the Virginia Employment Commission website. You can apply for PEUC through the newly launched online portal or by calling 1-866-832-2363. Note that due to heavy call volumes, you may experience a longer waiting period. Therefore, we would suggest you apply online.

Why The Claim Gets Denied? 

According to Fogg, the communication manager at VEC, several aspects can lead to denial of unemployment claims. Some of the reasons include not filing their weekly certification, submission of incorrect or partially filled application, not available or being able for work, failing drug tests, or not taking up an offer for suitable employment.

He added, “There may be some valid reasons people refuse work like the applicant has some health issues or is giving child care. In such a scenario, the applicants must appeal, but this process may take some time.” Your benefits will be stopped until your unemployment appeal is heard, and a decision is made,” stated Fogg. 

Further, he said, “If your employer wants you to return to work, go back.” This is because a link is added to the VEC website, which will help employers to report if their employees fail to return to work.

“If you were asked to return to work but refused to go back, your benefits would be stopped until authorities have reviewed your case to determine if there was any good cause,” said Fogg. 

Applying For Regular Unemployment Benefits In Virginia

As said earlier, you have to exhaust your regular unemployment benefits to qualify for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia. If you are unemployed but haven’t applied for the traditional benefits, apply for now one. 

To apply for regular unemployment benefits, visit the Virginia Employment Compensation website, and choose the relevant option. While applying, you will be required to enter several details like:

  • Your name
  • Address 
  • Contact information
  • Name of your recent employer
  • Dates of employment 
  • Reason for leaving the job
  • Work search reports

You can also apply by calling the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. The Customer Contact Center will be open Monday – Friday, 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM, and will be closed on state holidays. 

While filing a claim, you will be asked to choose the mode of payment. You can choose either a debit card or direct deposit. For direct deposit, you have to provide routing numbers and bank account details.  

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in Virginia, you must meet several requirements. They include:

  • You have lost through no fault of your own
  • You are able, available, or actively looking for work
  • You must have minimum wages before being unemployed

Monetary Requirements

Like every other state, your work history and wages will be considered while processing your application. The unemployment payment and the period (i.e., 12 to 26 weeks) will be decided based on your gross wages. 

When you apply for unemployment, you will receive a Monetary Determination. It includes your base period earnings, the maximum number of weeks you can collect benefits, and weekly benefit amount. 

Make sure to review the Monetary Determination thoroughly. If the base period wages shown are incorrect, contact VEC Customer Contact Center and provide correct information. You may be asked to Email or fax proof of proper wages to the Customer Contact Center. 

Note that the Monetary entitlement will last for 1 year following your UI claim or benefits exhaustion date. 

Closing Thoughts

VEC is taking all possible measures to fasten the application process and pay your benefits. If you have applied for PEUC but haven’t received it yet, you can reach out to the Customer Contact Center. Meanwhile, look for suitable opportunities at http://jobs.virginia.gov/. You can also check if you qualify for the extra benefits in the state and get benefited. 

 

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  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much
    Lorraine

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    Inbox
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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