How to Calculate Virginia Unemployment Benefits

Updated : June 10th, 2019

Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit amount for claimants from Virginia are determined by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) after reviewing your eligibility and past earnings in your base period. The base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters. Calendar quarters are three-month periods, starting with January of each year. When you become eligible for unemployment compensation, your weekly benefit amount will be conveyed to you, but you can estimate that amount in advance, if you prefer.

VEC calculates your compensation amount by taking your past salary and factoring it in the State’s maximum benefits guidelines. If you are eligible, then you will be sent with a determination letter of unemployment benefit amount.

How to calculate Virginia’s Unemployment Benefits Amount

We have developed a tool to calculate approximate benefits amount. Check Virginia Unemployment Calculator to estimate your compensation

After evaluating your wages during the base period (the first four months of the past five calendar quarters) , Employment Commission takes into the fact the amount of money you have earned during the past 12 months as an employee. Average weekly wage earned during the two highest earning of the calendar quarters of your base period is very essential to calculate and consider your weekly benefit. Almost half of this is awarded as the weekly benefit amount by considering the earnings of $2,700 in 2 highest 2 quarters of Base Period [In short $2,700 in 2 HQs- To qualify for benefits, an individual must have earned at least a total of $2,700 in two quarters in the base period].

Your weekly benefit amount is calculated by using the formula 1/50 of 2 High Quarters or your minimum wage should be less than that of $18,900 in 2 Quarters.

Virginia UI Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount

Source of Virginia’s Unemployment benefit amount is the taxes levied on each employee’s payroll. In order to avoid  claimants collecting huge amount on unemployment benefit, Virginia sets guideline on how much anyone is supposed to collect as benefits at the time of unemployment.

Though he/she has earned good amount in their base period on previous salary, you cannot afford to collect more than the determined maximum weekly amount. Maximum weekly benefit amount is $378 per week. Note: every year the maximum set amount changes depending on the average number of the employees in Virginia.

Virginia UI’s Minimum Weekly Benefit Amount

The minimum weekly benefit is determined as $54. An individual should have earned at least $18,900.01 in two quarters during the base period to qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount.

Duration of the benefit amount varies from 12 to 26 weeks, it also depends on wages earned in the base period.

Duration of the Unemployment Benefit

Duration of the unemployment benefit you will be collecting through Virginia Unemployment Compensation is calculated based on the number of credit weeks you have increased during the base period.

A credit week is considered for the week where the base period earning would be more than 50 dollars. If the credit week is less than 17 weeks then you will be receiving 13 weeks of benefits. If it is more than 17 credit weeks, then you will be receiving 26 weeks of payments.

Maximum Number of Payments

There is only a limited number of unemployment benefit payments you can collect from the Virginia. From the beginning of the benefit year, [beginning of benefit year is the date you initially file for the unemployment benefit] out of the 52 week that follows, you are eligible to collect a total of 26 weeks of compensation regardless of how many times you have gone on and off unemployment during that benefit year.

After you exhaust your initial  unemployment benefits you can apply and collect the Emergency Unemployment compensation with continuation of extended unemployment benefits funded either by State or Federal Unemployment extension programs of Virginia.

This guide explains how to apply for unemployment in VA . Follow step by step instructions that will help you file for benefits through PA unemployment office.

Determine your eligibility to file for unemployment benefits in VA

There are some basic rules for eligibility. Even if you meet some of these rules partially, you should still apply for unemployment because state unemployment offices make a reasonable attempt to process your claim, as long as you provide a good justification.

  1. You must have lost your job through no fault of your own.
  2. You must be willing and able to work. If you are physically disabled, you do not qualify.
  3. If you have received severance package when you lost job, you do not qualify.
  4. You must have earned minimum wage credits set by the Virginia Unemployment Agency
  5. You must have earned an average weekly wage of at least $50.00. This amount may change every year. You can get get complete eligibility criteria from state website mentioned in the next section.

Prepare documents required to apply for unemployment in

  • Your name, address, social security number and other personal details such as telephone number, email address etc.
  • Dependents name, date of birth and their social security number.
  • Details of your previous employer. For each employer, you need to provide
    1. Name and address
    2. Telephone number
    3. Start and end dates of employment
  • If you had out-of-state employment in the past 18 months, you also need to provide the employment details.
  • Reason you lost the job – it has to be involuntary to be eligible to receive benefits.

You can submit your application for unemployment compensation online, off-line (by mail or by visiting local employment office) or through telephone. Online application is the quickest and most efficient option which would available 24 x 7.


    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) has been around for more than 10 years and we’re one of the leading forums for unemployment insurance and unemployment in general. Our daily visitor and patron base is of considerable size and we truly believe in being a center for jobless workers to access resources and share their queries.

  1. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  2. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  3. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  4. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  5. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  6. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  7. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  8. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  9. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  10. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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