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Updated : July 11th, 2018

State: Virginia (VA)
Phone Number:1-866-832-2363 for new claims. To file a "weekly claim" by telephone, call toll free 1-800-897-5630. Customers with a social security number ending with an odd number are asked to call on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Customers with a social security number ending with an even number are asked to call on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. For general questions, call 804-371-8050. For easy access to Virginia Relay (Telecommunications Relay Service) dial "711," or use the toll free access numbers: 800-828-1120 (TTY), or 800-828-1140 (voice).
Major Towns:Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Arlington, Richmond, Newport News, Alexandria, Hampton, Roanoke, and Portsmouth
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Virginia

Virginia Unemployment Questions

Can I receive unemployment benefits if I am out of work under the Family Medical Leave Act?:
There is no provision in the current unemployment law allowing payment of benefits under the circumstance you describe. The General Assembly must pass a bill that is signed into law by the governor that would allow the payment of benefits under this condition.

How are my benefits computed?:
In order to qualify for benefits, you must have earned enough wages in covered employment during the base period. The amount of wages you earned will determine your Weekly Benefit Amount and the maximum number of weeks (12 to 26) to which you will be entitled. You will be issued a Monetary Determination that contains your base period wage information.

If I am a member of a union, what are my work search requirements?:
If you are a member of a union that has a local hiring hall and solicits work on your behalf, you may be required to seek work only through the union hiring hall. You need to inform the Workforce Services Specialist of your union affiliation and its services when you file your claim.

May I use wages earned in other states to establish a claim?:
Yes. Wages earned in other states can be used to establish a claim in one of two ways: 1. You file a claim against the other state if you have earned enough wages in that state to qualify for benefits. This is called an Interstate Claim; or, 2. You request that the wages earned in other states be transferred to Virginia and “combined” with your Virginia wages to qualify for benefits. Be sure to tell the Workforce Services Specialist if you worked in another state. Only those out-of-state wages that have not been used on a prior claim will transfer to Virginia. Wages earned overseas also may be used if you worked for a U.S. company. The state where the company is headquartered is the state to which the wages are reported.

Can I file my claim over the telephone?:
The VEC is establishing Customer Contact Centers through which claims and inquiries will be taken over the telephone. At present this service is available in several localities and will be available statewide in the future. To determine if your locality is included in this service, contact your VEC Workforce Center.

Why would I be ineligible to receive benefits because of my separation from employment?:
You will be ineligible, or disqualified, to receive benefits based on your separation if the Deputy finds that you quit your job without good cause, or that you were fired from your job for misconduct in connection with your work.

Can I go to school or take training courses and still receive unemployment?:
If you are attending training or going to school you can still receive unemployment benefits. If your training or schooling takes place at evening hours only or only on weekends, than this does not affect your ability to receive a daytime job. As a result this may not be an issue. Contact your Local VEC office to determine if your training or schooling would be a problem.

What if I’m receiving a pension?:
Only pensions that you began to receive in the base period affect your unemployment benefits. If the pension you are receiving began before the base period, than it will not affect your claim. If it was in the base period, then it can potentially block your unemployment benefits. Contact your local office to determine if your pension will affect your benefits.

How much do I need to have earned to qualify?:
To qualify for benefits, an individual must have earned at least a total of $2,700 in two quarters in the base period.

How much in benefits do I get and for how long?:
Your monetary determination will show the Amount and Duration of Benefits you are entitled to based on your base period wages. Your Weekly Benefit Amount is determined by the two quarters with the highest earnings during the base period. Total wages reported during the base period determine your maximum benefit amount. Once your claim is established and reflects all earnings during your base period, the amount you qualify for remains the same for one year and is available to you until your maximum benefit amount or your benefit year is exhausted, whichever comes first. As of 2011 March, weekly benefit amount was $378 and the minimum is $54. Individuals must have earned at least $18,900.01 in two quarters during the base period to qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount. Benefit duration varies from 12 to 26 weeks, also depending on wages earned in the base period.

Questions & Answers

  1. If I owe back pay to Va Unemployment and then file for unemployment, can they take all of my benefits until that back pay is paid off, or just a percentage?

  2. I know if you are employed in the state of Va., you can be fired so I am not looking for monetary damages. However, on my 5th day of work, I was told it was not working because of my lack of experience. There were no notices given or papers just a verbal discussion that it was notworking due to my lack of experience and not to come back. Honestly, I was blindsided as there was no hint of trouble before and there was an email about missing paperwork. I did not embellish my resume so the manager knew what she was hiring when I applied. Is it possible a mistake in hiring was made? I still have the shirts and sweatshirt she ordered for me. She was very laidback about getting them back. Is she off the hook, because another position was offered? I declined this position because it was not what I wanted and I would be considered an independent contractor which I was considered at my old job and I (we) owed the government because of it. What if they do not pay me for the time I worked-there was no computer access given? I was not given a check at the time. Should I check my account because I would have been paid on a Friday. It all sounds suspicious. I am ready to move on and get my old job back. Just wanted to know if the firing was correct and if I was missing something. Just to add, important aspects of the job were left out: parking and walking to the jobsite and the purchase of a radio was omitted, I found about the radio because of the paperwork I had to fill out-the cost of a radio would be deducted from my check in 3 payments of $50.00. I could park across the street but I had to have a permit which I got from one of the managers.

  3. I was drawing unemployment. Then got a job for 2 months and laid off again. I drawer for 15 weeks .They said I can not draw again til Aug. Now out of a job and no umemployenrt. Please help what should I do still trying to seek a job no luck at this time. Worried no income bills piling up. Very upsetting.

    1. Rhonda,

      You will only be able to draw the weeks you’ve been approved for. Please call the Claims Center and speak to a rep to discuss your financial situation.

  4. Wanting to know if i was to get laid off from my job in va. and i wanted to go back to school full time would i receive unempolyment while still in college full time

  5. I work full time and I receive social security. If I become unemployed is my social security amount deleted from my full unemployment benefit?

    1. Betty,

      That is correct. Your SS benefits will have an impact on UI benefits when you apply. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  6. I will be doing leave without pay with my current job to enroll in the military spouse program so they can assist me in my next move to find another job. Can I apply for unemployment for the time being?


    1. Linda,

      Multiple factors such as your earnings during the base period decide how much you get. You may call the Claims Center for clarification.

  8. If an hourly employee trips and falls at work and obtains an injury. Goes to doctor and is told they are on light duty for a month and cannot perform their present duties. What is the employers recourse? Can they fire the employee being a right to fire state? Can the hourly employee be sent home without paying?

    1. We do not have knowledge on specific labor laws in your state in this regard.

      You may contact the Labor Department for further information.

  9. I was fired in November for being late. I have been unable to find a job. Does that count as misconduct that would prevent me from receiving benefits?

    1. Well, its not really a misconduct. I don’t think it will have a hindrance when you apply.

      However, if your employer raises a dispute, be ready with supporting documents.

  10. I was employed with a company for 7 years. It went bankrupt and I drew unemployment for 4 weeks. I became a self employed contractor for a company (3 yrs) and now that has ended. Can I refile under my prior employer for unused eligibility?
    Thank you.

    1. You may not be able to since you must have been employed on salary by an employer who pays UI taxes to the state.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  11. I was denied disability after being terminated in 2013 from my job after having colon cancer. For three years I was told couldn’t draw unemployment because waiting for disability and disability said I could work.I have appealed for three years and was wondering if I could go back and collect my unemployment.

  12. I’m attempting to set up a new account, and when I click the “Submit to VEC” button on the Electronic Payment Information screen, I get a new screen that states “We cannot submit your transaction at this time. Please try again later.”
    Any advice? I’m recently unemployed (as of yesterday) and would like to get the process started asap.


  13. How can I find out if the Virginia based company that I worked for has paid taxes for me in Virginia or the n State in which the job was located in? I do not live in Virginia or in the State where I worked in.

    The Virginia Unemployment Auto Response phone message does cover my question and dose not list a contact number to a live person. The Unemployment website Q&A’s dose not answer my question.

    Thank you for you time and help.

    1. Some states will simply not make payments whilst others may assume that you’re working now. Depends on the existing labor laws.

    1. Please furnish further details or contact the labor dept in your state to get an update on your claim for benefits.

  14. how do i file for my benifits for this past week if i started a job within that week and attended 13 hours of training for which i will be compensated for in another week?

  15. I file unemployment since December 22,2013 and was approved. Till this day 1/14/2014 never got a check is this normal. I live in Virginia.

    1. I need a more recent “Monetary Determination” in order to complete my application for Medicaid. I have been trying all day to contact VEC at 1-800-897-5630 and 1-866-882-2363. All I get is a recorded message “We are sorry your call cannot be completed at this time. Please hang up and try your call again later. Thank You”

      1. Please keep trying the numbers is all we can say.

        You can also consider the option of visiting the nearest office if that is feasible.

  16. I have been working for a company currently holding a federal contract in Virginia that was just snagged by another company. If I refuse to sign up with the new contractor company (it would be a 40% paycut), would I still qualify for unemployment bennies? I have been working for the previous contract holding company for over 3 years.

  17. my last day of employment was July or august of 2005, I was eligible to collect employment I did receive two payments before its interrupted. I have worked since august of 2005, can I reopen my last claim?

  18. My husband is qualified to receive benefits , he has $6400 that he can draw how can we determine his payment amount and it’s been 5 weeks and still no payment, all our bill are due and we have 3 kids, what is the hold up on this, he has been job searching but still no pay

  19. I have worked for the state for 13 years in a P-14 capacity. I was asked to resign (which I am contesting) but was wondering if I am eligible to apply for unemployment. I worked different hours week by week but can easily look on payline to get an estimate of what I made last year

  20. I am being medically discharged from the military. My VA benefits are going to be very small, and they do not kick in for over a year. I live in Alexandria Va. Am I eligible for Unemployments?

    1. Hi Bradford,

      If your disability is nontaxable compensation for injuries sustained while on active duty, you might be entitled to receive both. You are entitled to them if you fit the rules laid out to collect unemployment in Virginia.

  21. If I am terminated from a job, am I eligible to pick up unemployment? What are the conditions? Thank you, Karen Jennings

    1. Depending on hours and quarters worked usually within the previous 12-month period. The day after your last day of unemployment, you should file online or in person. Severance pay may affect the start time that you actually start receiving unemployment benefits usually in ratio to your approved weekly benefit rate. Depending on the severance pay amount you got. But file right away, it’s the only way to find out what you are entitled to

  22. when i filed for uneploment i pit down direct deposit and i got 208.80 in checking account 2day.if they pay u does that mean u are approved for it or not?

  23. If I’m laid off and receive a severance payment equal to 6 weeks of my pay, how does that affect my unemployment benefits? Do I have to wait 6 weeks before filing for unemployment?

    1. The day after your last day of unemployment, you should file online or in person. Severance pay may affect the start time that you actually start receiving unemployment benefits usually in ratio to your approved weekly benefit rate. Depending on the severance pay amount you got. But file right away, it’s the only way to find out what you are entitled to

  24. 1) what is the maximum number of weeks beyond the 26 weeks for unemployment insurance in Virginia?

    2)If I can get part time work will those wages be subtracted from my weekly benefit?

    1. The day after your last day of unemployment, you should file online or in person. Severance pay may affect the start time that you actually start receiving unemployment benefits usually in ratio to your approved weekly benefit rate. Depending on the severance pay amount you got. But file right away, it’s the only way to find out what you are entitled to.

    1. I was self employed for 34 years. My company closed in April of 2012. I have been living on savings which will be gone in a month. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

  25. My son lives in Roanoke, he will be moving to Pa, which state does he file claim. He lived and worked in roanoke for over 20 yrs

    1. In tough economic times, those with degrees tend to retain more secure employment. They are also likely to find work faster in case of job loss when compared to those without education. The cost of education is one of the primary reasons that people miss out on opportunity. Luckily there are various grants obtainable to help low-income and unemployed people pursue their educations and get ahead in their careers.

  26. I was recently layed off from my sales job from a company based out of Massachusetts but the entire time I worked for them I was living in Virginia. Based on that which state would I file unjemployment in?

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