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Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$378
Max. Weeks of Benefits
26
Current Jobless Rate
2.9%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$378
Max Weeks of benefits
26
Current Jobless rate
2.9%

Updated : October 9th, 2019

Virginia Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Insurance (UI) in the state of Virginia is handled by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Monetary support is provided by VEC until you find another job. You can submit your Unemployment benefits application at the Virginia Workforce Connection website to be eligible for unemployment insurance.

The Virginia Workforce Connection provides an array of services to job seekers. The services include financial services, education services, career explorer, and labor market facts and so on.

Find out all the details such as eligibility criteria, documents required to file for benefits, benefits extensions and so on. Which you will need to file a claim without any difficulties in the State of Virginia.

Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Virginia

For an applicant to gain unemployment benefits in Virginia. The applicant must meet certain eligibility requirements such as monetary eligibility, job separation, and maintaining certain job search requirements to be eligible for UI in the state of Virginia. Applicants must maintain their eligibility in all aspects to remain eligible throughout the benefit period.

Monetary Eligibility

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Virginia, an applicant must have been paid wages for at least two-quarters of his base period totaling $ 3000. An applicant’s monetary eligibility is determined by the wages the applicant earned in covered employment during the applicant’s base period or alternative base period.

Applicants weekly benefit amount is determined by the two quarters is determined by two quarters with the highest-earning during the base period. The maximum weekly benefit amount for UI in Virginia is $378, and the minimum amount is $60. Applicants must have earned at least $18,900.01 in two quarters during the base period to qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount.

Benefit Year- This is a period of 52 consecutive weeks, which begins on the first day of the week in which an applicant files for a claim. A benefit year shall be 53 weeks if filing a new claim results in overlapping any quarter of the base period, with a previously filed new claims.

Base Period- The first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Immediately preceding the first day of the individual’s benefit year.

Alternative Base Period- Are the four most recently completed calendar quarters directly preceding the first day of the claimant’s benefit year.

Claim- The notice of unemployment to request a determination of eligibility and the amount of benefit entitlement an applicant can receive.

Claim Week- This is a period of seven consecutive days, which begins and ends at Saturday midnight. It is a unit of measurement to determine employment, unemployment, and insured employment.

Claim Series- The series of claims filed for continuous weeks of the total, part total, or partial unemployment.

Maximum Benefit Amount – The amount of benefits an applicant may receive during the benefit year. The amount is calculated by multiplying the applicants weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of benefit which the applicant may qualify for.

Depending on the amount of wages you earned during your base period will determine your weekly benefit amount. The benefit duration varies from 12 to 26 weeks depending on your wages earned in your base period. The maximum weeks of benefits are 26 weeks in the State of Virginia.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

The reason for your separation from your previous employer is important to understand whether you are eligible for UI in Virginia. The law in Virginia states that you must have become unemployed through no fault of yours.

If you want to receive unemployment benefits you should have left your job with a good cause or your last employer must have fired you with a good cause, to be considered that you left your job for no fault of your own.

Your ex-employer will be sent a questionnaire that requests information regarding your separation. You will be disqualified for unemployment benefits if the deputy determines that you quit your job without a good cause, or you were fired from your job for misconduct in your work.

The VEC classifies the reasons for job-separation as follows:

Laid Off- If you lost your job or were laid off due to a reduction in workforce, or got downsized for economic requirements you will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Firing- If you were fired because you lied about your criminal record, failed a drug test, or being repeatedly late or absent you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were fired because you lacked the skill to perform the job, or you were simply not a good fit. You will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Quitting your Job- If you quit your job due to dangerous working conditions or discrimination that you faced at work, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits. You won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job voluntarily.

Eligibility Calculator

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

Maintaining eligibility for unemployment benefits is critical once you are eligible for benefits. Applicants must maintain their eligibility and follow certain guidelines to make sure you receive UI without any obstacles.

To receive UI without any obstacles make sure to fulfill the following conditions.

  • You must be able to work and be available for work at all times. Applicants are required to make an active search for work
  • You must contact several employers each week in an effort to find a job
  • You should maintain an accurate record of your work search progress for a period of one year, for auditing purposes
  • You must accept suitable work if offered and apply for suitable work if referred by the VEC
  • Suitable work takes into account several factors such as previous work experience, physical and mental illness, safety or morals, and distance from your home
  • If you want to attend school or training you must request approval in advance to the VEC
  • If you are called by the VEC, you must report as directed
  • Always respond to all VEC letters including those advising you of potential job openings
  • Your job search efforts must include at least two job contacts per week

Find out on job search requirements

How to Apply For UI Benefits in Virginia

Carry the following documents to apply for benefits.

The following outlets are available to apply for unemployment benefits in Virginia.

Online:

You can file for unemployment in Virginia at www.vec.virginia.gov. You will need to register if it’s your first time filing for UI. You will be asked questions about your previous employer’s name, address, telephone number, your dates of employment and reason for your separation in your application.

You can file for your online claims 24 hours and seven days a week, and you can also claim weekly benefits online.

Telephone:

You can also file your claim or restart a previous claim through the telephone. Dial 1-866-832-2363. The telephone line is available from 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday to Friday. You can dial the voice response system menu and obtain information specific to your UI.

How to File Weekly Claims

To file your weekly claims in the state of Virginia log on to www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed or go through the Voice Response System (VRS) 1-800-897-5630. Always use a touchtone phone while using the VRS. Keep your social security number, PIN and job contacts ready.

To hear the VRS in English press 1, to hear the VRS in Spanish press 2. To reach your claim and benefits press 1. To file your weekly claim benefits press 2. Then enter your 9-digit social security number. Enter your 6-digit pin. Always remember to speak clearly when speaking to the VRS.

Once you answer all your questions you will be informed whether your claim will be processed or not.

To file a toll-free claim you can call in at 1-866-832-2363 from Monday to Friday between 8:15 am and 4:30 pm. (Closed on state holidays) To file weekly claims call toll free at 1-800-897-5630.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefit Amount

The calculation of your weekly benefit amount takes several factors into consideration. The UI Benefit Calculator determines the exact amount of your weekly benefits.

Find out what your weekly benefits are using the calculator below.

Benefits Calculator


State Name: Virginia
Number of Dependants:


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$25000
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$25000
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things to Know After Filing An Application

All applicants are expected to follow certain rules and regulations, after filing for UI. It is vital that applicants acquaint themselves with the rules and regulations associated with UI. The VEC also provides a range of services to help applicants find jobs and improve their skillset to be more competitive in the job market.

Overpayments and Fraud

An overpayment occurs if benefits are paid to you and received by you which you are not entitled to. Overpayments can include amounts paid while an appeal by your former employer is pending, prior to a final decision being taken against you. You may also receive overpayments if you did not inform the VEC about UI claims being deposited into your account.

If overpayments of unemployment benefits occur you must immediately make the payment in full. For any reason, if you are unable to pay the full amount you should immediately contact the Benefit Payment Control Unit at (804) 786-8593 to get a repayment installment plan.

Failing to pay your overpayment benefits can result in:

  • Deduction of future unemployment benefits
  • Wage garnishment, seizing of income tax refunds, levy, and sale of personal property
  • The VEC will also use the cost of collection, which covers administrative costs, attorney’s fees, late penalty, and interest that can be charged to you

Fraud takes place when a person knowingly falsifies information which allows them to collect unemployment insurance in Virginia. UI fraud is a punishable offense and you may be prosecuted. You can be disqualified from receiving any future unemployment benefits.

If you are charged for fraud in the state of Virginia you may be subject too:

  • A fine or imprisonment and be prevented from receiving future benefits for 52 weeks
  • You might be required to repay any benefits that you were not entitled to receive
  • If your statements are false and you received an overpayment of unemployment benefits, you will be made to pay a 15 percent penalty
  • A conviction of fraud is a class 1 misdemeanor

Benefits Extension

No benefit extension program exists in the state of Virginia currently. If your unemployment benefits are exhausted, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits in prescribed high national or state-level emergencies.

Job Training Assistance

The Virginia Workforce Connection provides an array of services to job seekers. The services include writing resumes, cover letters, you can also find information about potential employers in your area.

You can use the career explorer tool to help you understand what is relevant in your field of work, what jobs can you do well in, and what job-related activities you like to do.

You can use several different tools in career explorer such as:

  • The match your skills tool helps you understand what personal skills you have, and how they relate to specific careers
  • The match your interest tool helps you find activities and occupations that satisfy your interests. The entire process usually takes 15 minutes
  • Match your Work Values helps you find occupations that are in line with your work values
  • Match your Knowledge of Tools and Technology helps you to find jobs that are similar to your previous or current job
  • The job market explorer tool will help you find a job by analyzing the information you select, such as job your interested in your education and experience you have and the wages you like to earn

You could also use the career informer which helps you with information such as wages, employers, future employment outlook, work activities, and listings for jobs that are available in your area.

Know more job training opportunities in VA

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?

  7. I STARTED MY JOB IN APRIL. I WENT FROM 40 HRS OR 36 HRS A WEEK TOM20HRS A WEEK. WE GET PAID BIWEEKLY. WOULD I STILL BE ELGIBLE FOR PARTIAL UNEMPLOYMENT?

    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.
    Steven

    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.
    Thanks,

    Mike

  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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