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Virginia Unemployment Eligibility

To receive benefits you must meet each of the following.

Eligibility (Non-Monetary)

  • Unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Being ready, willing and able to work each week
  • Laid off or have been subject to greatly reduced working hours
  • Quit for “good cause” such as unsafe working conditions, not receiving payment for your work, to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc

In addition, you must also meet weekly Virginia UI eligibility requirements before you can receive benefits.

Eligibility (Monetary)

Your monetary determination will illustrate the Amount and Duration of Benefits you are eligible for based on your base period (first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of your claim) 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.

To qualify for benefits monetarily an individual,

  • Must have earned at least a total of $3,000 in two quarters in the base period.
  • 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. Once your claim is established and reflects all earnings during your base period, the amount you qualify for remains the same for one year (benefit year) and is available to you until your maximum benefit amount or your benefit year is exhausted, whichever comes first.

Questions Related To Eligibility

If I am fired, will I be eligible for collecting unemployment insurance?

When a person is fired from a job in Virginia, he will often be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are payments, delivered on a weekly basis, that are planned to help an individual pay for basic necessities such as food and shelter while he is seeking a new job.

In the state of Virginia, requirements for a person to receive benefits are nearly the same to those imposed on the unemployed in other states. A person can only receive unemployment benefits if he was lately terminated through “no fault of his own,” as defined by Virginia law.

Generally, a person can be considered to be at fault for his unemployment if he was fired for cause, meaning he failed to live up to the requirements of the position. If, however, the termination came due to structural layoffs, then the firing is not considered the employee’s fault.

If I voluntarily quit my job, will I qualify for UI?

Unemployment compensation only covers those individuals who have lost a job through no fault of their own. Virginia set its own standards for the minimum number of weeks and earned wages the workers must meet before being able to obtain unemployment compensation.

Virginia allows employees who have quit for certain reasons, such as sexual harassment, reduced working hours or unsafe work conditions, to collect unemployment. However, reasons vary and it’s vital to check with unemployment office to get the details on whether your circumstances apply.

Quitting your job does not disqualify you for unemployment compensation, but you’ll have to prove you had good reasons for resigning.

If I am laid off from work, can I claim UI?

Normally in Virginia you have to become jobless through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In nearly all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are qualified to receive unemployment benefits.

If you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits without delay.

  1. I work in VA and was injured at work doing my job but bypassed a guard and injury was very serious Am I able to collect benefits with being fired?

    • Hi, Bob – if you were injured in the course of your regular work duties, you likely need workers’ compensation rather than unemployment benefits. You can contact the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission by phone at 877-664-2566 or by email at [email protected]. The Commission can help you by:

      Informing you of your rights and responsibilities under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.
      Serving as a resource to you by educating and disseminating information.
      Assisting you by informally resolving benefit disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution.
      Explaining the process for filing a Claim for Benefits.

        • I’m sorry for such a late response. I did contact them and the case was closed. I started a new job but not near the money per week or hour I was making is there anything I can due about the adjustment of income.

  2. I was hired a couple months ago full time for a specific position and willingness to help another dept. I rarely get my full-time hours, I am more often “helping” then doing the job I was hired for. I suspect they hired two of us for same slot. I am micromanaged and dealing with lots of fingerprinting behaviors from management. Even when I was doing what I am told. I am asked to do things beyond my physical limitations that were expressed at hiring. Very deceptive behaviors. Would that qualify for unemployment using my emails and text messages as proof?

    • Hi, Amybeth — it’s impossible to say either way without your case undergoing review. Once you apply for unemployment benefits in Virginia, a Virginia Employment Commission deputy will contact both you and your employer to find out more information about why you’re without work. Whether you are determined to be eligible for benefits will depend on the VEC’s decision. You can find the nubmers for VEC offices here: You may be able to call and speak with someone about the specifics of your situation.

  3. I live in VA and am a military spouse. My husbands orders will have us PCSing to Germany. Will I be able to receive unemployment benefits since we will be overseas?

  4. My husband is facing racism at work which is affecting his mental health greatly (irritable, depression, has trouble sleeping now) and gets picked on to do a lot of labor work while other employees just stand around and he’s treated unfairly. His boss makes this very obvious, it’s not subtle but he doesn’t have any “proof” unless you count the other employees? How should he proceed to be able to collect unemployment?

  5. I will be fired on Sept 1st because my employer is instituting a vaccine mandate and I am not comfortable taking the vaccine at this point. We were offered no options like many companies such as masking, distance or even getting tested weekly. My employer said they will not fight unemployment benefits and I have it in writing but when I asked what the official reason on paper will be I was told “violation of work policy” which my understanding is will automatically deny myself and the others any unemployment benefits. Since he put in writing they won’t fight it will we get benefits or not? Thank you

    • Morgan,

      UI benefits are provided to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons such as “Layoffs”. Please check further on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. Just took a new job working remotely in PA for a VA company. Was previously on an open PEUC claim in pa that would of gone until Sept 6th. If this new position mutually agrees to let me go after just a few wks because it’s not a good fit would I be able to go back to pa to reopen my claim since I wouldnt have worked long enough in VA?

  7. I am an adult (25 almost 26) with autism, ADHD and Dyslexia who has problems with real life things. I can’t seem to keep a job or even get an interview. I have no idea if I should apply for unemployment or even apply for disability. Please someone help, I’m confused on what do to.

    • K,

      To be eligible for UI benefits, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. I suggest you consider applying for benefits under disability.

  8. If I work at a grocery store(VA) and there are too many customers and I am worried about hygiene and virus issues, can I get unemployment benefits if I quit?

  9. Our hospital has informed is they will be cutting our hours by at least 25% due to Covid. They have also told us that to get paid for our full original fulltime hours, it is mandatory that we use our existing PTO, up to 65 hours within the next two months to make up the shortfall. 1. Is this legal? 2. Can we legally refuse to use our PTO, and qualify to apply for partial unemployment?

  10. I took a voluntary leave of absence due to covid19 because my husband is in the high risk group, and I am a senior citizen also. I do have a job to go to when the quarantine is over. am I eligible for unemployment compensation, and if so, will my claim adversely affect my employer?

  11. My husband and I are currently living in Europe, but will be relocating to VA for my job. He will be unemployed when we arrive. Does VA have the “trailing spouse” provision?

    • Beth,

      It depends on multiple factors. I suggest you ring the Unemployment Office in VA for clarification.

  12. When I was interviewed for my current position (9/2017) I explained to my boss (owner of company) I do have medical issues. Migraines a couple a month, lumbar fusion surgery March 2015 and a cervical fusion April 2016. The beginning of this year I had to undergo unplanned female surgery that took me out for few weeks. My attendance was impacted from this year’s surgery plus health issues with myself and my son. On two separate occasions this year my mom got horribly sick and was hospitalized. I had to take in my little brother who is autistic. I recently found out that my boss is in discussion with another company to purchase his business. In a report he sent to the possible purchaser it lists the employees in our office and whether he recommends employment after the transaction. He had my name listed, title, hourly wage, 40 hours a week, and the remark was, “I do not recommend employment due to absences effected by family and health issues.”
    Long story short. If they let me go once the acquisition happens am I eligible to collect unemployment?

    • Nikki,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as ‘health issues’ which affects work are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for their stance on your situation.

      • Quit for “good cause” such as unsafe working conditions, not receiving payment for your work, to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc

        • John,

          You can be eligible to claim if you worked under ‘hostile’ working conditions. Please consider applying.

  13. I currently work for a family run business that continuously treats their employees horribly. I am consistently berated in group meetings, I am instructed not to hire certain candidates because of their “lower caliber” and I have been directly told that current staff did not meet criteria for a work sight due to their “appearance”. They were not referring to a hair cut or outfit choice either. I am never not on call and I am expected to respond to every Voicemail, Phone Call, Text, Email and In-house communication service message that I receive no matter day of week or time of day. I am Salary and I am currently on day 11 without a day off and I worked 33 hours this past weekend. Since starting the job I have been placed on medication for stress and anxiety as well as for major depression. My question is if I quit, can I collect UI under an Extenuating Circumstance?

    • Ryan,

      You can if you’re able to prove the hostile situation in case of a dispute. Please ensure you keep relevant documents ready and call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  14. I worked at this company for 3 years and I was wrongful accused and I was suspended for 3 days. On the 3rd day I received a phone call from my job that I was terminated due to wrongful accusations. Will I be qualify for unemployment benefit?

    • I’ve been receiving UI benefits from West Virginia because of my last employment although I’ve always lived in Virginia. My benefits run out next week and I’m still unemployed although I’ve been offered a Job but won’t start for 6 weeks. Am I eligible for UI benefits from Virginia since I have worked here for over 18 years?

      • Jim,

        UI benefits are only a one-time affair. Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire if they offer additional benefits.

    • You can be eligible to claim UI benefits as long as it was not your fault. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute (from your employer) at the time of processing.

      • My former employer goes by a point system for absenteeism and tardiness. I was absent from work because my daughter was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. She was also a minor at the time of incident. If Corporate office removed those points I would still have my job. Will I still be eligible for unemployment benefits?

        • Bianca,

          If you can prove this in case of a dispute from your employer, you should be able to claim.

  15. I work in VA and I put in my two weeks notice but then was fired for doing so. Am I able to collect unemployment?

    • Max,

      It looks like you were fired due to voluntary reasons. UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose their employment due to no fault of their own. Please call the Unemployment for clarification.

  16. My position will be eliminated at my current job effective 3/17/19. I have been a full time employee with benefits for a year. The company notified us 1 week before Christmas that positions will be eliminated. They paid out our accumulated PTO on 1/18/19. They gave use 160 hours of PTO effective 1/1/19 that we can use freely to go on interviews, drs. Appointments, etc. they will not pay out any of that PTO that is left on the termination date. Will I qualify for unemployment? Thank you.

    • Linda,

      You might qualify to receive Unemployment Benefits after the payout is over. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  17. I had to leave my job and the state of Virginia because our home had toxic mold in it. I’ve been actively looking for another job but unsure if I qualify for any UI. Would I?

  18. If working two jobs, one full-time and one part-time, and laid off from full-time job, would you still qualify for unemployment?

    • Johnson,

      I am not completely sure of how it works in your state. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  19. Hi

    I worked for Maersk Line, Limited from 01/12/2018 to 03/30/2018. This was a job that I got from the union hall (Seafarers Int’l Union) and left on 03/30/2018, after my contract got over. Will be eligible for UI?


        • Simya,

          UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. Plus, the claimant is required to have earnings during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to ascertain eligibility.

  20. I am a surgical assistant in a very busy practice. I have been going through some medical issues (IVF)for the last couple of years with a miscarriage this past July. I have asked to go part-time due to the stress of the job and constant stress of other employees complaining about my missed time. It’s now a issue with me working part time and I have began to work full-time again because of the constant fussing of the other employees to the bosses, they just had a meeting with me a week ago asking if I could work unless I have an appointment. Just wondering if I could resign from this job for medical/stress reasons and still qualify for unemployment?

    • Crystal,

      I can understand your situation. If you’re working under stressful conditions, you can be eligible to quit and claim. However, we advise you to tread carefully since it can be considered voluntary and go against you. Please call the Unemployment Office and discuss before making a decision.

  21. I am an employee at a company. This company also employs independent contractors. The company has fallen behind several months in paying the contractors.

    Recently this has began to affect payroll for the employees. Payroll had been delayed for a week with no clear indication of when this would be resolved. I travel a distance to get to work and could not afford the gas without my paycheck. I informed my boss that I would not be able to continue to drive to work without a paycheck, but that I could work from home.

    My boss met with me and stated that she understood if I couldn’t come to work and that they were trying to resolve the “cash flow” issue as quickly as possible.

    I missed 4 days. At the end of the week I recieved a certified letter from my employer stating that I had “voluntarily quit.”

    It was not my intention to quit, I was just in a real financial bind due to the payroll delay.

    Am I eligible for unemployment in these circumstances?

    • Mel,

      Firstly, contract workers are generally not eligible since employers’ do not generally pay Unemployment Insurance taxes. Considering the circumstances under which you were asked to leave, please call the Unemployment Office to check if you’re eligible.

  22. Hi,

    I was fired, but had a new job lined up by the next day. I received the official offer a week or so later, but had to wait for my background check to clear before I could start with the new company. I ended up being off work for about a month. I wasn’t actively applying for jobs as I already had one lined up. Am I able to still collect unemployment benefits? I submitted a claim, but wasn’t sure how to receive benefits if I wasn’t actively job hunting during my time unemployed?

  23. I started working mid April full time and since the first day my boss has been very rude. He wants me to do things super quick to only have the patient return to re do a procedure. I’ve gotten written up for things other employees are doing as well. I think I am getting picked on and don’t feel comfortable talking to him not do i feel they will listen to me. if i quit would I qualify for unemployment?

    • Penny,

      Unfortunately, such smaller issues may not be considered. Please call the Unemployment Office and explain the situation to them.

  24. Hi I work in Va and want to resign from my position due to what I perceive to be continuous harassment, profiling and above all I have three known medical conditions, from depression, kidney disease and higher than normal blood pressure that I posted FMLA for. Each one does serious damage to the kidney condition and has caused massive amounts of stress. If I resign under duress and have proof of my issues from my doctors will I qualify for unemployment.

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. However, you’ve also quoted harassment. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain your eligibility on the basis of this condition.

  25. I work full time as an payroll adminstrator. (salaried position). I also uber about 10 to 15 hrs a week. We are starting to furlough one week a month. Will I be eligible to recieve unemployment for that week. I have been on thsi job 25 years. I am ubering to payoff medical bills. Will my ubering hurt my chance for unemployement that week?

    • Kim,

      Your income from Uber will have an impact if you’re eligible. Please call the Unemployment Office to understand if you’re eligible.

  26. I have been hired at a local retail company seasonal. Can I file for unemployment once I am let go after the holidays?

    • Seasonal jobs do not generally qualify due to obvious nature of work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  27. I got hired at Walmart November 05, 2016 for the holidays full time. When I am laid off coming the end of December can I file for Unemployment?

    • Please use the Benefits Calculator available on this website to estimate benefits. To be eligible, you need to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  28. What if you receive military retirement pay, are you able to receive unemployment compensation if unemployed in Virginia?

    • Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

      We do not have any information in this regard.

  29. I have been laid off and am receiving 2 months’ severance pay. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation during the 2-month severance period?

  30. My daughter was just “let go” today. She started her job in June 2015 and worked full-time. Is she eligible for Unemployment?

    • To qualify, one needs to have at least an year of continuous employment.

      If she has worked before the current job and fulfills this clause, she can be eligible.

  31. My wife is in the military and is being transferred to California, what are the guidelines for me to collect unemployment. Been working the same job since we got to Virginia 3and a half years ago.

    • Each state has its own rules pertaining to Military men and their spouses.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  32. Is there a minimum of time one has to work before collecting unemployment benefits? For example, years ago, you had to work a minimum of 240 hours to be eligible to receive benefits. So, if an employee is terminated after 30-45 days of employment, do they meet eligibility requirements to receive benefits? Thanks.

    • There should be a clause as such. Not sure how it works in VA.

      Please contact the customer service for further information.

    • If the person is legally allowed to work, I guess that should be fine.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  33. My employer transferred me to Hawaii under a two year contract. I have found out at the end of the contract that there is not going to be a job for me in my home state of Virginia. . .where I transferred from. . .but I can stay in Hawaii, without my family, and have a job. If I choose to go home will I be able to collect un-employment? Please advise.

  34. My wife quit her job in Delaware to join me due to my assignment to the Tri-Cities area, however she’s having a hard time finding a job. Can she apply for Unemployment benefits?

    • If she quit voluntarily as you moved,she may not qualify. I suggest that you check with the labor dept in your state.

  35. I was fired from my job in DC but I have a part time job in VA and also live in VA. Where should I apply for unemployment?

    • Please file from the state where you were employed last(full time).

      Part time income may have a say when you file.

  36. I have been on workmans comp for an injury obtained at work. Now my Neurosurgeon has taken me out of work permanently because I need a 4th lumbar surgery and he says he won’t do it because of permanent paralyses it would cause. I have had 5 eye surgeries and am blind in 1 eye, 3 lumbar surgeries, 3 arm surgeries, hernia and several other procedures. Am I able to collect unemployment until I am able to receive me Fisability?

    • I am sorry to hear about your state and wish you stable recovery.

      Unfortunately,UI benefits are extended only to those citizens who are willing and able to work.

  37. I quit my job in Virginia to relocated to North Carolina. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits based on a relocation?

    • If you left the job to relocate, it may be challenging. If you lost your job in Virginia,please consider applying for UI benefits from VA.

    • Not necessarily.Some states do have an option of filing in advance in case of confirmed unemployment in near future. Please use the numbers below to reach for inquiry in VA.

      For TTY Callers: 804-371-8050
      OR 800-828-1140

  38. Hi I received unemployment for a little under a month this year and I just quit my job due to an unsafe working environment can I refile for unemployment now.

  39. I received a Doctors excuse two days ago to be away from work for 2 weeks. The reason cited is exacerbation of my symptoms of stress and anxiety, for which I have been receiving treatment for several years. At this time I am uncertain if I can return to work after 2 weeks because of continuing stress.It may give me some relief to know if I am elibible for unemployment payment benefits if I cannot return to work. THIS IS MY QUESTION: AM I ELIGIBLE?

  40. I am a federal employee and may be “furloughed” tonight at midnight because Congress can’t even agree on how to tie their shoes. Will I be eligible for unemployment compensation? I live in Fairfax County and work at the Pentagon. Thanks.

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