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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 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 $2,700 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.

Questions & Answers

  1. penny says:

    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?

    • Sam says:


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

  2. Sally Thomas says:

    If I live in VA, but work in DC, do I file my claims in VA or DC?

  3. Charles Hunter says:

    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.

    • Sam says:

      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.

  4. Kim says:

    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?

    • Sam says:


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

  5. k.j says:

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

    • Martin says:

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

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

  6. erin says:

    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?

  7. Lisa Butler says:

    I’ve been working for the last 13 months 25 hrs weekly, 5 hrs a day. Would I qualify for benefits.

    • Martin says:

      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.

  8. Noel says:

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

    • Martin says:

      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.

  9. Kiki Mann says:

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

  10. Lisa says:

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

    • Martin says:

      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.

  11. Steve says:

    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.

    • Martin says:

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

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  12. Andi says:

    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.

  13. Sandra says:

    Can a minor collect unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

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

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  14. TRACYE VARNER says:

    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.

  15. Rick says:

    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?

    • Adrian says:

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

  16. JW says:

    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?

    • Adrian says:

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

      Part time income may have a say when you file.

  17. Ken says:

    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?

    • Adrian says:

      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.

  18. Sandra says:

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

    • Adrian says:

      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.

  19. Brian says:

    If I know my lay off date do I have to wait until that day to begin the unemployment benefits process?

    • Adrian says:

      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

  20. Lauren Hunter says:

    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.

  21. Ed says:

    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?

  22. Michael says:

    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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