Hello, welcome to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
We understand that being unemployed can be a stressful time, but we are here to assist you. Unemployment insurance (UI) is a temporary financial assistance program that provides support to individuals who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is funded through taxes paid by employers. To be eligible for UI benefits, you must meet certain qualifications and criteria each week.
Qualifying for UI Benefits
There are three basic steps to qualifying for UI benefits, and all three steps must be met:
Step 1: Monetarily Qualify
In order to monetarily qualify for UI benefits, you must have earned at least $3,000 in two quarters of your base period while working in covered employment. Covered employment means your employer is covered by the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act.
Step 2: Separation Qualification
The VEC will review your separation from employment and determine if you are eligible for benefits. This is confirmed with your employer. Separation can fall into different categories, including layoff or reduction in force, voluntary quit, leave of absence, or termination. If it is found that you quit your job without good cause or were terminated for misconduct, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits. However, both you and your employer have the right to appeal the decision made by the deputy or hearing officer.
Step 3: Eligibility Confirmation Each Week
Each week, when filing your weekly certifications, you must confirm your eligibility for UI benefits. This includes being able and available to work, actively seeking work, and reporting any income earned or changes in your employment status. It is crucial to report any work performed and income earned during each week to avoid any overpayment of benefits. Failure to do so may result in having to repay the overpaid benefits.
Upon filing for UI benefits, you will receive a document called “Your Unemployment Benefit Rights and Responsibilities.” It is essential to review this document. Additionally, the VEC has posted frequently asked questions and other materials on its website under the Unemployment Insurance tab, which can provide further information.
Filing for UI Benefits
To file for UI benefits, you can either apply online at www.vec.virginia.gov or contact the VEC’s call center at 1-866-832-2363. Take your time when completing the application, making sure to answer all questions accurately. Providing incorrect or incomplete information can delay the determination process.
After filing your application, you will receive a monetary determination letter in the mail. This letter outlines the potential amount and duration of your UI benefits. However, it does not guarantee approval of your benefits. The approval will depend on the successful completion of all the required steps outlined earlier.
Once you have applied for UI benefits, you must file your weekly certification to continue receiving benefits. This certification verifies that you are able and available for work, fulfilling the job search requirement, and reporting any income earned during the same week. You can file the weekly certification online or by calling the Voice Response System at 1-800-897-5630.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. For more information, please visit the VEC website at www.vec.virginia.gov.