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Attention workers whose job has been affected by the coronavirus

Unemployment Insurance

If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to Coronavirus, please note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours.  When filing your claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off.  If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount.  Currently the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.

You may file a claim for unemployment insurance through this Website by clicking the link below to File a new claim for unemployment benefits or through the Customer Contact Center by calling 1-866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.

For detailed instructions on how to file or re-open a claim, click here.

Q&A on Claims Related to Coronavirus

Q.  When should I file a claim for unemployment compensation benefits?

A.  You should file your claim on-line (**preferred method) through our Website at www.vec.virginia.gov after you have been out of work at least 1 full day.  If you do not have access to a computer, you can file your claim through our Customer Contact Center by calling 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:15am – 4:30pm.  Your claim will be effective Sunday of the week in which you submit your on-line application or file through our Customer Contact Center.


Q. My hours have been reduced. Can I apply for unemployment compensation benefits?

A. You can file due to a reduction in hours. If your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount.  Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.

Q. What happens after I complete my unemployment insurance application?

A.  Once your claim is processed by the VEC, you will receive three important documents. The Benefit Rights document explains eligibility requirements and what you need to do each week to claim your benefits. The Monetary Determination document shows how much money you may be eligible to receive. You will also receive a PIN. You need the PIN to claim weekly benefits and to make inquiries about your claim.

Q.  How much money will I qualify to receive?

A.  Depending on your earnings, your benefit amount may range from a minimum of $60 per week for 12 weeks to a maximum of $378 a week for 26 weeks. (Refer to your Monetary Determination)

Q.  How soon before I can expect a benefit payment?

A.  Beginning with claims effective March 15, 2020, Governor Northam has directed that the one week waiting period and the requirement to conduct a weekly job search both be suspended for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits. If you are eligible for benefits, a payment should be processed shortly after you claim your first full week. You will need to refer to the Benefit Rights document for instructions on claiming weekly benefits.

Call volume in contact centers is exceedingly high.  You may experience difficulty getting through and wait times will be exceptionally long.  If you are filing an initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits, please do so online at www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed.

Weekly continued claims can also be filed online or by using the automated phone system at 1-800-897-5630.

For detailed instructions on how to file or re-open a claim, click here.

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