Unemployment Compensation
Application Procedures
First: Apply on-line at http://www.vec.virginia.gov/ unemployed/online-services/ apply-for-unemployment- benefits. Phones are overloaded but the VEC has recommended that people try to file on the phone if their cases are particularly complicated or if they have difficulty with the website.
Step 1 - Initial application.
If out of work due to COVID-19, check "Lack of Work" as the reason for the claim. Sets up claim for payment, even before the employer returns Report of Separation and Wage Information.
Step 2 - VEC determines primary base period & if sufficient earnings.
If the VEC determins that your primary base period and earnings qualify, go to step 4. If not, go to step 3.
Step 3 - VEC determines alternate base period & if sufficient earnings.
If the primary data you submitted is not approved, the VEC will look at other data to see if you can qualify.
Step 4 - Monetary Determination.
If sufficient earnings, go to step 5. If not, the state claim is denied. If a timely appeal is filed, go to step 9. Otherwise, the decision on Virginia benefits is final, but claimants may be eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA).
If the monetary determination is a denial & is correct, do not appeal.
Instead apply for PUA or the application will be delayed.
See below for more information on PUA.

Step 5: VEC identifies a liable employer
The VEC identifies a liable employer (more than 30 day employer) & any subsequent employer (less than 30 day employer), and sends a Report of Separation and Wage Information.
Step 6: Claimant Paid if No Issues Arise
If there is no dispute, or if there is no response from the liable employer within a reasonable time, the claimant is paid. Otherwise, go to step 7.
Step 7: Deputy's fact finding interview
If there is an issue, the Deputy's fact finding interview will be scheduled and conducted.
Step 8: Deputy's Determination issued.
If a timely appeal is filed, go to step 9. Otherwise, the decision is final. There are additional steps, including filing an appeal to circuit court but the vast majority of clamaints will be finished by Step 6 or Step 8.
Step 9: Appealing a Deputy's Determination.
Parties who receive adverse appeals examiner decisions (i.e., parties that lose their appeal) have the right to appeal the decision to the Office of Commission Appeals.
The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the day the decision was mailed. The final date for filing the appeal is stated on the face of the decision. All appealed decisions must be made in writing to

The Office of Commission Appeals
P.O. Box 26441
Richmond, VA, 23261-6441

Detailed FAQs for filing an appeal of the Deputy's Determination and subsequently of the Appeal Examiner's Determination can be found at: vec.virginia.gov/unemployed/appeals/faq#27.
Second: File continuing weekly claims whether or not receiving benefits. File on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday of each week if you are still unemployed and want benefits for the prior week. Benefits are not paid for any week for which a weekly claim has not been filed.
File weekly claims on-line, or at 800-897-5630. An automated system is available 24/7/365.
Third: If you are denied regular unemployment benefits, you may qualify for the federal pandemic unemployment benefits - a new program made possible by federal legislation.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
The PUA program operates through December 31, 2020.
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to people not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment compensation, including:
  • the self-employed
  • gig economy workers
  • independent contractors
  • those with not enough earnings to qualify for regular benefits
  • those who have exhausted regular Virginia benefits
Claimants must have one of these COVID-related conditions

  • Diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of it and are seeking diagnosis
  • Member of household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Providing care for someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Providing care for a child or other household member who can't attend school or work because it is closed due to COVID-19
  • Unable to reach place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Quarantined or been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
  • Scheduled to start employment & do not have a job or cannot reach their place of employment as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak
  • Become the breadwinner for a household because the head of household has died as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Had to quit job as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Meet other criteria established by the Secretary of Labor

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
The PEUC program operates through December 31, 2020.
The PEUC program provides an additional 13 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation for people who remain unemployed after they have exhausted their traditional unemployment compensation benefits
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
The FPUC program began on March 29, 2020 and goes through July 31, 2020
The FPUC program provides most individuals an emergency increase in traditional unemployment compensation benefits of $600 per week.
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