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Filing an Unemployment Claim – Virginia

  1. Am I eligible to receive benefits?

    You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, and you must have earned sufficient wages in your base period (the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the week in which you file your application for benefits, or alternatively the last 4 quarters). Also, you must be able and available for full-time work.

  2. How do I apply for benefits in Virginia?

    You can apply online at http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed/online-services/apply-for-unemployment-benefits or over the phone.

  3. How much will I receive?

    Based on the wages earned during the regular base period, this determination will indicate the benefit amount you qualify for each week.

  4. How long will I receive these benefits?

    Based on the wages earned during the regular base period, this determination will indicate the number of weeks you may receive benefits, ranging from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

  5. After I start receiving benefits, what do I have to do to remain eligible?

    You must file weekly claims (the first of which must be filed 28 days from your initial claim), and actively seek work. Virginia requires that you contact several employers each week to be actively seeking work. You must keep a record of your work search contacts for one year for auditing purposes. You must accept suitable work, and report any wages made.

  6. I was turned down for benefits. How do I appeal this decision?

    All appeals must be filed within 30 days of the date the determination was mailed to you, unless the appeal period is extended. This determination will contain the final date on which an appeal can be filed. All appeals must be in writing, and they can be filed in person, by mail, by fax or online at http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed/appeals/file. Also, you must continue to file for weekly benefits, as you will only be paid benefits for the weeks you filed if you win your appeal.

  7. For more information on Virginia’s unemployment insurance laws:

    Visit the Virginia State Website http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed/resources/im-unemployed-now-what

    Read the Claimant Handbook http://www.vec.virginia.gov/vecportal/unins/pdf/bri.pdf

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