Virginia Unemployment

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File for Unemployment in Virginia

Filing for unemployment in Virginia requires creating an initial claim via the VEC website. Here, you need to create a new account, which will track your claim and let you know how much benefits you'll receive and when you will receive them. It can also help you sort out any concerns regarding your unemployment, such as decreased benefits or discrepancies.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

Need to file for unemployment in Virginia? You need to follow these steps in order to properly fill out your form and begin the claim reception process:

  • Add your personal information (such as name and address)
  • Input information about your employers, including the reason you were let go
  • State that you are currently available for employment and actively searching
  • Follow the on-screen instructions regarding your unemployment (including creating a new username)
  • Add your preferred method of payment

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

  • Social Security Number
  • Employer information (names, addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of employment)
  • Name of local union hall, if applicable
  • Alien Registration Number, if applicable
  • Mailing address, phone number, and dates of employment for non-Virginia employers
  • Payment method (debit card or direct deposit, which requires routing number and account number)

With this information, it should take you no more than 45 minutes to an hour to complete your application. Fill it out at an unemployment office or at home, whichever you prefer.

Claim Weekly Benefits

Your benefit amount can vary on a weekly basis, based on how you claim your weekly benefits. In Virginia (as in the rest of the nation), it is necessary to file a weekly request to qualify for your benefits.

You need to indicate that you are currently seeking work, available for work, documenting your work search, and that your employment status hasn't changed.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

To file your weekly claims by telephone, you must:

  • Call the Voice Response System (VRS) the week after the week you are claiming (1-800-897-5630)
  • Enter your Social Security Number and your profile PIN using a touch tone phone
  • Answer if you were seeking work during the week
  • Enter the number of contacts you made
  • Say the names of the employers you contacted
  • Indicate if you refused work offers
  • Note if you failed to get a job due to a positive drug test
  • Let them know if you just stopped work or training
  • Answer if you received pension, holiday, vacation, or Workman's Compensation that week
  • Enter if you did any work, including self-employment
  • Input the money you made. If the answer is yes, also include the date you started working.

You can also answer these questions via your VEC online account. The questions will be the same, so make sure to have the same level of information available that you would when using the telephone.

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

If your claim has been denied or if it is suffering from discrepancies, you can appeal to the VEC by sending a written appeal to the Clerk of The Commission or by filing at your local VEC office.

All forms must contain appropriate information, including your name, Social Security Number, why your claim was denied, why it shouldn't have been, and any evidence backing up your claims.

It must be filed within 30 days of the date the letter was mailed or the date you received it online (as it will likely be sent to your VEC account). It will require a hearing, which you can either use legal counsel at or defend yourself.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

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If you want to file for an appeal of a denied claim, you need to follow these steps:

  • Fill out your appeal form and mail it to the address indicated below
  • Wait to hear back on the date of your hearing
  • Read the “Notice of Appeal” carefully
  • Start gathering witnesses who can help your case, including ex-coworkers and managers
  • Submit the name and fees of your attorney, should you choose one, to the appeal judge for approval
  • Attend the hearing dressed in appropriate clothes, such as a suit and tie, though complete formality is not strictly required
  • Present your case to the judge in a respectful way, presenting your evidence and your witnesses at the appointed time – you and your employer will both get your chances to do so
  • Finish the appeal session and go home to wait for the decision – you'll usually get this within a week or so

If your appeal was successful, you have nothing more to do. You will receive future benefits and any benefits denied to you in the past. However, if your appeal is denied, you can file an appeal to the Office Of Commission Appeals within 30 days of the decision to the address P.O. Box 1358, Richmond, VA, 23218-1358.

You can request a hearing, but most appeals at this level are done by a board of review. After this appeal, you can try the state and federal courts, if necessary.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

Clerk of the Commission

P.O. Box 1358, Richmond, VA 23218-1358

Fax: (804) 786-8492