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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
Anyone who files for unemployment benefits in Virginia must have worked during a specific period and earned a certain amount of money. These two pieces of information are known as “work eligibility criteria” and “wages eligibility criteria,” respectively. Every state requires you meet these criteria.
However, the exact numbers behind the criteria will vary, depending on the state. Virginia is one of the more forgiving states when it comes to their criteria, making it easier for people to qualify.
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Work Eligibility Criteria
To meet the work eligibility criteria in Virginia, you need to qualify for one of two base periods. The “Regular Base Period” requires being employed for the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. This does not include “lag quarter” wages or the most recently completed quarter just before the claim's effective date.
If you do not meet the qualifications of this base period, the alternative base period will be gauged. This requires being employed for the four most recently completed quarters, which includes the one just before the date you filed for unemployment.
Wages Eligibility Criteria
The wages criteria for unemployment in Virginia are simple. You need to have made at least $3,000 in two quarters in one of the above-mentioned base periods. This qualifies you for the minimum amount of $60 per week.
To receive the maximum benefit of $378 per week, you need to have earned $18,091.01 in those two quarters. Your benefits will likely vary between these two extremes.
Unemployment Availability Limits
Your benefit availability can be limited for several reasons, including if:
- You received a full-time job
- You failed to meet your minimum weekly benefit filing requirements
- You took a part-time job
Receiving a full-time job will immediately cancel the rest of your benefits. Failing to file properly for a weekly claim will cancel your benefits for that week and may impact your benefits in general.
The impact of a part-time job on your benefits will vary. If the gross, not net, wages in a week are less than your weekly benefit, you will receive benefits. However, any amount more than $50 will be taken from them. You will lose your weekly benefit if your weekly wage is equal to or more than it.
EXAMPLE: If you are receiving $350 per week in unemployment compensation and you are paid $150 per week in wages, you would subtract $50 from $150 ($100) and subtract that amount from your weekly benefit ($350-$100) to figure your benefit for that week ($250), for a net loss of $50.
Although Virginia has received extended unemployment extensions from the federal government in the past, the most recent extension programs were discontinued in late 2012. No state program has stepped up to take its place.