by Dana George | March 27, 2020
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If you're one of the thousands of Virginians who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, take these steps to file for unemployment benefits.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has caused you to lose your job, you're not alone. The Virginia Employment Commission reports a dramatic increase in the number of unemployment claims in the last few weeks. If you're a Virginian in need of unemployment benefits, this guide is a handy place to start.
In order to qualify for Virginia unemployment benefits you must:
Within five days of filing your application, you must register for work through the VEC Workforce Connection. If you do not register, you may not receive benefits.
The two fastest ways to file for Virginia unemployment benefits are:
Be prepared to provide the following information:
At this time, you will also be asked to select your desired payment method. You can choose between direct deposit to your bank account or a prepaid debit card. If you choose direct deposit, you will need to supply your bank account and routing numbers.
How much you qualify for depends on your earnings. Benefit amounts range from a minimum of $60 per week to $378 per week.
The maximum number of weeks you can receive unemployment benefits in Virginia ranges between 12 and 26, depending on the amount of wages you earned while employed. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If you are denied unemployment benefits you have the right to appeal the decision using one of three methods:
Be sure to include your name, Social Security number, and the reason for the appeal. All appeals must be filed within 30 days of the date the determination was mailed to you (not the day you received it).
Unemployment benefits may not make losing a job any easier, but they can see you through until you find your next great position.
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