How To Apply For Unemployment In Virginia
You can file an unemployment insurance claim by telephone, but the best and fastest option in Virginia is to file online using the Virginia Employment Commission website. You can securely enter all of your personal and work information there to get a claim processed quickly. The link for the site is below, along with some other helpful resources.
- Virginia Employment Commission (Main Website)
- File Your Unemployment Insurance Claim Online
- Are Your Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
You are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Virginia if your last job was for an out-of-state employer or if you were a federal employee working out of state. You’ll need to provide accurate employment history with contact information when you file. If you must or if you would prefer to file your unemployment insurance claim by phone, call (866) 832-2363.
Verifying Your Identification and Work History
New claimants will need to provide documentation to prove their identity and validate Virginia work history. Unemployment insurance fraud is punishable by fines, suspension of benefits, wage garnishment, or in extreme cases, prison. Here’s what you’ll need to file:
- Valid Social Security Number
- Valid State ID or Driver’s License
- W2 and/or 1099 from Last Year
- Most Recent Paystub with YTD Info
- Employer Contact Information
Once approved, you can receive your weekly unemployment benefits payment via direct deposit or on a VA debit card provided by the Virginia Employment Commission. If you choose direct deposit, have your routing number and account number handy when you file.
Calculating Your Base Period and Weekly Benefit Amount
Your weekly benefit amount will be determined by calculating the wages you made in a base period that usually consists of the first four of the last five quarters you earned wages. Your most recent job must have been in the State of Virginia for you to qualify. Out-of-state wages can be added to your base period, but only if you meet the in-state requirement.
If you don’t have enough quarters in to qualify for a standard base period, the Virginia Employment Commission will use an “alternate base period” of the last four quarters that you worked. All wages used in either base period calculation need to have been earned while working inside the United States. Foreign wages are not valid for unemployment.
Benefits Eligibility Requirements and Weekly Claims
You can collect unemployment insurance benefits for anywhere from twelve to twenty-six weeks, depending on the total wages you received during your base period. To be eligible to receive those payments, you must meet a minimum monetary requirement for the base period and have been separated from your job through no fault of your own (laid off). If you voluntarily quit or were fired from your position, you may not be eligible for UI benefits.
To continue receiving weekly benefits, you are required to file a weekly claim with the Virginia Employment Commission. The weekly claim will confirm that you are still unemployed and looking for work, willing and physically able to work if a job is offered, and that you have not started working and receiving wages. You should file your first weekly claim the week immediately following your initial claim.