Andria McClellan calls for action on Virginia unemployment insurance claims
As Virginia remains last in the country for resolving unemployment claims, Norfolk Councilmember Andria McClellan is calling for action by the Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia General Assembly.
“These failures are a legacy of Republican control in Richmond, which prioritized tax breaks for the wealthy over providing a safety net for Virginia’s working families. Underinvestment in technology has resulted in antiquated systems that cannot handle the demand we’ve seen throughout the pandemic,” said McClellan, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor. “I am calling on Gov. Northam and his administration to take swift action to address this issue and accelerate benefits distribution immediately.”
Virginia ranks last in the nation for quickly resolving issues with unemployment insurance claims according to the Department of Labor. The average wait time for claims awaiting appeal in Virginia is 247 days, the third highest in the country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the existing inequalities that persist in Virginia, disproportionately affecting people of color,” said McClellan. “The Virginia Unemployment Commission’s failure to deliver benefits in a timely manner is a prime example. Through this pandemic, we’ve seen loss of jobs, connections and most tragically, loved ones. Those incalculable losses should not include a loss of opportunity due to an antiquated unemployment system that leaves those already struggling even further behind.
“I’m running on a platform of access to opportunity because there is no reason Virginia should be last in access to benefits for those struggling already. As lieutenant governor, I will support investing in technology to ensure that all of Virginia’s systems are reliable and resilient to provide efficient and timely government services to all Virginians.”