VEC claims changes made to unemployment insurance program

Virginia covid-19
(© Ingo Menhard –

The Virginia Employment Commission tells us today that it is working to implement system changes to increase benefits for eligible claimants under the CARES Act.

Increased benefits for eligible claimants under traditional unemployment insurance will start to be paid as soon as next week, according to a VEC press release sent out Tuesday afternoon.

Payments to eligible claimants will be retroactive, according to the VEC, and will be made automatically in conjunction with their weekly claim.

We’ll believe it when we hear from the numerous affected workers who have been shut out to this point, three-plus weeks into the COVID-19 economic shutdown, that things are actually working.

New benefits eligibility

Affected workers, like the self-employed, who are not eligible under traditional unemployment insurance may be eligible under a new federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

To be eligible for this new program, workers must first apply through traditional unemployment by visiting or The state is required to verify eligibility under traditional unemployment before allowing claimants to be considered for the new PUA program.

If you are determined to be ineligible for traditional unemployment, you will be contacted by phone (text or voice message) on how to file the supplemental information to complete your claim under the new PUA program.

VEC will be announcing more details on the start date for this new program later this week.

More information

You are reminded that there are many requirements in the legislation, and that every worker has unique circumstances and criteria that affect eligibility.

The VEC will be posting additional updates on its website at as new information is available.

As a reminder, after completing an initial claim, claimants must file a weekly certification each following week in order to be paid.

This can be done by calling the interactive voice response line at 1-800-897-5630 or through your online account at or

Story by Chris Graham

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