COVID-19 & Virginia Employment Commission Claim Information

By June 17, 2020COVID-19

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) advised that 822,300 initial claims have been filed since March 15, 2020. Approximately 75% of these claims have been approved and received payment, with more than $3.8 billion distributed to people who have lost wages during COVID-19. During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the payment rate was 42%,, an all-time high for the state at that point in time. For the filing week ending June 6, 2020, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial unemployment claims was 29,231. The latest claims figure was a decrease of 2,148 claimants from the previous week. For the most recent filing week, continued weeks claimed totaled 396,056, down 2,355 from the previous week but 376,977 higher than the 19,079 continued claims from the comparable week last year.

Through the CARES Act, eligibility criteria for benefits were expanded but not all individuals will qualify for benefits. There are several reasons why individuals may not receive benefits, including:

  • A person did not file a weekly certification.
  • The previous employer reported the person was fired for misconduct, took a leave of absence or quit without good cause.
  • A person provided an incorrect Social Security number or incorrect banking information.
  • A person earned wages that were equal to or exceeded their maximum weekly benefit amount.
  • A person has exhausted their benefits for the benefit year prior to the pandemic.

If the state identifies an issue with a claim, federal guidance requires an administrative review hearing prior to issuing payment. Over the last two months the commission designated up to 80,000 claims that will require review by a Hearings Officer. By comparison, approximately 59,000 hearings were conducted in all of 2019.


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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