Legal Insider: Filing Unemployment Claims in Virginia Related to COVID-19

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Many Virginians have recently found themselves laid off or otherwise out of work due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, unemployment compensation benefits are needed like never before. This is a short article on the unemployment claims process in Virginia and benefits in light of new legislation.

Benefits for affected employees can be sought through the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Employees who have been laid off, terminated or otherwise had their hours reduced can qualify. Here is a link to the VEC directions for initiating a claim.

Changes to Unemployment Claims Related to COVID-19

On March 12, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) also provided additional guidance to state unemployment agencies interpreting unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DOL offered states guidance in being flexible in awarding unemployment compensation to those affected.

As of March 15, the Commonwealth of Virginia waived the one-week waiting period for the unemployed to receive unemployment benefits. The effect of this change is that out of work Virginians can receive unemployment compensation benefits sooner.

Another change is that a claimant in Virginia has usually had to show that they were actively seeking new work, but Virginia changed this requirement in light of COVID-19 for obvious reasons.

Lastly, Virginia is in the process of making unemployment compensation benefits available to the self-employed (1099 and Gig Economy workers) pursuant to an order from Governor Northam.

To file for unemployment compensation in Virginia, please apply at www.vec.virginia.gov. It is also recommended to file as soon as possible so that benefits can start as soon as possible.

Contact Us

If you are in need of employment law representation or advice, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Stories

The weekend is almost here. Before you try to process the end of the Roe v. Wade era or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past…

A new Chinese restaurant is opening soon at Lake Anne Plaza. Big Wonton, a Chinese restaurant that already has another delivery concept in Reston, will take up space at 14438…

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today (Friday) in a landmark decision that will effectively ban abortion in more than a dozen states. Abortion remains legal in Virginia,…

A trio of candidates is seeking the position of mayor for the Town of Herndon, typically a non-competitive race. Councilmembers Sean Regan and Jasbinder Singh are running against current Mayor…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list