Three steps make up our claims process. Before you file a claim, understand each step and how you can best file and register for work. Step one is “File Your Initial Claim.” Step two is “Register For Work.” Step three is “File Your Weekly Claim.” Each step makes good things happen for you and understanding each step’s purpose makes things go smoother for all.
Step 1 — Your Initial Claim
You file your first, or Initial Claim, per benefit year. When you make your initial claim, you can also register for work. It’s an easy, automatic way to register for work. Your initial claim determines if you are eligible for benefits. File this claim online or by phone between the hours of 8:15am and 4:30pm, Monday - Friday (Closed state holidays) 1-866-832-2363. After you make this one-time claim, you must move on to Step 2: Register For Work.
File your Initial claim online
Step 2 — Register For Work
You register for work just one time and you must do it within two weeks of filing your initial claim. If you do not register for work, your benefits may be delayed or denied. The Virginia Employment Commission requires you to seek work on an ongoing basis. After all, getting you back to work is the top priority.
Register for work now
Step 3 — File Your Weekly Claim
File your weekly claim to:
- prove you remain eligible for benefits, and
- qualify to get weekly benefits.
Congratulations on rejoining the workforce. If you are now earning more than your weekly benefit amount your unemployment benefits must cease. Simply report your return to work date and stop making your weekly call or online filing for benefits.
Note: It is illegal to claim benefits while employed.
Never take chances with fraud and risk losing your benefits. When filing, report any work you’ve done or money earned. Providing false information subjects you to legal action with fines from $20 to $100 and imprisonment up to 30 days. Each false statement or misrepresented truth is a separate offense. If the Virginia Employment Commission finds you guilty of fraud, you’ll be ineligible to receive benefits for at least 52 weeks. Report all gross wages earned and keep accurate records. The VEC checks and compares all wages employers report and can intercept your state tax refund.