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FAQ's - Unemployment Insurance Issue

Questions

  1. Can I go to school or take training courses and still receive unemployment?
  2. What happens if I am not available to work?
  3. What happens if I go out of town for a few days while receiving unemployment benefits?
  4. What happens if I had only one or no job contacts during the week?
  5. What happens if I refuse a job or VEC referral to a job?
  6. What happens if my employer is giving me severance pay?
  7. What if I quit my job?
  8. What if I was fired from my job?
  9. What if I’m receiving a pension?

Answers

  1. Can I go to school or take training courses and still receive unemployment?
    • If you are attending training or going to school you may still receive unemployment benefits.  If your training or schooling takes place during evening hours, only on weekends, or is self-directed, then this does not affect your ability to obtain a daytime job. As a result the training or schooling may not be an issue.  Before entering training or schooling, contact the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363 (Available 8:15am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday. Closed state holidays.) to determine if your schooling or training will create an issue.  If you are in school or training. report changes on your weekly request for payment of benefits.  You will be contacted for additional information.
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  2. What happens if I am not able to or available for work?
    • The VA Unemployment Compensation Act requires all claimants to be able to and available for work in order to be eligible for benefits.  If you are not able to or available for work during the week claimed, you must answer "NO" to the question on your weekly request for payment of benefits.  You will be contacted and asked to explain why you were not able to or available for work.  This explanation will be submitted to a deputy to determine if you are eligible for benefits for that week.  If you were not able to or available for work because of illness or injury, we will require a doctor's note in order to determine whether you are able to or available for work.
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  3. What happens if I go out of town for a few days while receiving unemployment benefits?
    • If you leave town, you can potentially still be looking for a job.  If you are able to return and accept a job if one is offered to you, you are potentially still able and available.  You may also still search for work while out of town.  Many people search for jobs in other areas with the idea of possibly relocating.  Contact the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363 (Available 8:15am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday. Closed state holidays.) for more detail on whether your trip out of town and your activities while away from your residence will possibly affect your unemployment benefits.
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  4. What happens if I had only one or no job contacts during the week?
    • One job contact or no job contact is not considered an adequate work search.  As a result you could potentially be denied for benefits for the week.  If your job contacts reported on your weekly request for payment of benefits are inadequate, you will be contacted and asked to explain why.  The explanation you provide will then be given to a deputy to determine whether you will be eligible for benefits during the week claimed.  
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  5. What happens if I refuse a job or VEC referral to a job?
    • The VA Unemployment Compensation Act does not allow claimants who are receiving unemployment benefits to refuse jobs without good reason.  If you refuse a job, or Workforce Center referral to a potential job, you must report the refusal on your weekly request for payment of benefits.  You will be contacted and asked for information about the job, and for your reasons for refusing the job or referral.  This information will be given to a deputy, who will determine whether you had good reason for refusing the job or referral.
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  6. What happens if my employer is giving me severance pay?
    • If you are receiving severance pay, you will not receive benefits until the VEC contacts the employer about the severance payments.  Severance pay may potentially block unemployment benefits for the period of time to which it is allocated by the employer.  The amount of time depends on the amount of severance received each week and your average weekly wage.  The VEC will contact the employer to obtain this information.
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  7. What if I quit my job?
    • Voluntary quits and resignations are separation issues.  If either of these reasons for separation is entered at the time you file your claim, or if your employer reports either of these as the reason for your separation, you must have a fact finding interview with a deputy.  You will receive notice of the date and time the deputy will contact you.  In cases involving a voluntary quit or resignation, the burden is on the claimant to show that you had good reason for leaving your employment.
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  8. What if I was fired from my job?
    • If you entered "Fired" or "Discharged" as the reason for your separation, or if either reason was reported by your employer as the reason for your separation, you must have a fact finding interview with a deputy to determine if you are qualified for benefits.  You will receive notice of the date and time the deputy will contact you.  If you were discharged or fired, the burden is on the employer to show that you were released because of misconduct in connection with work.
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  9. What if I’m receiving a pension?
    • Only pensions that you began receiving during the base period, or are receiving from your most recent 30-day/240-hour employer, affect your unemployment benefits.  If the pension you are receiving began before the base period, then it will not affect your claim.  If it was in the base period, then it can potentially affect your unemployment benefits. Contact the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363 (Available 8:15am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday. Closed state holidays.) to determine if your pension will affect your benefits.
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