COVID-19 Resources

January 13, 2021 Update
Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020

The Covid-19 relief legislation passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, was signed into law by the President on December 27.  The unemployment provisions of this bill are known as the “Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.”

The U.S. Department of Labor has begun to issue guidance necessary for the proper administration of various programs under the unemployment insurance umbrella. Please be aware that there are some details still being worked out by USDOL with respect to implementation.

  • The PEUC and PUA programs are in the process of being reinstated. What you can expect:
    • If you did not exhaust your 13 weeks of PEUC you will be allowed to claim additional weeks.  Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes. The target date for implementation is 01/08/2021. 
      ** Update: Individuals in this category should now be able to claim the remaining weeks beginning with the benefit week ending 1-2-21 and payment issued if eligible for that week.
    • If you did not exhaust your 39 weeks of PUA you will be allowed to claim additional weeks. Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes. The target date for implementation is 01/14/2021
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). What you can expect:
    • The program will add an additional $300 each week that you receive benefits under the following programs: regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). This additional benefit will be added to weeks claimed beginning with the week ending January 2, 2021. FPUC will be payable as long as you are eligible through benefit week ending March 14, 2021.   The target date for implementation is 01/08/2021 for UI and PEUC.
      *** Update: This FPUC benefit is now being added to individuals under these programs.
    •  The target date for implementation is 01/14/2021 for PUA. 
  • All of the CARES Act unemployment compensation programs are extended for an additional 11 weeks through March 13, 2021. These include:
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). What you can expect:
      • If you exhausted the original 39 weeks, you will then be considered for an additional 11 weeks of PUA benefits under this legislation.  The first payable week in this scenario would be for the week ending January 2, 2021.  Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes.  
        *** Update: The target date for implementation is 01/29/21.  
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). What you can expect:
      • If you exhausted the original 13 weeks you will then be considered for an additional 11 weeks of PEUC benefits under this legislation. The first payable week in this scenario would be for the week ending January 2, 2021. Please be advised that we are working on programming our benefit systems to allow for these changes.  
        *** Update: The target date for implementation is 01/29/21.     
  • Changes with respect to PUA application will include:
    • PUA claimants to provide proof of employment or self-employment
    • State agencies to implement procedures to verify and validate the identity of PUA claimants to the extent reasonable

      *** We are working to implement these changes to our current PUA benefits system and will have more information to share soon.
       
  • This legislation establishes the new Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program that states may choose to implement (NOTE:  There are a lot of details about this new program that are still unknown and will depend on formal guidance from the USDOL) 
***  The Virginia Employment Commission will continue to work towards implementing the provisions of this new legislation as quickly as possible. We intend to update this page as we move forward. The next update will be provided on January 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm.

The Commonwealth has taken unprecedented steps to fight the spread of COVID-19 as well as making substantial moves to help those in the workforce who've been affected by this global event.

This page will serve as your online resource to learn about any changes to the benefits application process along with VEC office closings, pertinent news releases and links to other helpful sites.

If you would like to have something included on this page, please contact us

CARES Act

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available under the CARES Act
Click to learn more and how to apply

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The program is for any small business with less than 500 employees affected by COVID-19. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.

For information about the PPP and to apply for the program, please visit:
https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Applying for Benefits

Important Information for Unemployment Insurance
If you have filed an unemployment insurance application (UI), you must then file a weekly claim for each week or you will NOT be paid!
VEC recommends you do this on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday of each week if you remain unemployed and want to be paid for the prior week.
You can complete and submit your weekly UI payment request by calling 1-800-897-5630. You can also find more information by visiting our website at www.vec.virginia.gov.
 

Latest Alerts:

We've had reports of scammers attempting to defraud users applying for unemployment insurance. Please make sure you are on this site, www.vec.virginia.gov or web.getgov2go.com when applying for benefits.
View OIG Fraud Alert

To file an initial or continued claim, contine to our Unemployment Insurance page

View detailed instructions on how to apply (PDF) - English | Spanish | Vietnamese 

Videos

 

 

Local Offices

Keep in mind, although some of our offices are closed to the public for health reasons, staff will be available to answer your questions via telephone (except for the Winchester office) during normal business hours. Click on select offices to view contact information and their hours.
View the current list of closed VEC offices

Other Resources

  • www.covid.virginia.gov
    The Virginia Department of Social Services has recently launched a mobile app and website, COVID-19 Virginia Resources, to streamline access to resources and guidance Virginians are in most need of during this crisis. The content is based on information and pathways from a variety of state and federal agencies.
    vwww.covid.virginia.gov
  • South Hampton Roads Coronavirus Hotline
    The United Way of South Hampton Roads has created a coronavirus response hotline 757-858-7777 and additional resources can be found at their website: 
    https://unitedwayshr.org/coronavirus/
  • Work Talk
    Work Talk has a special community awareness podcast where you’ll discover how to file unemployment insurance when offices are closed. You’ll learn how to determine if you are eligible for unemployment insurance, what’s next, and the changes that have been made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    Listen to the podcast here