April 7, 2020
Virginia Announces Changes in Unemployment Insurance program as a result of the Federal CARES Act
~ $600 increase in benefits for workers ~
The CARES Act provides increased benefits for workers collecting unemployment insurance by $600 for claims effective March 29th until July 31st. This provision is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Payments to eligible claimants will be made automatically in conjunction with their weekly claim.
New Benefits for Previously Uncovered Workers
Affected workers, like the self-employed, who are not eligible under traditional unemployment insurance may be eligible under a brand new federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). To be eligible for this new program, workers must first apply through traditional unemployment by visiting www.vec.virginia.gov or www.vawc.virginia.gov. The state is required to verify eligibility under traditional unemployment before allowing claimants to be considered for the new PUA program. If you are determined to be ineligible for traditional unemployment, you will be contacted by phone (text or voice message) on how to file the supplemental information to complete your claim under the new PUA program.
Please note that there are many requirements in the legislation and every worker has unique circumstances and criteria that affect eligibility. The VEC will be posting additional updates on our website at vec.virginia.gov as new information is available.
As a reminder, after completing an initial claim, claimants must file a weekly certification each following week in order to be paid. This can be done by traditional UI claimants calling the interactive voice response line at 1-800-897-5630 or through your online account at www.vec.virginia.gov or www.vawc.virginia.gov. Weekly filing for PUA claimants can be done through your Gov2Go account.