For Release:
May 25, 2021
Joyce Fogg

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) Announces Settlement to Address Unprecedented Volume of Pandemic-Related Unemployment Insurance Claims

RICHMOND VA – Today the VEC announced a settlement in lieu of litigation to address the ongoing challenges from pandemic related unemployment insurance claims.  Since March of 2020, the VEC has received 1.6 million claims, an all-time high and more than 10 times the previous years' volume.

VEC employees have accomplished extraordinary work over the past year to serve workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ranking 6th in the nation for the timely processing of payments to those who are eligible. This settlement is a reflection of the agency's ongoing efforts to speed up the processing of claims in adjudication, which represent just 4% of all claims.  In addition to hiring hundreds of staff and contractors, the VEC has also recently hired a private sector partner with 300 additional staff to expand adjudication.   

“The VEC is grateful that Judge Hudson has recognized the hard work of our employees throughout this pandemic, and we will continue to ensure Virginians have access to all benefits for which they are eligible. The VEC is focused on serving our customers, and we are committed to continuing the important work our team is doing for their fellow Virginians,” said Commissioner Ellen Marie Hess.