Unemployment Insurance Handbook for Claimants

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) administers an unemployment insurance program that provides protection against loss of wages to individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own.  Benefits are paid through taxes on employers covered under the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act.  No part of the employer tax is deducted from your earnings.

In order to receive unemployment benefits you must meet certain requirements.  You also must file your initial application for benefits on the Internet, at  www.vec.virginia.gov, or by telephone through the VEC's Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363 (Available 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday. Closed state holidays), or by visiting one of the VEC offices located statewide. Your name and SSN will be cross-matched with the Social Security Administration to verify your identity. Confidential unemployment compensation information may be requested and utilized for other governmental purposes, including verifying an individual's eligibility for other governmental programs.

This handbook explains the requirements for obtaining unemployment benefits under the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act.  Please read the entire handbook carefully. Pay special attention to your rights and responsibilities. The handbook also explains the basis for the dollar amount of the unemployment benefits that you may be entitled to receive and the requirements you must meet each week to file your request for payment and receive those benefits.  Although it does not have the effect of law or regulation, the information provided in the handbook will assist you in filing for and receiving benefits.