Appeal Rights

Any time it is determined you are ineligible for or disqualified from receiving benefits, you will receive a written determination. You should read the determination carefully.  If you feel the written determination is incorrect, you may file an appeal. The determination provides the instructions for filing an appeal, explains your rights, and states the final date for appeal.

Your former employer may file an appeal after benefits have already been paid to you.  If the employer prevails, you may become liable to pay back some or all of those benefits, even if you have stopped claiming them.  Therefore, it is most important that you attend any scheduled appeal hearing and notify the VEC immediately if you have moved, even if you have stopped claiming benefits.  Any person needing a language interpreter or any person with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation should immediately contact the Clerk of the Commission at the telephone number shown on the hearing notice.

If you file your appeal it is very important that you continue to look for work and file your weekly requests for payment of benefits on time while the appeal is pending.  Failure to do so may result in the denial of benefits. You should read all appeal notices completely and be sure to follow all directions as stated in the notice(s).

Q: If I disagree with the Deputy’s decision or “Notice of Deputy’s Determination,” how do I file an appeal?

A: You may file by mail to:

The Virginia Employment Commission
Office of First Level Appeals Room 124
P.O. Box 26441, Richmond, VA 23261-6441

The appeal also may be filed by FAX to (804) 786-8492, or by using the Internet at  Be sure to include your Social Security number.  Your must be sure your appeal is received in the office or postmarked no later than the final date for appeal.  Any change of address must be reported immediately to the VEC.  Remember, while your appeal is pending, you must continue to search for work and file your weekly requests for payment of benefits in a timely manner.  If you are determined eligible, you may be paid benefits for the period your appeal is pending as long as all eligibility requirements have been satisfied during each week.

Q: What happens at an appeal hearing?

A: You and your former employer, if appropriate, will have the opportunity to participate in the hearing, give testimony under oath, and present witnesses and documents to support your case.  An attorney may represent you, or someone else authorized to act on your behalf.  Any such arrangements for representation are your responsibility.  You and your representative have the right to question any witness testifying against you. The Appeals Examiner records the testimony. The Appeals Examiner will issue a written decision to all affected parties. If you fail to participate in the hearing or miss a filing deadline because you failed to notify the VEC of an address change, the hearing will not be rescheduled, nor will the filing deadline be extended.

Note: Written notice to the U.S. Postal Service of your address change does not  constitute notice to the VEC.

Q: What if I disagree with the Decision of Appeals Examiner?

A: You may file a Commission Appeal.  You must file the appeal within the period of time specified on the Appeals Examiner’s decision.  Upon receiving the appeal, the VEC will mail you a Notice of Appeal. Unless you request a hearing within 14 days from the date the Notice of Appeal is mailed, the decision of the Commission will normally be based upon the information obtained in the Appeals Examiner’s hearing.  If you request a hearing, no new testimony or evidence will be taken unless you can show good cause for not presenting it before the Appeals Examiner.

Q: What if I disagree with the decision of the Commission’s special examiner?

A: To appeal this decision, you must file a petition for judicial review with the Circuit Court of the county or city in which you were last employed in Virginia. Your petition to the Circuit Court must be filed within the time period specified on the Decision of the Commission.

Q: What if I have a question concerning my appeal or the appeals process?

A: If you are uncertain about the appeals procedure, telephone the Clerk of the Commission at the following numbers: for First Level Appeals, call (804) 786-3020; for Commission Appeals, call (804) 786-4140.

You Need to Know…

Q: Are my benefits taxable?

A: Benefits you receive are subject to federal income tax.  At your request, we will withhold federal tax from your unemployment benefits.  You will be mailed a statement, Form 1099-G, of benefits paid to you during the year.  It is your responsibility to inform the VEC of any changes in your address and to include unemployment benefits received on your annual tax return and pay any tax due. In Virginia, unemployment benefits are not considered taxable income on your state return.  Please refer to instructions found in your Form 760 booklet, or check with the Virginia Department of Taxation. Benefits you receive that are determined to be overpaid and are repaid may be deductible.  Contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax advisor.

Q: What is the Eligibility Review Program?

A: This program offers you assistance in searching for work and enables us to make sure you are still meeting the eligibility requirements of the law.  When you receive an Eligibility Review Questionnaire, it is important that you complete the form and the Record of Contacts for Employment and report as scheduled to the VEC.  Failure to do so may result in the delay or denial of benefits.

Q: What is the Quality Control Program?

A: This program is designed to detect and correct both error and fraud in the Unemployment Insurance Program.  It is a review of the records of a sample group of claimants, selected at random each week, to test the accuracy of the payments they received.  You will be notified of a telephone interview or mailed a form to complete and return to the VEC if your claim is selected for review.  Failure to participate in the interview or complete and return the form may result in the delay or denial of benefits.