Do You Qualify for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

This just in: the economy sucks. Although the joblessness rate is much lower in the commonwealth than other states, many of you may be searching for gainful employment. Fortunately, you may qualify for temporary unemployment insurance benefits while you land that new job. In Virginia, the Virginia Employment Commission is responsible for administering the commonwealth’s unemployment insurance benefits. You may qualify for unemployment benefits through the commission even if you do not live in Virginia. Typically, you should apply for benefits in the state which you last worked. If you last worked in Virginia, you should file for benefits in Virginia, regardless of whether you reside in Virginia. Our office can help you understand your legal unemployment insurance rights as an employer or employee.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Requirements

To qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in Virginia, you must be able to work, search for available full-time work and report any other income while receiving benefits. In addition to satisfying the ongoing eligibility requirements, you will have to satisfy the initial eligibility requirements, which include monetarily qualifying and having a good-cause reason for being unemployed.

Weekly Benefit Amounts

If you qualify for unemployment benefits in Virginia, you will typically receive benefits for at least 12 weeks and up to 26 weeks. You may even qualify for federal and state extended benefits. Weekly unemployment insurance benefits range from $54 to $378, current as of 2011. Under Virginia law, you may even qualify for unemployment insurance benefits if you work part-time and continue working part-time. The Virginia Employment Commission uses an income reduction formula whereby your weekly unemployment benefit check is reduced by your income exceeding $50. In other words, if you earn less than $50 per week, you may be able to keep your entire check, but after $50, your income is reduced dollar-for-dollar. If you earn more than $378, you are ineligible for unemployment benefits for that week.

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