Virginia Beach, VA Unemployment Guide

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Coronavirus Update! -- What Virginia Residents Need to Know About Unemployment Benefits

As the coronavirus sweeps across the country, the unemployment rate is skyrocketing in every state. If you have lost your job in Virginia, apply for unemployment benefits at the Virginia Employment Commission. Learn about how unemployment claims relating to COVID-19 will be handled in Virginia.

As of the end of June 2020, approximately 30 million people are collecting unemployment. This figure includes the millions of employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments have taken to contain it, from orders shutting down nonessential businesses to shelter-in-place restrictions, school closures, and more. It also includes millions of gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people who are collecting unemployment benefits through the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. 

If You Are Still Employed: You may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave or paid family leave under a new federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Act. Some states also provide paid time off that may be available to you. See Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in Virginia to learn more about these programs. 

How Unemployment Programs Are Adapting to COVID-19

Federal and state governments are rapidly making changes to their unemployment programs, to ensure that more people who are out of work receive benefits more quickly.

Federal CARES Act Expands Benefits to Workers in Virginia

Congress has passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act, which greatly expands the nation's unemployment compensation program. Employees eligible for unemployment in Virginia will receive an additional $600 per week of federally-funded benefits, on top of what Virginia already pays. These additional benefits will be available through July 31, 2020. And, unemployed individuals who run out of state-funded benefits will receive an additional 13 weeks of benefits, available through December 31, 2020.

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia Beach, VA?

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, some states are imposing restrictions on people gathering in public locations. This may affect your ability to access physical offices of the the Virginia Employment Commission in person. Check Virginia's unemployment insurance agency website for more information. And, read on to find out how you can file for unemployment insurance benefits in Virginia online or by phone.

If You Are Still Employed: You may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave or paid family leave under a new federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Act. Some states also provide paid time off that may be available to you. See Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in Virginia to learn more about these programs. And, if you are out of work or your hours have been reduced due to COVID-19, you may be entitled to enhanced unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Virginia's unemployment insurance agency website gives you the information you need to apply for unemployment insurance in Virginia. The Virginia Employment Commission’s website tells you:

  • What information you’ll need on hand to apply for unemployment insurance benefits
  • How to apply online for unemployment insurance benefits
  • more...  

Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

You qualify for unemployment benefits in Virginia if you meet two basic requirements:

  • you must have earned at least a minimum amount in the time before you lost your job, and
  • you must be out of work through no fault of your own.

If you meet these two qualifications when you apply, you will likely be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. (To keep receiving benefits after you are found eligible, you will also have to meet your state’s job search requirements; to learn more, see What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?)

Coronavirus Update: In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES" Act, which we cover here), which greatly expands eligibility for unemployment. (Learn about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits to gig workers, freelancers, and others who aren't eligible for traditional unemployment benefits.) A number of states are also easing their eligibility rules to ensure that more people who are out of work due to COVID-19 qualify for unemployment benefits.

At our last check, Virginia announced changes to its unemployment rules to address the increasing numbers of claims relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virginia governor has ordered that:

  • employees whose hours have been reduced because of COVID-19 be allowed to file for unemployment insurance benefits,
  • the one-week waiting period before receiving benefits be suspended, and
  • the weekly job-search requirement be suspended.

You can find the Virginia Employment Commission's FAQ on coronavirus and unemployment insurance benefits here.

 

Eligibility Requirement 1: Minimum Earnings

In every state, unemployment benefits are available only to those who are temporarily out of work. If you apply after being out of the workforce for years, for example, you won’t qualify for benefits. You must have been employed relatively recently, and earned at least a minimum amount, to be eligible.

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

How the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Affects Virginia Unemployment Benefits

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package that pumps money into many areas of our economy that have been impacted by COVID-19, including unemployment benefits. Read on to learn how the CARES Act affects those who are out of work in Virginia.

More Virginia Workers Are Eligible for Benefits

In every state, employees qualify for benefits if they are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own. However, prior to the CARES Act, some categories of workers could not get benefits, including independent contractors (freelancers, gig workers, and the self-employed). The CARES Act authorizes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which makes these workers eligible for unemployment for the first time during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Part-time workers would also be eligible for benefits under this new program, even if state law does not ordinarily allow them to collect benefits. And, workers who do not have a sufficient work history to qualify for benefits under Virginia's usual eligibility rules might still qualify.

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

How Much Will I Collect in Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

In Virginia, you can earn up to $378 per week in unemployment benefits under state law. Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act"), Congress has authorized an additional $600 in benefits per week, on top of your state benefit amount. These additional benefits, called federal pandemic unemployment compensation, expire on July 31, 2020.

Every state has its own rules for calculating unemployment benefits. Typically, the amount you receive each week is based on your earnings when you were employed. After all, unemployment benefits are intended to replace some of the income you lost along with your job, and tide you over until you find new work.

Calculating Your Benefit Amount

Your weekly unemployment benefit amount depends on your earnings during the base period.

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, federal and state governments are rapidly making changes to their unemployment programs, to ensure that more people who are out of work receive benefits more quickly. These changes may affect waiting periods, job search requirements, and availability of benefits to those who are still working part time. These changes include the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act, which greatly expands the nation's unemployment compensation program, including continuation of benefits. Keep in mind that you are entitled to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits under the federal CARES Act after your state benefits are exhausted if you are unemployed due to COVID-19.

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If I Was Wrongfully Terminated?

In order to collect unemployment, you must meet two basic requirements. First, you must have earned at least a minimum amount, set by state law, in the time before you lost your job. Second, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. For more information about these requirements, see Who is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

If you lose your job in a layoff, reduction-in-force (RIF), or downsizing, you will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. But, these are not the only ways that employees lose their jobs. Your eligibility for benefits depends upon the reason you become unemployed. 

If You Were Fired for Misconduct

Generally-speaking, if you are terminated, you can collect unemployment insurance benefits in Virginia. But, there is an exception to that general rule in Virginia:

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Can I Appeal a Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

If the Virginia Employment Commission denies you unemployment insurance benefits, you can appeal. After you file your initial claim for unemployment benefits, the Virginia Employment Commission will send you a written determination of your eligibility for benefits and, if it finds you eligible, how much you will receive in benefits. But, if the Virginia Employment Commission finds that you are not eligible for benefits or grants you benefits in a lower amount than you believe you are entitled to, you can appeal that decision. And, if the Virginia Employment Commission finds you eligible to receive benefits, your ex-employer can appeal that decision.

If you want to appeal the Virginia Employment Commission decision, check the Virginia Employment Commission website and handbook for:

  • Any forms and instructions for filing your appeal
  • The deadline for filing your appeal
    more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Unemployment Benefits in Virginia?

Having your own lawyer to represent you in the unemployment insurance benefits process in Virginia will level the playing field for you—because your ex-employer will be represented. Your ex-employer is almost certainly going to have a lawyer or two offering guidance through the Virginia unemployment process. This legal advice can give your ex-employer an edge over you in the process, especially if they intend to challenge your claim for benefits. Your own lawyer can:

  • Help you figure out if you are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Virginia
  • Tell you if your employer’s stated reason for terminating you is valid and will bar benefits
  • Guide you through Virginia’s unemployment insurance benefits claim process
  • Advise you on how to keep receiving unemployment insurance benefits, and
  • Assist you if you need to appeal a denial of unemployment insurance benefits by the Virginia Employment Commission

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Five Ways an Unemployment Lawyer Can Help You in Virginia

If you have a straightforward unemployment claim, you will likely be able to file for unemployment benefits on your own, without any help from a lawyer. Your claim is relatively simple if you can easily meet the Virginia earnings requirements to qualify for benefits, and you and your employer agree that you lost your job through no fault of your own (for example, because you were laid off or had to quit when your military spouse was transferred to another state).

But if your case is more complicated, it might make sense to consult with or hire an unemployment lawyer to represent you. An unemployment lawyer can help you if you are facing any of the situations described below.

1. Your Employer Claims You Were Fired for Misconduct

You may not be eligible for benefits in Virginia if you were fired for misconduct connected with your job. Examples of misconduct include failing a drug test, lying or making misleading statements about your criminal record, and chronic absences or tardiness in deliberate violation of a known employer policy. 

 

more...  

ADVERTISEMENT - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Talk to a Local Employment Attorney

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

\

Paying an Unemployment Lawyer in Virginia

If you may be (or already have been) denied unemployment benefits in Virginia, you may be wondering whether you need a lawyer -- and whether you can afford to hire a lawyer to help with your unemployment case. (If you're wondering what a lawyer can do for you, check out Five Ways an Unemployment Lawyer Can Help You.) It all depends on your financial situation and how (and how much) the attorney charges. In some situations, an unemployment attorney may be willing to offer you a contingency fee arrangement. This means the lawyer gets paid only if you win, out of the money you receive as a settlement or award. 

Below, we explain some typical attorney fee arrangements in unemployment cases. 

Initial Consultation

Your first step in choosing an attorney – and deciding whether it makes sense to fight your employer in an unemployment claim, appeal, or lawsuit – is an initial consultation. The initial consultation provides you and the attorney an opportunity to decide whether and how you will work together. 

more...