Learn About Virginia Unemployment Benefits Extensions

Virginia Unemployment Extensions Information

A Virginia unemployment insurance benefits extension is available to states when the economy is recovering. To find out how to get an unemployment extension, see these topics:
• What is a federal unemployment extension in Virginia?
• How can I extend unemployment in Virginia?
• How does Virginia determine if there are extended benefits?
• What can I do to extend unemployment in Virginia?
• What are the four tiers of emergency unemployment compensation in Virginia?
• What constitutes a denial of extended benefits in Virginia?
• What are the eligibility requirements for an unemployment extension in Virginia?
• What are the weekly benefits during an unemployment extension period in Virginia?


Virginia Unemployment Resources

What is Federal Unemployment Extension in Virginia?

An unemployment extension is administered by the federal government in partnership with Virginia. There are two parts to the program: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB). EUC’s federal unemployment extension was temporarily enacted during the 2008 recession to prevent harm to unemployed individuals. The Extended Benefits program (EB) was the permanent program created for times when Virginia’s unemployment rate rises above a certain rate.

How Can I Extend Unemployment in Virginia?

If you have questions about how to get an unemployment extension in VA, try to find out if the federal government initiated a Virginia unemployment compensation extension. If you are still receiving benefits, or eligible to receive an extension, you would be sent a notice from the VEC instructing you regarding how to file unemployment benefits extension and satisfy any other requirements, such as an increased effort to find work. If you are unsure, you can also check with the VEC office, local career center or unemployment agency. There also will be a notice on the Department of Labor website if unemployment extension is in effect.

How Does Virginia Determine if There are Extended Benefits?

The Extension of unemployment benefits is in effect if three weeks has passed since the federal “on” indicator for Virginia. The federal indicator is activated for Virginia if: 1) the VEC and Department of Labor agree that the current unemployment rate is higher than the proceeding 13 week period during the last two years, or 2) the unemployment rate exceeded 5% with seasonal adjustment, or 6.5% without seasonal adjustment.

What Can I Do to Extend Unemployment in Virginia?

Virginia unemployment benefits extension are only in effect if the federal “on” indicator has been activated for Virginia. Unless the federal government has activated Virginia’s unemployment benefits extension, there is nothing individuals must further do to seek an extension. Look out for a letter containing information about an extension, especially if you are nearing the end of your benefits or if you see that the unemployment rate is rising.

There will be additional requirements depending on the nature of your previous line of work, or the current market. For example, you may have to accept offers with wages less than previously earned. To keep an unemployment benefits extension, you may also be required to increase your work search activities.

What are the Four Tiers of Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Virginia?

The federal unemployment compensation extension consists of four activation periods, which are successively initiated as long as there are sustained periods of high unemployment.

A 14 week period starts off the first tier, usually three weeks from the federal indicator. Another 14 week period is started when the unemployment rate does not drop. A third, 13 week period of unemployment extension is activated if both the state and federal government agree that the unemployment rate is still too high. The fourth period of extended unemployment benefits lasts six weeks, and is used only in times of especially high unemployment.

What Constitutes a Denial of Extended Benefits in Virginia?

If the VEC finds that you failed to accept suitable job offers, or did not show adequate proof of your work search activities, you could be denied a benefits extension. Activation of an unemployment benefits extension usually mobilizes the state to intensify work search activities.

Unless the federal government has activated Virginia’s unemployment benefits extension, there is nothing individuals must do to seek an extension. Just be on the lookout for a letter containing information about an extension, especially if your benefits are ending, or the unemployment rates are rising.

What are the Requirements for Unemployment Extension in Virginia?

You are eligible for unemployment extension in Virginia if you meet the following criteria:
1) You have exhausted your current benefit period.
2) You were not disqualified for regular benefits for a legitimate reason.
3) You have a base period with at least 20 weeks of full-time work at an employer who paid unemployment insurance.

What are the Weekly Benefits During an Unemployment Extension Period in Virginia?

The weekly benefits should be the same as they were under the original unemployment terms. The weekly benefit amount will only change if you have a change in income.

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