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How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia

Completing a Virginia application for unemployment insurance is easy if you know all the requirements. If you are wondering how to file for an unemployment claim, or where to register for unemployment benefits, see the following sections:

  • How can I sign up for unemployment in Virginia?
  • What information do I need?
  • Where to sign up for unemployment in Virginia
  • How to apply for unemployment online in Virginia
  • What happens after I file for unemployment in Virginia?
  • How do I file a weekly benefits request in Virginia?
  • Where to register for unemployment benefits in Virginia
  • What types of jobs must I contact to keep eligibility for unemployment in Virginia?
  • Am I allowed to refuse job offers?
  • What could disqualify my claim in Virginia?
  • What happens if my claim is denied in Virginia?

Virginia Unemployment Resources

How can I sign up for unemployment in Virginia?

First, check all personal and employee information on your VA unemployment EDD application, and if anything is not up-to-date or accurate, including the dates of employment, make corrections to your application. If you are contesting your employer’s wrongful termination, make sure to fully explain why it was not your fault. Virginia’s applications for unemployment registration are available through phone consultation or online.

What information do I need?

In addition to personal information, eligibility for unemployment in VA depends on having a valid Social Security Card and mailing address. Applicants will also have to provide the name, address and contact information for any employer worked for in the last year and three months.  All records of earnings, including bonuses, commission or vacation pay should be readily available.

Where to Sign Up for Unemployment in Virginia

It is highly recommended to apply for unemployment benefits online or by telephone, but you can sign up for unemployment by bringing all of the required information to the local Virginia Employment Commission office. If you are wondering where to apply for unemployment, the numbers and addresses for local VES offices can be found in a phone book or online.

How to Apply for Unemployment Online

You are highly encouraged to fill out an online application for unemployment to initiate the process. To begin, access the form online through the Virginia Workforce Connection (VAWC). Candidates will be asked to provide all relevant information, and then asked to select the preferred method to receive benefits. Benefits will be dispersed either by a debit card or through direct deposit.

What happens after I file for unemployment in Virginia?

After you file for an unemployment claim in Virginia, it is very important that the applicant file immediately file for a weekly benefits request claim. Within a few weeks after the candidate has filed an application, he or she will receive a notice of monetary determination, which provides the base period upon which the benefits were calculated, how long the beneficiary will receive them, and the weekly payment amount. During this time, the unemployment insurance beneficiary will have to start sending in his or her weekly form reporting any changes in income and the contacts acquired from work searches.

How do I file a weekly benefits request in Virginia?

To maintain unemployment insurance eligibility in VA, a weekly benefits request must be filed each week to maintain benefit payments. On the form, there will be fields for entering work contacts made, any changes in income and any hours worked. The most important part of the weekly request is that the information on prospective employers is accurate. Incorrectly entering a phone number for a work search contact, for example, could cause a claim to be immediately denied. A few exceptions exist, such as illness or injury, but in all other cases an applicant is expected to make at least three job contacts per week.

Where to Register for Unemployment Benefits in Virginia

The local Virginia unemployment office may be able to handle a petitioner’s request to file for unemployment onsite. It is recommended that the candidate comes prepared with all of the required information.

What types of jobs must I contact to keep eligibility for unemployment in Virginia?

While receiving unemployment insurance benefits in VA, an applicant will be required to apply to jobs that are similar to his or her former occupation or training. Candidates will not be forced to accept work that is considered unsuitable or which falls well below the average pay for that type of work. However, if an applicant is offered suitable work, he or she must accept the offer unless there is evidence to show the position was unreasonable.

Am I allowed to refuse job offers?

If a claimant refuses an offer for work, and fails to adequately explain why the position would have been unfit or undesirable, then his or her unemployment claim could be automatically denied. This can be prevented by faithfully reporting any refusals made to work, providing full explanations of why the offer could not be accepted.

What could disqualify my claim in Virginia?

Below are common reasons petitioners get denied unemployment benefits:

  • Inaccurate reporting of wages
  • Inaccurate reporting of employer information or weekly contacts
  • Failure to meet the wage requirements
  • Failure to register with the Virginia Workforce Connection (VAWC) program.

What happens if my claim is denied in Virginia?

If the applicant receives a letter saying that his or her claim was denied, it will explain the reasons and give instructions on how to file an appeal if the candidate disagrees with the findings. The appeal process is straightforward and does not require the help of legal representation.