Virginia Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Virginia, you may be eligible for Virginia Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Virginia unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Virginia workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim at 866-832-2363

  • If the last number of your SSN is odd, call Monday, Wednesday, or Friday
  • If the last number of your SSN is even, call on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Name, address, phone number, gross earnings, occupation, dates worked, and reason for separation for all employers for the past 18 months
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
  • Blank check if you intend to request direct deposit

After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive a monetary determination, describing benefits, eligibility and giving additional information.

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Filing Your Weekly Claim:

Virginia weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately 50% of your the average weekly earnings, with a minimum of $54 and a maximum of $378 per week. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

  1. Online – File your weekly unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your weekly unemployment claim by calling 800-897-5630

Hours for weekly filings:
  • Sunday 9:00am – Midnight
  • Monday 4:30am – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am – 7:30pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am – 5:30pm
  • Thursday 7:30am –7:30am
  • Friday 7:30am –5:30pm
  • Saturday and Holidays 9:30am –4:30pm

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

You should expect your first unemployment check within 2 weeks. Weekly benefits are paid to a debit card or direct deposit to your account. You should expect payment availability within 4 business days after weekly filing.

Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

Virginia workers may be eligible for online career assistance and online training assistance. You may also find career and training assistance at Virginia's Workforce center locations.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Virginia Employment Commission.

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Gary Newman


January 05 2013 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy Kranz

How Do I File for an extenion for Unemployment benefits?

November 21 2011 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is a problem in Virginia if while unemployed, you set up a business as a "self employed" individual . I did in 2009 and kept on getting job interviews while working late hours to get my business up and running. I even called the V.E.C and was told that I still qualified but that I should keep up my interviews and report any and all earnings...which I for several months.Then my business starting to bring in a small amount of commission income which I reported. Then when I went to apply for an extension, suddenly a "live person" reviews my file and now I have myself going to a hearing to prevent from having to back back a year's worth of unemployment. What legal resource do i have?

March 22 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Craig's comment

STOP talking so much of your business to these people in virginia they think that its their right to know your business, you should have kept that to yourself, virginia make liveing here hard ever heard dont ask so dont tell. life lesson STOP TALIKING YOUR BUSINESS, as i know you wont win so do more advertisement to get your business up because im sure you have to pay the money back, so dig DEEP.

November 09 2011 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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