INFORMATION ABOUT FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Basic Steps to Qualify for State Unemployment Benefits
1. Claimants must file for unemployment benefits online or with the call center when their work ends or when their work hours have been reduced.
2. Claimants must meet the monetary qualification requirement
To monetarily qualify, claimants must earn at least $3,000 in two quarters of their base period while in covered employment. Receipt of a monetary determination does not guarantee approval of benefits.
3. Claimants must meet the separation qualification requirement
If a customer is unemployed for any reason other than a reduction in workforce (lack of work), it will be necessary to gather facts concerning the separation from employment and a determination will be made as to whether the reason for unemployment qualifies the claimant for benefits. Voluntary quits, leave of absences, and terminations all require fact finding and determinations issued prior to paying benefits.
4. Claimants must meet the weekly eligibility requirement
IMPORTANT: After completing an initial claim for unemployment insurance (UI), you must file a weekly claim each week or you will not be paid. The Virginia Employment Commission recommends you do this on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday of each week if you remain unemployed and want to be paid for the prior week. Claims can be made by calling 1-800-897-5630 or through your online account at www.vec.virginia.gov. Weekly filing for PUA claimants can be done through your Gov2Go account.
To determine eligibility for any and all social services programs, individuals can apply via CommonHelp or by phone at 1-855-635-4370.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Self-employed individuals such as independent contractors, gig economy workers, clergy, and those working for religious organizations may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. To receive this benefit, you will need to file a claim for regular unemployment and be denied. Once you have been denied regular unemployment, you can begin the process of filing a PUA claim.
The CARES Act includes a provision that provides for up to an additional 13 weeks of regular/traditional unemployment insurance benefits to those who have exhausted their eligibility. This provision will apply to claims with a benefit year ending date on or after July 6, 2019. However, the 1st payable week under PEUC is the week ending April 4, 2020.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has triggered on to the state’s Extended Benefits (EB) Program, which may entitle you to up to 50% of the total amount you received on your claim for regular unemployment benefits (UI). The EB program became effective on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
In order to receive benefits, you may file an EB claim application using the link shown below. If you fail to file by August 26, 2020, you may lose your effective date established by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). When your claim is processed, you will receive a monetary determination containing your EB benefit amount, benefit rights, and weekly filing instructions.
The EB program covers individuals who:
Have exhausted all rights to regular UI and PEUC under state or federal law
Have no rights to regular UI under any other state or federal law
Are not receiving compensation under the UI laws of Canada
The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program is a federal program that provides an additional $300 per week to claimants in Virginia who are eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment insurance compensation from any of the following:
– Unemployment compensation, including regular State Unemployment Compensation, Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX) – Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Extended Benefits (EB)
Claimants do not need to file a separate application to receive LWA. They will need to self-certify that they are unemployed/partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. (instructions for certification will follow)
LWA will be retroactive to week ending August 1, 2020.
FEMA has allotted a three-week allocation per state with additional weeks being determined on a weekly basis depending on funding availability. The department’s IT team is in the process of programming for LWA. The Virginia Employment Commission expects to make payments beginning September 30, 2020.
Payment Amount: Additional $300 per week.
Duration of LWA Benefits:
– First Payable Week: Retroactive to week ending August 1, 2020. – Last Payable Week: To Be Determined. FEMA has allotted a three-week allocation per state upon approval, with additional weeks being determined on a weekly basis thereafter.
WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN HOW TO FILE AN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM
OTHER RESOURCES FOR IMPACTED WORKERS
Frequently Asked Questions from Workers Regarding COVID-19 (Download PDF)
General Information Flyer on Claims Related to Layoffs – March 2020 Download PDF
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry – Emergency Temporary Standard:
Effective July 27, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has adopted new COVID-19 workplace safety rules. Among other requirements, employers need to implement policies and protocols for the workplace, and train employees on the new rules by August 26.
On June 17, 2020, the Small Business Administration released a revised Loan Forgiveness Application, as well as a new “EZ” Loan Forgiveness Application. While the revised and new versions of the application are functionally similar to the original, the forms were updated to reflect changes in the PPP Flexibility Act and are intended to make the application process more borrower-friendly overall.
The Lynchburg Region Small Business Development Center is hosting a free, four-week webinar series on ‘Marketing and COVID-19’ with Christina Garnett, to assist small businesses in navigating the ‘new normal’. Webinars began June 23, 2020.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, allocates $349 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the current circumstances they are encountering. The CARES Act provides funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, modifies the existing Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA 7(a) borrowers. The following is an overview of the key components of and eligibility requirements of these programs:
7(a) Loan Payment Relief: SBA will pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees owed on 7(a) loans as follows: • Existing borrower not on deferment: six months beginning with the next payment due on the loan; • Existing borrower on deferment: six months of payments beginning with the next payment due on the loan after the deferment period; and • New borrower: six months of payments beginning with the first payment due on the loan, but only for new loans made within the first six months starting from the date of enactment.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Eligibility: Businesses with 500 employees or fewer. • Up to $2 million can be provided to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster did not occur. • Loans can be made based solely on credit scores. • The interest rate on EIDLs will be 3.75% interest rate for small businesses. • The first twelve payments will be deferred and not become due until one year after the original disbursement. Interest does accrue during this time. • The term of these loans will be up to 30 years.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance: For those that apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), an advance of up to $10,000 will be provided to small businesses within several days of applying for the loan. • The advance does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL. • Funds can be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. • Eligibility: Advances are available to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses in operation on January 31, 2020.
Small Business “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP): A new $349 billion lending program under the existing SBA 7(a) program. The SBA guarantee of PPP loans will be 100% through the end of 2020. PPP loan payments will be deferred for a minimum of six and up to 12 months. Loans will be administered through local and regional banks; any federally regulated bank may become an SBA lender for this purpose. The Department of the Treasury will issue regulations for these loans quickly. • The interest rate will not exceed 4%. Rate is currently fixed at 0.5%. • Eligibility: • Small businesses as defined by SBA size standards, generally up to 500 employees, but up to 1,500 employees depending on the sector as certain sectors are based on revenue. • Sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors. • Regulatory Streamlining: • SBA’s standard “no credit elsewhere” test is waived. • No personal guarantee or collateral required. • No additional fees will be applied to these loans. • Size of loans: Up to $10 million. Loan amount is based on recent payroll costs, compensation paid to individuals, including the self-employed. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual is excluded. • Requirements: The business must certify the loan will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage or lease payments, and pay utilities. • Loans may be forgiven, up to an amount equaling eligible payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility cost, incurred during the 8 week period starting from loan origination. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual will not qualify for forgiveness. • Loan forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25%. • Loan forgiveness is not treated as taxable income.
Individuals: Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates.
Corporations: For C Corporations, income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $10 million of their 2019 tax due.
To help with our writing about the new coronavirus disease, called COVID-19, The Associated Press has prepared a guide based on the AP Stylebook and common usage in AP stories, found here.
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