How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance in Virginia


If you are recently unemployed and wondering how to apply for unemployment online in Virginia, you must first gather all the information and official documentation required to complete the application. When attempting to get benefits, you can choose an online application for unemployment or you can choose another method that is more convenient for you. The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is responsible for processing all applications for unemployment and distributing benefits to all eligible candidates. Now that you have established you are eligible for unemployment insurance, it is time to learn where to sign up for unemployment and how to apply based on your specific circumstances. When you apply for unemployment benefits in Virginia, it may take some time, but the process can be made much faster if you are well-prepared and know exactly when you need to properly complete an application. Continue reading for more information on how to file a claim and what else you need to do to complete an unemployment insurance application.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Virginia?

You can file for an unemployment claim in three ways: in-person, by mail or online. If you want to know where to apply for unemployment, visit the nearest VEC center, fill out an unemployment claim and turn it in. The center may or may not have available forms for you to fill out there, so you should call ahead to make sure you fill out the form beforehand if none are available on site. To file for unemployment by mail, you will need to print out and complete an unemployment claim and mail it to your local VEC center. It is also important to remember that applying for unemployment benefits by mail may take up to three weeks due to travel time and the “waiting week,” so plan accordingly. You will be unable to check your status online or by phone for at least seven days after mailing out your application because it may take some time for VEC workers to input your information into the system.

Finally, you can apply for unemployment online through the VEC. You need to undergo unemployment registration by creating an account then completing and submitting your claim. Once your claim has been filed, you can immediately check your status quickly and conveniently through your online account with the VEC. Filing for unemployment online is the fastest way to receive your unemployment benefits and the easiest way to monitor your claim. You will not be required to call the VEC to check your claim status and you will not have to wait for your application to be physically delivered to the VEC. You also will not need to worry about your claim being lost in the mail or your personal information falling into the wrong hands. Applying for unemployment benefits online is the most efficient way to file a claim in Virginia and the most reliable. Get more information on the unemployment application process by downloading our free and comprehensive guide today.

What information do I need to file for unemployment in Virginia?

Now that you know where to register for unemployment benefits, you can focus on what you will need to complete an unemployment claim. Your unemployment EDD application will need to include:

  • Your Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number if you are not yet a citizen.
  • The name, address and phone number of all the employers you have had over the last 18 months.
  • Exact dates for all your employment over the last 18 months even those outside of Virginia.
  • A bank account or routing number to deposit benefits if eligible.

To file for unemployment, you should have all of this information readily available before filling out a physical or online application. The application process can take an hour or more depending on how prepared you are to fill it out and if you fill it out correctly. Filing an unemployment claim that is incomplete or incorrect may delay your application process and you may not be able to receive any benefits for a month or more.

In order to successfully apply for unemployment benefits in Virginia, the VEC may need information from the unemployment office of the previous state you worked in to verify your unemployment status. If you have employment entries from another state within the last 18 months, you may need to provide supplementary information on your application. The VEC will also be verifying if you received unemployment from another state in the past and determine if that will affect your benefits with the state of Virginia. Learn more about application requirements by downloading our free guide. Keep all of the above in mind as you prepare to file an unemployment claim, as you may need extra time to gather all the information required to finish your application. Filing for unemployment can already take a great deal of effort, so be sure to take the necessary steps to make the process as smooth as possible for yourself. After you file for an unemployment claim, a representative from the VEC may contact you for an eligibility interview to review certain information on your application.

Virginia Employment Commission