Application portal launched for emergency unemployment benefits

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has launched the application portal to the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits program. This program provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular/traditional Unemployment Insurance benefits to individuals who have already exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Earlier, the VEC issued text and voice messages to more than 35,000 individuals identified as potentially eligible for benefits under the PEUC program., which applies to claims by individuals whose benefit year ended on July 6, 2019, or after.

Payments will be retroactive; the first payable week for qualifying applicants under PEUC is the week ending April 4, 2020.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides a supplemental $600 in weekly benefits to individuals who qualify for state or federal unemployment benefits, automatically will be added to the weekly benefit amount under the PEUC claim.

The final payable week for the PEUC benefits program is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020. The final payable week for the supplemental $600 weekly payment is the week ending July 25, 2020.

The PEUC program is the third new unemployment benefits program to be implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 10, VEC launched the $600 supplemental payment through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. On April 19, VEC launched the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits through expanded eligibility for 1099 employees, gig workers, self-employed individuals and other qualifying individuals.

Since mid-March under those programs and Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance program, VEC has approved more applications for benefits than during the entire Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 and distributed more than $5.1 billion to qualifying workers who’ve lost wages.

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