Breaking News
More () »

VEC payment issues go unanswered

Adam Carr served in the U.S. Air Force for 15 years. He relies on the unemployment insurance benefits from the Virginia Employment Commission.

YORKTOWN, Va. — Adam Carr served 14 years and nine months in the military as an analyst, traveling overseas, and recently got out in January 2022.

Like many veterans, Carr deals with the burden of PTSD. He said he relies on a number of services in Hampton Roads.

"It's been a struggle on and off for nearly 14 years," said Carr. "I've gone through many different mental health programs, but the VA has been great here and really responsive."

However, the one agency Carr can't seem to get a response from is the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) regarding his unemployment insurance benefits.

"I haven't had any benefits since August 20th, so it's been over two months. It's been stating that one was I needed the IVR PIN, but I just changed addresses," Carr explained. "So, I had to mail in my birth certificate, my driver's license, my social security... I had to snail mail it in."

RELATED: VEC letter tells Hampton Roads resident she was overpaid in 2020

Even with sending all of his information in through the mail, Carr still struggled to get through to someone on the phone to help with his account. He said he finally after eight hours on the phone straight got in contact with a worker.

"I finally got through to a lady who reset my whole account and said she 'thinks' this Monday that I'll be able to start filing and it 'might' be able to start the process again," Carr said.

Carr isn't the only one calling.

72-year-old Robert Haberman said he received a letter earlier this year, claiming he had to pay back $1,700 from his unemployment claims that he was overpaid.

He said that's more money than he originally claimed in 2020 and something doesn't add up, so he went to the office in Hampton where he said they helped him file an appeal.

"I've been sitting here and I filed an appeal back, it's been a while, I think two to three months ago," Haberman said. "I'm just kind of in limbo. As long as I don't hear from them, you know, just leave a sleeping dog lie."

Earlier this year, leaders with the VEC increased online security to crack down on fraudulent claims. That means people have to provide more personal information to prove they are the same person filing the claim on the account. 

Carr said this has added to the delays he's experienced. He said he understands it is a difficult route to navigate with a large system, but he just wants someone to take responsibility.

"Knowing how many Virginians is going through this. It's... it's troubling," said Carr. "The state government or whoever it is, someone needs to do something. I don't know if it's the governor's office at this point, but something needs to be done." 

13News Now reached out to communication leaders with the VEC multiple times on different platforms on Friday. We did not receive a response as of Friday evening. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out