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VEC to reinstate weekly job search requirement for unemployment benefits

People who file for benefits must apply for at least two jobs a week to qualify for payments. The requirement was temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.
Credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi - stock.adobe.com

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Employment Commission is set to bring back a requirement that was temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VEC officials will start touching base with people who file for unemployment benefits to let them know they're required to apply for at least two jobs a week if they want to continue qualifying for payments.

That includes those who have filed claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

This requirement is state and federal law, but was suspended for a time due to the pandemic.

“Customers are normally required to actively look for work while collecting unemployment benefits,” said Commissioner Ellen Marie Hess, Virginia Employment Commission. “With increased vaccination access, first in the nation workplace safety regulations, and a robust demand for workers from businesses, Virginia will resume collecting and reviewing work search activity of customers in the near future."

Here are the requirements:

  • Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will be required to actively apply for at least 2 jobs each week in order to receive their benefits.
  • Individuals will be required to report details of their job search activity each week to the VEC for review.
  • Individuals will not be eligible for benefits for any week they fail to make the required job search.
  • VEC plans to begin notifying customers in May with additional details regarding these changes.