Virginia Unemployment Benefits Update

Dear WANADA Members,

Earlier this week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced several important changes to the unemployment benefits process in Virginia. The governor waived the one-week waiting period to begin claiming benefits, and has also waived the standard job-search requirements normally needed to qualify.

The governor's office also created a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page related to the eligibility expansion, and it is a useful read for employers and employees alike. 

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch and the governor's FAQ page, workers who were laid off from their Virginia-based job may now qualify for unemployment benefits if:

  • their employer needs to "temporarily slow or cease operations due to the coronavirus outbreak";
  • they have been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and are not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer; or
  • they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.
We believe that the unemployment claims around paid family medical leave can serve as a bridge for affected Virginia workers until the federal Families First Act goes into effect on April 2.

For more information, please refer to the Virginia Employment Commission website. Please let me know if you have any questions.

John O'Donnell
WANADA President and CEO