VEC reduces backlog by 89%
Backlog of separation claims down to to 27,728 from 246,273
The Virginia Employment Commission has decreased its backlog by nearly 89%, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Monday.
The VEC reduced the backlog of employment separation reports from 246,273 to 27,728 and unpaid pending claims from 24,887 to 15,846 claims.
“Virginians deserve an unemployment insurance system that is responsive, efficient and customer focused,” Youngkin said in a statement. “On day one, my administration launched the VEC transformation effort with an initial focus on reducing claims backlogs and we are starting to see encouraging initial results.”
The VEC has been under scrutiny for backlogs of claims during the pandemic.
The agency met its Labor Day 2021 deadline on a court order to address a backlog of earlier claims, but other disputed claims built up in that period. The agency had paused its collection of overpayments to unemployed claimants as it sorted through the backlogs of disputed claims and appeals, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in September 2021.
In November 2021, a report from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission showed that the agency had made progress in its backlog, down to 437,000 outstanding claims. The report also showed, though that the VEC needed to recoup more than $1.2 billion that was incorrectly paid out, WWBT reported.
In early January, the agency reached an agreement with five legal advocacy groups to end a federal lawsuit the groups had filed against the state, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
On Jan. 19, the governor’s office removed Ellen Marie Hess from her position as VEC commissioner and two days later, the governor’s office announced he had appointed Carrie Roth as VEC commissioner.
The agency also delayed the launch of its updated system last year, from Oct. 1, 2021, to November 2021.