VEC to reinstate weekly work search requirement soon
Policy was suspended during the pandemic's first year
All Virginia recipients of unemployment insurance will have to apply for two jobs a week soon to continue receiving benefits, Virginia Employment Commission announced Tuesday. Although the exact timeline was not provided, the VEC will begin notifying residents in May, it said.
According to the news release, VEC has received more than 1.5 million claims over the past year, a more than 1,000% increase from the previous year, and it has paid more than $12.2 billion in state and federal benefits, which is now entering a third round of stimulus payments.
Under normal circumstances, unemployment insurance recipients must apply for at least two jobs a week to continue receiving benefits under state and federal law, but that requirement was suspended during the pandemic, when jobs in some fields were scarce, particularly restaurants and hospitality sectors. After May, recipients will have to report details of their job search activity each week to the VEC, and the requirement extends to recipients of federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
The VEC will work with Virginia Career Works centers across the state to help job seekers with their searches, as well as accessing child care when they return to work.