Virginia will again require job searches for unemployment benefits

Starting next month, Virginia will reinstate proof of an active search for employment as a requirement for receiving state unemployment benefits.

The requirement, suspended by most states during the pandemic, will apply to state residents receiving standard state unemployment benefits and those receiving pandemic unemployment assistance.

The Virginia Employment Commission says it will start notifying unemployment benefit recipients of the return of job-search requirements starting in May.

To qualify, or continue to qualify, for unemployment benefits in Virginia, those filing claims must provide evidence to the Virginia Employment Commission of at least two job applications each week for VEC review.

Failing to report job search activity each week will make filers ineligible for benefits.

Individuals receiving unemployment benefits must also be “able and willing” for work each week they claim benefits — meaning physically and mentally able to perform work, and willing to accept suitable work.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, VEC has received more than 1.5 million claims for unemployment benefits, double the previous 12 months, and has paid out more than $12.2 billion in benefits.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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