Unemployment claim backlog swells to 70,000

Unemployment claim backlog swells to 70,000
On Thursday the VEC held a news briefing to discuss the launch of a third federal unemployment benefit program (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has a five-month backlog in processing unemployment claims.

About 70,000 people are still waiting to collect their unemployment benefits right now.

The coronavirus pandemic has fueled Virginia’s total unemployment number to over 218,000 people as of October, which is almost double the number of unemployed people last year.

According to some advocates, the department faces a couple of issues such as a 35-year-old computer system and not enough manpower.

One state senator says he’s hearing from people who’ve been waiting for benefits even longer than five months.

On top of all of this, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Relief is ending next month, unless it gets the green light from Congress.

However, the number of new people filing unemployment claims in Virginia has dropped to its lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.

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