CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Approximately 80,000 Virginians with denied unemployment claims will now have access to benefits.
The change comes thanks to a key decision from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Those now covered had been waiting for a hearing to determine their eligibility, or to confirm eligibility after benefits had been cut off.
The decision came after a major push by the Legal Aid Justice Center and similar groups.
“We got a letter back from them, saying that they had been working since the 7th of December to restart benefits, and they’ve managed to restart benefits for almost 40,000 people, and they’re working on the remainder,” Brenda Castaneda, the economic justice program director for the Legal Aid Justice Center, said. “So, that is great news right before the holiday.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Virginia ranked 50th in time taken in responding to unemployment claims.