VEC releases key points for unemployment benefits under recently signed COVID-19 relief package

The Virginia Employment Commission releases key points in how the recently signed relief...
The Virginia Employment Commission releases key points in how the recently signed relief package will impact unemployment benefits.(VEC)
Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:37 PM EST
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HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has released some details on how the recently signed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

On Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) which he said will help the U.S. defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health. Some checks to Americans could begin arriving this weekend.

Per the VEC website, the agency will provide information regarding the details of the law and how it affects the various programs under the Unemployment Insurance umbrella.

However, that information is not immediately available on a state level.

“Those bills are very large, and the Department of Labor has to go through those bills and give us guidance as to how we handle that,” said VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg. “Of course, our staff are already trying to follow as closely as we can, but we can’t do everything totally until we get that guidance from the Department of Labor.”

There were some key points released by the VEC Thursday to help Virginians understand how things will likely move forward.

  • You do not need to reapply for benefits. The VEC will automatically enroll you in the appropriate extension.
  • You should continue to file your weekly claim for benefits as you normally would as long as you remain unemployed.
  • You will not need to contact the VEC in order for these program extensions to take effect.
  • In order to implement all the provisions called for in this new legislation, the VEC will need time to receive official guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and to modify our IT systems.
  • This legislation would extend the various benefit programs through the week ending September 4, 2021.
  • The additional Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) funds will remain at $300 per week through September 4, 2021 as well.

More information is expected to be released in the coming weeks once the U.S. Department of Labor issues guidance to the states.

On Thursday, NBC12 spoke with a representative from the VEC about the improvements made over the last year during the pandemic. For more information click here.

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