Virginia changing criteria for unemployment benefits recipients

Virginia will now require unemployment benefit recipients to prove they’ve applied for at least two jobs a week plus show their job search activity in order to continue receiving benefits.

Small business owners say it’s a step in the right direction.

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The requirement was waived during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hope for employers especially small business owners is that this renewed requirement will help with getting employees back to work.

Many have struggled to rehire staff especially in the hospitality, restaurant and bar industries.

Some workers have said they’re making more by receiving unemployment benefits plus the weekly COVID-19 benefit than if they were to return to work.

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The Virginia Employment Commission says with increased vaccination access and a robust demand for workers from businesses, the commonwealth will resume collecting and reviewing work search activity from unemployment benefit recipients.

The state’s employment commission says recipients will also be required to report details of their job search activity each week and will not be eligible for benefits for any week they fail to make the required job search.

The state’s employment commission starting notifying unemployment benefit recipients about the requirement this month.

To assist Virginians searching for employment opportunities, the VEC will be working with the Virginia Career Works Centers across the Commonwealth.

Business owners including Miguel Pires, owner of Zandras Taqueria, also acknowledge interest in  employment has picked up in the last week now that restrictions have been lifted for the most part and business is starting to resume back to normal.