Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Apply for Unemployment Benefits after you have been separated from your employer or had your hours reduced - preferably in the first week!

You should not attempt to file a Virginia claim if:

  • Your last employer was a federal civilian employer in a state other than Virginia (you must file your claim against the state in which you last worked).
  • The only exception is if you worked as a federal civilian overseas.
  • All your employment within the last 18 months was performed in a state or states other than Virginia.

You can file a claim in Virginia if:

  • You performed any work in Virginia during the last 18 months.
  • You worked as a federal civilian overseas and currently reside in Virginia.
  • You worked as a federal civilian in another state and worked in Virginia for at least one day after the federal employment and currently reside in Virginia.
  • You were in military and you are physically located in Virginia at the time of filing

Combined wages

  • If your employment during the last 18 months was in two or more states (Virginia being one of those states).
  • If your employment during the last 18 months was in two or more states, you have the option to choose which state you wish to file in.

Please click here to view the “Out-of-State” employment agencies contact information.

You will need the following to apply for Unemployment Benefits

  • Your Social Security Number
  • The Name(s), Address(es), telephone number(s), and dates of employment within the last 18 months
    • We recommend reviewing your most recent W2 or pay stub to obtain accurate information
  • If you have any out-of-state employers you must also have mailing address, phone number and dates of employment for them
  • If you obtain work through a local union hall you will need the name and union number
  • If you are NOT a US Citizen you will need your Alien Registration number
  • You will be asked to select a method of payment: VA Debit Card or Direct Deposit. If you select Direct Deposit you will need to have your bank Routing number and your Account number

Please gather all information before beginning your application. The application process takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. Please note: Incomplete Applications will not be processed.

The information you provide when filing your claim is kept confidential. This confidential Unemployment Compensation (UC) information may be requested and utilized for other governmental purposes, including, but not limited to, verification of eligibility for other governmental programs. The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) will only contact you on matters that directly concern your unemployment insurance claim. You are entering a secure site.

Apply Now Online:

  • English Claimant Self-Service Portal
  • Spanish Claimant Self-Service Portal

Note: In order to provide you with improved service, our systems will be offline for scheduled maintenance every Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.The end times are approximate.

By Phone:

  • To apply for unemployment benefits using the Customer Contact Center, please call 1-866-832-2363 (toll free), 8:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. Monday –Friday

Do you require an ADA Accommodation? Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Virginia Relay enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf/Blind, or speech disabled to communicate by TTY (text telephone). Individuals who need this service can access the Virginia Relay Center by dialing 711 or 800-828-1140.