VEC Shuts Down Extended Unemployment Benefits Program

By Associated Press

November 23, 2020

The program’s final day was Saturday. No applications will be accepted and no benefits paid out, officials say.

RICHMOND — A program that provided extended unemployment benefits to out-of-work Virginians ended Saturday.

The Virginia Employment Commission announced last week that it was shutting down the state’s Extended Benefits program. The federally-funded program provided up to an addition 13 weeks of help to people who had already exhausted their regular benefits and any Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The official statement was that the program ended because employment in Virginia improved in recent weeks. Now it no longer meets a federal threshold for the program to be funded. If that changes, it could restart in the future.

RELATED: 12 Million People Are About To Lose Unemployment.

”Your weeks may get cut short because of this,” VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg told TV station WWBT. “We were expecting it to be maybe December but our rate has gone down faster,” she said.

Fogg didn’t respond to a question from The Associated Press about the number of Virginians receiving extended benefits. Labor Department data released Thursday showed over 16,000 extended benefits claims were filed during the week ending Oct. 31.

The data also showed 14,089 initial unemployment claims were filed in Virginia last week, up by several thousand from the week before.

Nationally, the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks.

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