How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Virginia?

There is no minimum amount of time or wages an employer has to meet in order to qualify under unemployment compensation.

To qualify for UI in VA, you must have worked during a minimum of two quarters in the base period. You also must earn total at least $3000 between the wages of two quarters, making the minimum required base period earnings to be $3000.

VA offers an alternate base period, which considers the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period (instead of the first four); however, an extended base period is not offered.

18 comments

  • Niecey

    I was hired at my job August 1st 2016 we got pregnant and thought I would be able to take my 3 months and be able to come back to my job but according to Human Resources since my year does not start until August first 2017 I will not be eligible to take 3 months and I will also have only 6 weeks to have my baby and return to work ( which seems impossible but They are exspecting me to work up until that day she is due which is July 20th) they say if i am even one day over that 6 weeks I will be fired and will have to reapply They also say a doctors note does not excuse that that if I take the week off befor she’s due and then my doctor keep me out 6 weeks to heal that I will still be fired because that’s policy …my plan was to start my maturity leave at the beginning of July so I would only be one month away from my one year mark so it seems pretty crazy that they told me all this today but I guess my question is do I or would I qualify for unemployment For my 6 weeks and or after my 6 weeks if I get fired ?

    • Eligibility for FMLA is a labor law issue unrelated to unemployment benefits. You are eligible, as you have a medical reason for not returning to work. If you are discharged for medical reasons, you apply for benefits. VA will establish the claim. However, unemployment benefits are not paid if you are physically not able to search for and accept work. You will need to provide a doctor’s release before VA will pay benefits.

  • MG

    I recently began a job on February 22, 2017 and was let go on March 16, 2017. I was hired as part of an expansion plan that was cancelled and the termination was through no fault of my own and had I actually turned down another job offer to take this position. I previously had not worked for a month but was working continuously for over five years before that period. Do I qualify for benefits?

    • You have plenty of work history to qualify monetarily. But, the break in employment is an issue.

      Why didn’t you work for a month? Were you let go? If so, did you apply for benefits? If that is the case, reopen the existing claim.

      Otherwise, did you quit? If so, why? If you can’t demonstrate good cause for that quit, VA will require that you have worked 30 days or 240 hours after that quit before paying benefits, which you haven’t done.

      Nonetheless, apply to get the process going. You’ve already worked 17 days. If you can find some short-term temp work, that, together with the 17 days at the new job, will purge that penalty. Thereafter, you will be able to collect on that claim.

      • MG

        I was terminated prior to the 30 day break and didn’t quit. I didn’t collect benefits during that time.

        • VA will investigate that prior separation as well as the most recent. Since both were discharges, unless either employer alleges misconduct, you should have no trouble qualifying for an unemployment claim. If the earlier termination was due to misconduct, then you’re back to the 30 days/240 hours of work purge discussed earlier – unless you can disprove those allegations at appeal. Employers often falsely allege misconduct to avoid their accounts being charged for benefits.

  • Erika

    If I started my job in October 2016 & was fired in march of 2017 am I eligible ?

    • If you have no other work history, prior to October, the answer is no – at this time. If you have worked at least two quarters in 2016, then, yes.

      Otherwise, wait until April 2nd to apply. At that time VA will use quarters ending 12/31/2016 and 3/31/2017.

  • Liz

    I’ve worked for a company from July 2016-Feb 2017 (current). I’ve earned more than $3000 in that time. I had no prior employment in more than 2 years prior to this job. If I’m fired today, would I qualify for unemployment?

  • Shan

    If I worked from nov 3 2016-feb 16 2017 and made over 3000.00 do I qualify for unemployment benefits

    • The base period for any application made earlier than April 2nd, will disregard your January-February 2017 earnings.

      For now, you need two quarters of wages between Jan-Dec. 2016. If your work history begins November 2016 and you have had no other earnings in 2016 prior to September 30, 2016, no, you do not qualify for benefits at this time.

  • JB

    If I am laid off and move to another state am I still able to capture compensation?

  • Caila

    I live in NC but work in Va I work sept- Dec. And Feb – beginning of summer. Making 8.25 an hour. Should I qualify?

    • If you have earnings Feb-June and Sept – Dec, you should qualify. That schedule however, suggests you may be working for a school which does not have employment over the holidays and in the summer. If so, you may have a problem. But apply, anyway, and let VA determine your eligibility. The quarters of work are there, but the type of work you do may be an issue.

  • A L B

    I AM AN EMPLOYER IN VIRGINIA. DURING THE WINTER MONTHS IT SLOWS DOWN IN MY SMALL TOWN AND I END UP HAVING TO LAY A COUPLE SERVERS AND COOKS OFF. IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION A SERVER HAS BEEN WITH ME FOR A TOTAL OF 22 WEEKS AND MADE $8500 TOTAL. ALSO, THE SERVER WAS EMPLOYED FROM JULY 22ND UNTIL DEC. 31ST 2016.
    DO THEY QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *