Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 60.2. Unemployment Compensation
Subtitle .
Chapter 6. Benefits
12/8/2022

Chapter 6. Benefits.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 60.2-600. No assignment of benefits; exemptions.

Any assignment, pledge or encumbrance of any right to benefits which are or may become due or payable under this title shall be void except as provided in this section and in §§ 60.2-608, 60.2-608.1, 60.2-608.2, and 60.2-633. Such rights to benefits shall be exempt from levy, execution, attachment, garnishment or any other legal process provided for the collection of debt, even if the compensation is used for purchase of shares in a credit union, or deposited into an account with a financial institution or other organization accepting deposits and is thereby commingled with other funds, except debts incurred for necessaries furnished to such individual, his spouse or dependents during the time when such individual was unemployed. Any waiver of any exemption provided for in this section shall be void.

Upon an order of garnishment, attachment or other levy addressed to a financial institution in which the principal defendant claims to have exempt funds hereunder, the principal defendant may file an answer asserting the exemption hereunder. From the time of service of such garnishment, attachment or levy, the financial institution, until further order of the court, shall hold the amount subject to such garnishment, attachment or levy, or such lesser amount or sum as it may have, which amount shall be set forth in its answer. It shall hold such amount free of any person drawing against such funds whether by check against such account or otherwise. The financial institution shall be subject to such further order or subpoena for discovery of its records, for which it shall be entitled an order or agreement for compensation for the expense of such service, and in a case deemed appropriate to the court by such an order directing deposit of funds or further security prior to such records being ordered produced.

Code 1950, § 60-108; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-125; 1986, c. 480; 1987, c. 331; 1996, c. 107; 1997, c. 385.

Article 2. Benefit Computation.

§ 60.2-601. Payment of benefits.

All benefits shall be paid through public employment offices, in accordance with such regulations as the Commission may prescribe.

Code 1950, § 60-41; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-46; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-602. Weekly benefit amount.

A. Beginning July 6, 2008, for claims effective on or after July 6, 2008, but before July 6, 2014, an eligible individual's weekly "benefit amount" shall be the amount appearing in Column B in the "Benefit Table" in this section on the line on which in Column A of such table, there appears the total wages for insured work paid to such individual in the two quarters of his base period in which such total wages were highest.

Benefit Table Division C Duration of Benefits beginning July 6, 2008, but before July 6, 2014

B. Beginning July 6, 2014, for claims effective on or after July 6, 2014, an eligible individual's weekly "benefit amount" shall be the amount appearing in Column B in the "Benefit Table" in this section on the line on which in Column A of such table, there appears the total wages for insured work paid to such individual in the two quarters of his base period in which such total wages were highest.

Benefit Table Division C Duration of Benefits beginning July 6, 2014

Code 1950, § 60-42; 1952, c. 184; 1954, c. 203; 1956, c. 440; 1960, c. 136; 1962, c. 12; 1964, c. 3; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 9; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-47; 1970, c. 104; 1972, c. 764; 1974, c. 466; 1976, c. 708; 1977, c. 330; 1978, c. 493; 1979, c. 691; 1980, c. 463; 1981, c. 606; 1984, c. 468; 1985, c. 516; 1986, cc. 480, 493; 1988, c. 131; 1990, c. 908; 1996, c. 367; 1997, cc. 530, 674; 2000, c. 573; 2002, cc. 122, 892; 2003, c. 926; 2005, cc. 23, 918; 2006, c. 258; 2007, c. 628; 2008, c. 725; 2009, c. 789; 2010, c. 412; 2011, c. 16; 2012, c. 312.


§ 60.2-603. Weekly benefit for unemployment.

A. Each eligible individual who is unemployed in any week shall be paid for such week a benefit equal to his weekly benefit amount less any part of the wages payable to him for such week which is in excess of $50. Where such excess is not a multiple of $1, it shall be computed to the next highest multiple of $1.

B. Wages earned on a shift commencing Saturday and ending Sunday shall be allocated to the week in which the claimant earns the majority of wages for such work.

Code 1950, § 60-43; 1964, c. 3; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-48; 1970, c. 104; 1984, cc. 458, 468; 1986, c. 480; 1992, c. 482; 2005, c. 125.

§ 60.2-604. Reduction of benefit amount by amount of pension.

The weekly benefit amount payable to an individual for any week which begins in a period for which such individual is receiving a governmental or other pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or any other similar periodic payment under a plan maintained or contributed to by a base period or chargeable employer based on the previous work of such individual, including payments received by such individual in accordance with § 65.2-500 or 65.2-502, shall be reduced, but not below zero, by an amount equal to the amount of such pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or other payment, which is reasonably attributable to such week; however, in consideration of the employee's contributions thereto, the weekly benefit amount payable to an individual for any week shall not be reduced by any amount of Social Security Act or Railroad Retirement Act retirement benefits received by such individual and attributable to such week.

1977, c. 330, § 60.1-48.1; 1978, c. 269; 1986, c. 480; 1987, c. 3; 2003, cc. 534, 555; 2005, c. 1; 2011, cc. 748, 751.

§ 60.2-605. Benefit rights based on benefit year.

Benefit rights of individuals shall be based solely upon the benefit year as defined in § 60.2-206.

Code 1950, § 60-44; 1960, c. 136; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-49; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-606. Benefits when wages irregular.

If the remuneration payable to an individual is not based upon a fixed period or duration of time or if the individual's wages are payable at irregular intervals or in such manner as not to extend regularly over the period of employment, the wages for any week or for any calendar quarter for the purpose of computing an individual's right to unemployment benefits only shall be determined in such manner as may by regulation be prescribed. Such regulations shall, so far as possible, secure results reasonably similar to those which would prevail if the individual's wages were payable at regular intervals.

Code 1950, § 60-45.1; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-50; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-607. Maximum total benefit amounts.

The maximum total amount of benefits payable to any individual during any benefit year shall be determined from the "Benefit Table" shown in § 60.2-602 but shall not exceed twenty-six times such individual's weekly benefit amount, except when benefits are paid pursuant to the provisions of § 60.2-610 or § 60.2-611. Such determination shall be based only upon wages paid for insured work during such individual's base period. The Commission shall maintain a separate account for each individual who is paid wages for insured work. After the expiration of each calendar quarter the Commission shall credit each individual's account with the wages paid to him for insured work in such calendar quarter.

Code 1950, § 60-45.2; 1956, c. 440; 1960, c. 136; 1962, c. 12; 1964, c. 3; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-51; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-608. Child support intercept of unemployment benefits.

A. Any individual filing a new claim for unemployment compensation shall, at the time of filing such claim, disclose whether or not the individual owes child support obligations as defined under subsection G of this section. If any such individual discloses that he or she owes child support obligations, and is determined to be eligible for unemployment compensation, the Commission shall notify the state or local child support enforcement agency enforcing such obligation that the individual has been determined to be eligible for unemployment compensation.

B. The Commission shall deduct and withhold the following from any unemployment compensation payable to such an individual:

1. The amount specified by the individual to the Commission to be deducted and withheld under this subsection, if neither the provisions of subdivision 2 of this subsection nor the provisions of subdivision 3 of this subsection are applicable;

2. The amount, if any, determined pursuant to an agreement submitted to the Commission under § 454 (20) (B) (i) of the Social Security Act by the state or local child support enforcement agency, unless the provisions of subdivision 3 of this subsection are applicable; or

3. Any amount otherwise required to be so deducted and withheld from such unemployment compensation pursuant to legal process, as defined in § 462 (e) of the Social Security Act, properly served upon the Commission.

C. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection B shall be paid by the Commission to the appropriate state or local child support enforcement agency.

D. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection B shall be treated as if it were paid to the individual as unemployment compensation and paid by such individual to the state or local child support enforcement agency in satisfaction of the individual's child support obligations.

E. For purposes of subsections A through D of this section, "unemployment compensation" means any compensation payable under this title, including amounts payable by the Commission pursuant to an agreement under any federal law providing for compensation, assistance, or allowances with respect to unemployment.

F. This section applies only if appropriate arrangements have been made for reimbursement by the state or local child support enforcement agency for the administrative costs incurred by the Commission under this section which are attributable to child support obligations being enforced by the state or local child support enforcement agency.

G. The term "child support obligations" as defined for purposes of this section includes only obligations which are being enforced pursuant to a plan described in § 454 of the Social Security Act which has been approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under Part D of Title IV (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) of the Social Security Act.

H. The term "state or local child support enforcement agency" as used in this section means any agency of any state or a political subdivision thereof operating pursuant to a plan described in subsection G of this section.

1982, c. 237, § 60.1-52.6; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-608.1. Deduction and withholding of federal income tax.

A. For all payments made after December 31, 1996, federal income tax may be deducted and withheld from a benefit payment if the individual receiving such benefits voluntarily requests such deduction and withholding. The deduction shall be an amount equal to fifteen percent of such payment, or the amount determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

B. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection A of this section shall remain in the Unemployment Compensation Fund until transferred to the Internal Revenue Service as a payment of income tax.

C. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection A of this section shall be treated as if it were paid to the individual as unemployment benefits.

D. Amounts shall be deducted and withheld under this section only after amounts are deducted and withheld for any unemployment benefit overpayments, child support obligations, or any other amounts required to be deducted and withheld under this title.

E. The Commission shall follow all procedures specified by the United States Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to the deducting and withholding of federal income tax from unemployment benefits.

1996, c. 107.

§ 60.2-608.2. Withholding of benefits; food stamp overissuance.

A. Any individual filing a new claim for unemployment compensation shall, at the time of filing such claim, disclose whether or not the individual owes an uncollected overissuance of food stamp coupons, as such is defined in § 13(c) (1) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, 7 U.S.C. § 2022 (c) (1). If any such individual discloses that he or she owes food stamp obligations and is determined to be eligible for unemployment compensation, the Commission shall notify the state food stamp agency enforcing such obligation that the individual has been determined to be eligible for unemployment compensation.

B. The Commission shall deduct and withhold the following from any unemployment compensation payable to an individual who owes an uncollected overissuance:

1. The amount specified by the individual to the Commission to be deducted and withheld under this subsection, if neither the provisions of subdivision 2 nor the provisions of subdivision 3 of this subsection are applicable; or

2. The amount, if any, determined pursuant to an agreement submitted to the Commission by the state food stamp agency under § 13(c) (3) (A) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, 7 U.S.C. § 2022 (c) (3) (A); or

3. Any amount otherwise required to be so deducted and withheld from such unemployment compensation pursuant to § 13(c) (3) (B) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, 7 U.S.C. § 2022 (c) (3) (B).

C. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection B shall be paid by the Commission to the appropriate state food stamp agency.

D. Any amount deducted and withheld under subsection B shall for all purposes be treated as if it were paid to the individual as unemployment compensation and paid by such individual to the state food stamp agency as repayment of the individual's uncollected overissuance.

E. For purposes of subsections A through D of this section, the term "unemployment compensation" means any compensation payable under this title including amounts payable by the Commission pursuant to an agreement under any federal law providing for compensation, assistance, or allowances with respect to unemployment.

F. The provisions of this section shall be applicable only if appropriate arrangements have been made for reimbursement by the state food stamp agency for the administrative costs incurred by the Commission under this subsection which are attributable to the repayment of uncollected overissuances to the state food stamp agency.

1997, c. 385.

§ 60.2-609. Reciprocal arrangements with agencies of other states or federal government.

A. 1. The Commission shall participate in any arrangements for the payment of compensation on the basis of combining an individual's wages and employment covered under the unemployment compensation laws of two or more states. Such arrangements shall be approved by the United States Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the state unemployment compensation agencies, to assure the prompt and full payment of compensation in such situations. Such arrangements include provisions for:

a. Applying the base period of a single state law to a claim involving the combining of an individual's wages and employment covered under two or more state unemployment compensation laws, and

b. Avoiding the duplicate use of wages and employment by reason of such combining.

2. The Commission shall periodically reimburse any other state agency, up to the amount of benefit credits thus transferred to it by the Commission for payments actually made by such other state agency based on such transfers.

3. Similarly, such other state agency shall periodically reimburse the Commission, for payments it actually made based on the benefit credits transferred to it by such other state agency.

B. Amounts paid under such reciprocal arrangement by another state agency on behalf of the Commission shall, when reimbursed by the Commission, be chargeable to the same accounts and in the same amounts as if such benefits had been paid without regard to such reciprocal arrangement.

C. Amounts paid under any such reciprocal arrangement by the Commission on behalf of another state agency shall be chargeable to the Commission's benefit account fund and the corresponding reimbursements shall be credited to the same account.

Code 1950, § 60-47.1; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-59; 1970, c. 104; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235; 1979, c. 675; 1986, c. 480.

Article 3. Extended Benefits.

§ 60.2-610. Extended benefits defined.

A. As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, "extended benefit period" means a period which:

1. Begins with the third week following a week for which there is a state "on" indicator; and

2. Ends with either of the following weeks, whichever occurs later:

a. The third week after the first week for which there is a state "off" indicator; or

b. The thirteenth consecutive week of such period; however, no extended benefit period may begin by reason of a state "on" indicator before the fourteenth week following the end of a prior extended benefit period which was in effect with respect to this Commonwealth.

B. "Rate of insured unemployment," for purposes of subsections H and I of this section, means the percentage derived by dividing:

1. The average weekly number of individuals filing claims for regular compensation in this Commonwealth for weeks of unemployment with respect to the most recent, 13 consecutive week period, as determined by the Commission on the basis of its reports to the United States Secretary of Labor, by

2. The average monthly employment covered under this act for the first four of the most recent six completed calendar quarters ending before the end of such 13-week period.

C. "Regular benefits" means benefits, other than extended benefits, payable to an individual under this title or under any other state law, including benefits payable to federal civilian employees and to ex-servicemen pursuant to Chapter 85 (5 U.S.C. § 8501 et seq.) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

D. "Extended benefits" means benefits, including benefits payable to federal civilian employees and to ex-servicemen pursuant to Chapter 85 (5 U.S.C. § 8501 et seq.) of Title 5 of the United States Code, payable to an individual under the provisions of § 60.2-611 for weeks of unemployment in his eligibility period.

E. "Eligibility period" of an individual means the period consisting of the weeks in his benefit year which begin in an extended benefit period and, if his benefit year ends within such extended benefit period, any weeks thereafter which begin in such period.

F. 1. "Exhaustee" means an individual who, with respect to any week of unemployment in his eligibility period:

a. Has received, prior to such week, all of the regular benefits that were available to him under this title or any other state law, including dependents' allowances and benefits payable to federal civilian employees and ex-servicemen under Chapter 85 (5 U.S.C. § 8501 et seq.) of Title 5 of the United States Code, in his current benefit year that includes such week;

b. His benefit year having expired prior to such week, has no, or insufficient, wages or employment on the basis of which he could establish a new benefit year that would include such week; and

c. (i) Has no right to unemployment benefits or allowances, under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.), the Automotive Products Trade Act of 1965 (19 U.S.C. § 2001 et seq.) and such other federal laws as are specified in regulations issued by the United States Secretary of Labor, and (ii) has not received and is not seeking unemployment benefits under the unemployment compensation law of Canada. However, if he is seeking such benefits and the appropriate agency finally determines that he is not entitled to benefits under such law he is considered an exhaustee.

2. For the purposes of subdivision 1 a of this subsection, an individual shall be deemed to have received all of the regular benefits that were available to him although (i) as a result of a pending appeal with respect to wages or employment that were not considered in the original monetary determination in his benefit year, he may subsequently be determined to be entitled to added regular benefits, or (ii) he may be entitled to regular benefits with respect to future weeks of unemployment.

G. "State law" means the unemployment insurance law of any state, approved by the United States Secretary of Labor under 26 U.S.C. § 3304.

H. There is a "state 'on' indicator" for this Commonwealth for a week if:

1. The Commission determines, in accordance with the regulations of the United States Secretary of Labor, that for the period consisting of such week and the immediately preceding 12 weeks, the rate of insured unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, under this title:

a. Equaled or exceeded 120 percent of the average of such rates for the corresponding 13-week period ending in each of the preceding two calendar years; and

b. Equaled or exceeded five percent, provided that the determination of whether there has been a state trigger "on" indicator shall be made as if this subsection did not contain subdivision 1 a, if the rate of insured unemployment as defined in this subsection equaled or exceeded six percent, except that any week for which there would otherwise be a state "on" indicator shall continue to be such a week and shall not be determined to be a week for which there is a state "off" indicator; or

2. With respect to weeks of unemployment beginning on or after February 1, 2009, and thereafter until the week ending three weeks prior to the last week for which federal sharing is authorized by Section 2005(a) of Public Law 111-5, or by an extension thereof or amendment thereto, the United States Secretary of Labor determines that, for the period consisting of the most recent three months for which data for all states are published before the close of such week, the average rate of total unemployment in this Commonwealth, seasonally adjusted:

a. Equaled or exceeded 110 percent of the average of such rates for either or both of the corresponding three month periods ending in the two preceding calendar years; and

b. Equaled or exceeded a six and one half percent.

I. There is a "state 'off' indicator" for this Commonwealth for a week if the Commission determines, in accordance with the regulations of the United States Secretary of Labor, that for the period consisting of such week and the immediately preceding 12 weeks the requirements of subsection H of this section have not been satisfied.

1982, c. 237, § 60.1-51.2; 1986, c. 480; 2009, c. 789; 2011, c. 303.

§ 60.2-611. Receipt of extended benefits.

A. Except when the result would be inconsistent with the other provisions of this section, as provided in the regulations of the Commission, the provisions of this title which apply to claims for, or the payment of, regular benefits shall apply to claims for, and the payment of, extended benefits.

B. An individual shall be eligible to receive extended benefits with respect to any week of unemployment in his eligibility period only if the Commission finds that for such week:

1. He is an "exhaustee" as defined in subsection F of § 60.2-610;

2. He has satisfied the requirements of this title for the receipt of regular benefits that are applicable to individuals claiming extended benefits, including not being subject to a disqualification for the receipt of benefits; and

3. He had during his base period 20 weeks of full-time insured employment, or the equivalent in insured wages. For purposes of this subdivision, "or the equivalent in insured wages" means more than 40 times the individual's most recent weekly benefit amount.

C. The weekly extended benefit amount payable to an individual for a week of total unemployment in his eligibility period shall equal the weekly benefit amount payable to him during his applicable benefit year.

D. The total extended benefit amount payable to any eligible individual for his applicable benefit year shall be the least of the following amounts:

1. Fifty percent of the total amount of regular benefits which were payable to him under this title in his applicable benefit year;

2. Thirteen times his weekly benefit amount which was payable to him under this title for a week of total unemployment in the applicable benefit year; or

3. Thirty-nine times his weekly benefit amount which was payable to him under this title for a week of total unemployment in the applicable benefit year, reduced by the total amount of regular benefits which were paid or deemed paid to him under this title for the benefit year.

E. 1. Whenever an extended benefit period is to become effective in this Commonwealth as a result of a state "on" indicator, or an extended benefit period is to be terminated in this Commonwealth as a result of state "off" indicators, the Commission shall make an appropriate public announcement.

2. Computations required by the provisions of subsection B of § 60.2-610 shall be made by the Commission, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the United States Secretary of Labor.

3. An "on" or "off" indicator for this Commonwealth shall be determined without regard to subdivision 1 of subsection H of § 60.2-610 for any period that waiver of such provisions is authorized under § 203 (d) of the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act (26 U.S.C. § 3304) and any amendments thereto, or as authorized by any provision of federal law.

F. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, an individual shall be ineligible for payment of extended benefits for any week of unemployment in his eligibility period if the Commission finds that during such period:

a. He failed to accept any offer of suitable work or failed to apply for any suitable work, as defined under subdivision 3 of this subsection, to which he was referred by the Commission; or

b. He failed to actively engage in seeking work as prescribed under subdivision 5 of this subsection.

2. Any individual who has been found ineligible for extended benefits by reason of the provisions in subdivision 1 of this subsection shall also be denied benefits beginning with the first day of the week following the week in which such failure occurred and until he has been employed in each of four subsequent weeks, whether or not consecutive, and has earned remuneration equal to not less than four times the extended weekly benefit amount.

3. a. For purposes of this subsection, "suitable work" means, with respect to any individual, any work which is within the individual's capabilities and for which the gross average weekly remuneration payable for the work exceeds the sum of:

(1) The individual's average weekly benefit amount as determined under subsection C of this section, plus

(2) Any amount of supplemental unemployment benefits, as defined in § 501(c)(17)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code, payable to the individual for such week.

b. Such gross average weekly remuneration shall pay wages equal to the higher of:

(1) The minimum wages provided by § 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.), without regard to any exemption; or

(2) The state or local minimum wage.

c. No individual, however, shall be denied extended benefits for failure to accept an offer or referral to any job which meets the definition of suitable work as described in subdivision 3a of this subsection if:

(1) The position was not offered to such individual in writing or was not listed with the Job Service;

(2) Such failure could not result in a denial of benefits under the definition of suitable work for regular benefit claimants in subdivision 3 of § 60.2-618 to the extent that the criteria of suitability in that section are not inconsistent with the provisions of this subdivision; or

(3) The individual furnishes satisfactory evidence to the Commission that his prospects for obtaining work in his customary occupation within a reasonably short period are good. If the evidence is deemed satisfactory for this purpose, the determination of whether any work is suitable with respect to such individual shall be made in accordance with the definition of suitable work in subdivision 3 of § 60.2-618 without regard to the definition specified by this subdivision.

4. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no work shall be deemed to be suitable work for an individual which does not accord with the labor standard provisions required by § 3304(a) 5 of the Internal Revenue Code and set forth under subdivision 3 of § 60.2-618.

5. For the purposes of subdivision 1 b of this subsection, an individual shall be treated as actively engaged in seeking work during any week if:

a. The individual has engaged in a systematic and sustained effort to obtain work during such week; and

b. The individual furnishes tangible evidence that he has engaged in such effort during such week.

6. The Job Service shall refer any claimant entitled to extended benefits under this title to any suitable work which meets the criteria prescribed in subdivision 3 of this subsection.

7. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, if the benefit year of any individual ends within an extended benefit period, the remaining balance of extended benefits that such individual would, but for this section, be entitled to receive in that extended benefit period, for weeks of unemployment beginning after the end of the benefit year, shall be reduced, but not below zero, by the product of the number of weeks for which the individual received any amounts as trade readjustment allowances within that benefit year, multiplied by the individual's weekly benefit amount for extended benefits.

8. No claim for extended benefits shall be subject to subdivisions 1, 2, 3 or 6 of this subsection for weeks of unemployment beginning after March 6, 1993, and before January 1, 1995. If the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 is at any time amended to preclude enforcement of any provision of this section, such provision shall not apply to any claim for weeks beginning on the date said amendment becomes effective.

G. 1. Except as provided in subdivision 2 of this subsection, an individual shall not be eligible for extended benefits for any week if:

a. Extended benefits are payable for such week pursuant to an interstate claim filed in any state under the interstate benefit plan; and

b. No extended benefit period is in effect for such week in such state.

2. Subdivision 1 of this subsection shall not apply to the first two weeks for which extended benefits are payable, determined without regard to this subsection, pursuant to an interstate claim filed under the interstate benefit payment plan to the individual from the extended benefit account established for the individual with respect to the benefit year.

H. Effective with respect to weeks beginning in a high unemployment period that commenced on or after February 1, 2009, and thereafter until the week ending three weeks prior to the last week for which federal sharing is authorized by Section 2005(a) of Public Law 111-5, or by an extension thereof or amendment thereto, subsection D shall be applied by substituting (i) "eighty percent" for "fifty percent" in subdivision D 1; (ii) "twenty" for "thirteen" in subdivision D 2; and (iii) "forty-six" for "thirty-nine" in subdivision D 3. As used in this subsection, "high unemployment period" means any period during which an extended benefit period would be in effect if subdivision H 2 b of § 60.2-610 were applied by substituting "eight percent" for "six and one-half percent."

1982, c. 237, § 60.1-51.2; 1986, c. 480; 1993, c. 153; 2008, Sp. Sess. II, c. 11; 2009, c. 789; 2011, c. 303.

Article 4. Eligibility Criteria.

§ 60.2-612. Benefit eligibility conditions.

A. An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits for any week only if the Commission finds that:

1. He has, in the highest two quarters of earnings within his base period, been paid wages in employment for employers that are equal to not less than the lowest amount appearing in Column A of the "Benefit Table" appearing in § 60.2-602 on the line which extends through Division C and on which in Column B of the "Benefit Table" appears his weekly benefit amount. Such wages shall be earned in not less than two quarters.

2. a. His total or partial unemployment is not due to a labor dispute in active progress or to shutdown or start-up operations caused by such dispute which exists (i) at the factory, establishment, or other premises, including a vessel, at which he is or was last employed, or (ii) at a factory, establishment or other premises, including a vessel, either within or without this Commonwealth, which (a) is owned or operated by the same employing unit which owns or operates the premises at which he is or was last employed and (b) supplies materials or services necessary to the continued and usual operation of the premises at which he is or was last employed. This subdivision shall not apply if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commission that:

(1) He is not participating in or financing or directly interested in the labor dispute; and

(2) He does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the labor dispute, there were members employed at the premises, including a vessel, at which the labor dispute occurs, any of whom are participating in or financing or directly interested in the dispute.

b. If separate branches of work which are commonly conducted as separate businesses at separate premises are conducted in separate departments of the same premises, each such department shall, for the purposes of this subdivision, be deemed to be a separate factory, establishment or other premises. Membership in a union, or the payment of regular dues to a bona fide labor organization, however, shall not alone constitute financing a labor dispute.

3. He is not receiving, has not received or is not seeking unemployment benefits under an unemployment compensation law of any other state or of the United States; however, if the appropriate agency of such other state or of the United States finally determines that he is not entitled to such unemployment benefits, this subdivision shall not apply.

4. He is not on a bona fide paid vacation. If an individual is paid vacation pay for any week in an amount less than the individual's weekly benefit amount his eligibility for benefits shall be computed under the provisions of § 60.2-603.

5. He has registered for work and thereafter has continued to report at an employment office in accordance with such regulations as the Commission may prescribe. The Commission may, by regulation, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subdivision for certain types of cases when it finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purposes of this title.

6. He has made a claim for benefits in accordance with regulations the Commission may prescribe.

7. a. He is able to work, is available for work, and is actively seeking and unable to obtain suitable work. Every claimant who is totally unemployed shall report to the Commission the names of employers contacted each week in his effort to obtain work. This information may be subject to employer verification by the Commission through a program designed for that purpose. The Commission may determine that registration by a claimant with the Virginia State Job Service may constitute a valid employer contact and satisfy the search for work requirement of this subsection in labor market areas where job opportunities are limited. The Commission may determine that an individual, whose usual and customary means of soliciting work in his occupation is through contact with a single hiring hall which makes contacts with multiple employers on behalf of the claimant, meets the requirement that he be actively seeking and unable to obtain suitable work by contacting that hiring hall alone. In areas of high unemployment, as determined by the Commission, the Commission has the authority to adjust the requirement that he be actively seeking and unable to obtain suitable work.

b. An individual who leaves the normal labor market area of the individual for the major portion of any week is presumed to be unavailable for work within the meaning of this section. This presumption may be overcome if the individual establishes to the satisfaction of the Commission that the individual has conducted a bona fide search for work and has been reasonably accessible to suitable work in the labor market area in which the individual spent the major portion of the week to which the presumption applies.

c. An individual whose type of work is such that it is performed by individuals working two or more shifts in a 24-hour period shall not be deemed unavailable for work if the individual is currently enrolled in one or more classes of education related to employment or is continuing in a certificate or degree program at an institution of higher education, provided that the enrollment would only limit the individual's availability for one shift and the individual is otherwise available to work any of the other shifts.

8. He has given notice of resignation to his employer and the employer subsequently made the termination of employment effective prior to the date of termination as given in the notice, but in no case shall unemployment compensation benefits awarded under this subdivision exceed two weeks; provided, that the claimant could not establish good cause for leaving work pursuant to § 60.2-618 and was not discharged for misconduct as provided in § 60.2-618.

9. Beginning January 6, 1991, he has served a waiting period of one week during which he was eligible for benefits under this section in all other respects and has not received benefits, except that only one waiting week shall be required of such individual within any benefit year. For claims filed effective November 28, 1999, and after, this requirement shall be waived for any individual whose unemployment was caused by his employer terminating operations, closing its business or declaring bankruptcy without paying the final wages earned as required by § 40.1-29 of the Code of Virginia. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, if an employer who terminates operations, closes its business or declares bankruptcy pays an individual his final wages after the period of time prescribed by § 40.1-29 of the Code of Virginia, such payment shall not be offset against the benefits the individual was otherwise entitled to receive and shall not, under any circumstances, cause such individual to be declared overpaid benefits.

10. He is not imprisoned or confined in jail.

11. He participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, if he has been determined to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and need reemployment services pursuant to a profiling system established by the Commission, unless the Commission determines that (i) such claimant has completed such services or (ii) there is good cause for such claimant's failure to participate in such services.

B. Prior to any individual receiving benefits under this chapter, the Commission shall conduct an incarceration check and an employment identification check to verify the status of the unemployed individual seeking a claim for benefits.

Code 1950, § 60-46; 1954, c. 203; 1956, c. 440; 1962, c. 270; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 9; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-52; 1970, c. 104; 1974, c. 264; 1976, c. 708; 1977, c. 445; 1980, c. 463; 1981, c. 606; 1982, c. 265; 1983, c. 359; 1984, c. 458; 1985, c. 563; 1986, c. 480; 1988, c. 521; 1990, c. 908; 1993, c. 249; 1995, c. 436; 2000, c. 573; 2004, c. 496; 2022, c. 668.

§ 60.2-612.1. (Effective January 1, 2023) Program integrity.

A. In order to verify that an individual is eligible to receive benefits, the Commission shall conduct all mandatory and recommended program integrity activities as identified by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

B. The Commission shall perform a full eligibility review of suspicious or potentially improper claims. In determining if a claim is suspicious or potentially improper, the Commission shall consider the factors utilized by the Integrity Data Hub and any additional factors that may be appropriate, including commonalities in physical addresses, mailing addresses, internet protocol addresses, email addresses, multi-factor authentication, and bank accounts.

C. The Commission shall recover any improper overpayment of benefits to the fullest extent authorized by this title and federal law.

D. The Department of Social Services, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Housing and Community Development, upon receipt of notification that an individual enrolled in any of such department's public assistance programs has become employed, shall notify the Commission of such fact in order for the Commission to determine the individual's eligibility for benefits.

E. The Commission may enter into a memorandum of understanding with any state agency necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

F. The Commission shall report by December 1 of each year to the Commission on Unemployment Compensation addressing the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this section. The report shall include:

1. The Commission's general program integrity processes, including tools, resources, and databases utilized, to the extent that sharing the information does not jeopardize program integrity measures;

2. A description of efforts to identify, prevent, and recover improper overpayments of benefits and fraudulent payments and measures being taken to improve such efforts;

3. The type and amount of improper payments detected retroactively;

4. The type and amount of improper payments prevented;

5. Moneys saved in preventing improper overpayments and, if any, in recouping improper overpayments; and

6. An explanation for the nonrecovery of overpayments, including the application of any allowable recovery exceptions.

2022, c. 740.

§ 60.2-613. Benefits not denied to individuals in training with approval of Commission.

A. No otherwise eligible individual shall be denied benefits for any week because he is in training with the approval of the Commission, including training under § 134 of the Workforce Investment Act, nor shall such individual be denied benefits for any week in which he is in training with the approval of the Commission, including training under § 134 of the Workforce Investment Act, by reason of the application of the provisions in subdivision A 7 of § 60.2-612 relating to availability for work, or the provisions of subdivision 3 of § 60.2-618 relating to failure to apply for, or a refusal to accept, suitable work.

B. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no otherwise eligible individual shall be denied benefits for any week because he is in training approved under § 2296 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. § 2101 et seq.), nor shall such individual be denied benefits by reason of leaving work to enter such training, provided the work left is not suitable employment, or because of the application to any such week in training of provisions in this law (or any applicable federal unemployment compensation law), relating to availability for work, active search for work, or refusal to accept work.

C. For purposes of this section, "suitable employment" means, with respect to an individual, work of a substantially equal or higher skill level than the individual's past adversely affected employment, as defined for purposes of the Trade Act, and wages for such work at not less than eighty percent of the individual's average weekly wage as determined for the purposes of the Trade Act.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235, § 60.1-52.1; 1982, c. 237; 1984, c. 204; 1985, c. 152; 1986, c. 480; 1995, c. 436; 2000, c. 687; 2022, c. 668.

§ 60.2-614. Service required during immediately preceding benefit year in which individual received benefits.

No individual may receive benefits in a benefit year unless, subsequent to the beginning of the immediately preceding benefit year during which he received benefits, he performed service for an employer as defined in § 60.2-210 for remuneration (i) during thirty days, whether or not such days were consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently became totally or partially separated from such employment.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235, § 60.1-52.2; 1977, c. 445; 1981, c. 369; 1984, c. 458; 1986, c. 480; 1997, c. 202.

§ 60.2-615. Benefits based on employment by state or political subdivision, certain hospitals, educational institutions and charitable, etc., organizations.

Benefits based on service in employment defined in subsection A of § 60.2-213 shall be payable in the same amount on the same terms and subject to the same conditions as benefits payable on the basis of other service subject to this title, except that:

A. 1. Benefits based on service in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution shall not be paid to an individual for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between two successive academic years or terms, or during a similar period between two regular but not successive terms, or during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided for in the individual's contract, if the individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and if there is a contract or a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform services in any such capacity for any educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms.

2. The provisions of this subsection relating to the denial of benefits shall apply to an individual who performs such services on a part-time or substitute basis.

B. 1. Benefits based on service in any capacity, other than an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity, for an educational institution shall not be paid to any individual for any week which commences during a period between two successive academic years or terms if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the second of such academic years or terms.

2. The provisions of this subsection relating to the denial of benefits shall apply to an individual who performs such services on a part-time or substitute basis.

3. If compensation is denied to any individual for any week which occurs during the period between academic years or terms under this subsection and such individual was not offered an opportunity to perform such services for the educational institution for the second of such academic years or terms, such individual shall be entitled to a retroactive payment of the compensation for each week for which the individual filed a timely claim for compensation and for which compensation was denied solely by reason of this subsection.

C. Benefits based on services performed in an educational institution while employed by an educational service agency shall not be payable to any individual who provided such services under the same circumstances and subject to the same terms and conditions as described in subsections A, B and E of this section. For purposes of this subsection "educational service agency" means a governmental agency or governmental entity which is established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing such services to one or more educational institutions.

D. Benefits based on services provided to or on behalf of an educational institution while employed by a governmental entity or nonprofit organization shall not be payable to any individual who provided such services under the same circumstances and subject to the same terms and conditions as described in subsections A, B, C and E of this section.

E. For services described in subsections A and B of this section, compensation payable on the basis of such services shall be denied to any individual for any week which commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess if such individual performs such services in the period immediately before such vacation period or holiday recess, and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the period immediately following such vacation period or holiday recess.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 235, § 60.1-52.3; 1977, c. 330; 1979, c. 652; 1981, c. 328; 1983, c. 14; 1984, cc. 204, 458; 1985, c. 152; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-616. Benefits based on services in connection with sports.

Benefits based on services, substantially all of which consist of participating in sports or athletic events or training or preparing to so participate, shall not be paid to any individual for any week of unemployment which commences during the period between two successive sport seasons, or similar periods, if such individual performed such services in the first of such seasons, or similar periods, and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the later of such seasons, or similar periods.

1977, c. 330, § 60.1-52.4:1; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-617. Benefits denied to certain aliens.

A. Benefits shall not be paid on the basis of services performed by an alien unless such individual was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time such services were performed, was lawfully present for purposes of performing such services, or was permanently and lawfully residing in the United States under color of law at the time such services were performed. The provisions of this subsection shall include aliens who were lawfully present in the United States as a result of the application of the provisions of § 1153 (a) (7) or § 1182 (d) (5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq.). Additionally, any modifications to the provisions of § 3304 (a) (14) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (26 U.S.C. § 3301 et seq.) which specify other conditions or other effective dates than stated herein for the denial of benefits based on services performed by aliens and which modifications are required to be implemented under state law as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, shall be deemed applicable under the provisions of this section.

B. Any data or information required of individuals claiming benefits to determine whether benefits are not payable to them because of their alien status shall be uniformly required from all applicants for benefits.

C. In the case of an individual whose claim for benefits would otherwise be approved, no determination that benefits to such individual are not payable because of his alien status shall be made except upon a preponderance of the evidence.

1977, c. 330, § 60.1-52.5:1; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-618. Disqualification for benefits.

An individual shall be disqualified for benefits upon separation from the last employing unit for whom he has worked 30 days or 240 hours or from any subsequent employing unit:

1. For any week benefits are claimed until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment, if the Commission finds such individual is unemployed because he left work voluntarily without good cause.

If (a) at the time of commencing employment with such employing unit an individual is enrolled in an accredited academic program of study provided by an institution of higher education for students that have been awarded a baccalaureate degree, which academic program culminates in the awarding of a master's, doctoral, or professional degree; (b) the individual's employment with such employing unit commenced and ended during the period between spring and fall semesters of the academic program in which the individual is enrolled; and (c) the individual returned to such academic program following his separation from such employing unit, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the individual left work voluntarily.

As used in this chapter, "good cause" shall not include (1) voluntarily leaving work with an employer to become self-employed or (2) voluntarily leaving work with an employer to accompany or to join his or her spouse in a new locality, except where an individual leaves employment to accompany a spouse to the location of the spouse's new duty assignment if (A) the spouse is on active duty in the military or naval services of the United States; (B) the spouse's relocation to a new military-related assignment is pursuant to a permanent change of station order; (C) the location of the spouse's new duty assignment is not readily accessible from the individual's place of employment; and (D) except for members of the Virginia National Guard relocating to a new assignment within the Commonwealth, the spouse's new duty assignment is located in a state that, pursuant to statute, does not deem a person accompanying a military spouse as a person leaving work voluntarily without good cause. An individual shall not be deemed to have voluntarily left work solely because the separation was in accordance with a seniority-based policy.

2. a. For any week benefits are claimed until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment, if the Commission finds such individual is unemployed because he has been discharged for misconduct connected with his work.

b. For the purpose of this subdivision, "misconduct" includes, but shall not be limited to:

(1) An employee's confirmed positive test for a nonprescribed controlled substance, identified as such in Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1, where such test was conducted at the direction of his employer in conjunction with the employer's administration and enforcement of a known workplace drug policy. Such test shall have been performed, and a sample collected, in accordance with scientifically recognized standards by a laboratory accredited by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or the College of American Pathology, or the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, or the equivalent, or shall have been a United States Department of Transportation-qualified drug screen conducted in accordance with the employer's bona fide drug policy. The Commission may consider evidence of mitigating circumstances in determining whether misconduct occurred.

(2) An employee's intentionally false or misleading statement of a material nature concerning past criminal convictions made in a written job application furnished to the employer, where such statement was a basis for the termination and the employer terminated the employee promptly upon the discovery thereof. The Commission may consider evidence of mitigating circumstances in determining whether misconduct occurred.

(3) A willful and deliberate violation of a standard or regulation of the Commonwealth, by an employee of an employer licensed or certified by the Commonwealth, which violation would cause the employer to be sanctioned or have its license or certification suspended by the Commonwealth. The Commission may consider evidence of mitigating circumstances in determining whether misconduct occurred.

(4) Chronic absenteeism or tardiness in deliberate violation of a known policy of the employer or one or more unapproved absences following a written reprimand or warning relating to more than one unapproved absence. The Commission may consider evidence of mitigating circumstances in determining whether misconduct occurred.

(5) An employee's loss of or failure to renew a license or certification that is a requisite of the position held by the employee, provided the employer is not at fault for the employee's loss of or failure to renew the license or certification. The Commission may consider evidence of mitigating circumstances in determining whether misconduct occurred.

3. a. If it is determined by the Commission that such individual has failed, without good cause, either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed by the employment office or the Commission or to accept suitable work when offered him. The disqualification shall commence with the week in which such failure occurred, and shall continue for the period of unemployment next ensuing until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment.

b. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the Commission shall consider the degree of risk involved to his health, safety and morals, his physical fitness and prior training, his experience, his length of unemployment and the accessibility of the available work from his residence.

c. No work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under this title to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;

(2) If the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or

(3) If as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organization.

d. No individual shall be qualified for benefits during any week that such individual, in connection with an offer of suitable work, has a confirmed positive test for a nonprescribed controlled substance, identified as such in Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1, if the test is required as a condition of employment and (i) performed, and a sample is collected, in accordance with scientifically recognized standards by a laboratory accredited by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or the College of American Pathology, or the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, or the equivalent, or (ii) a United States Department of Transportation-qualified drug screen conducted in accordance with the employer's bona fide drug policy. The disqualification shall commence with the week in which such a test was conducted, and shall continue for the period of unemployment next ensuing until he has performed services for an employer (i) during 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) for 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment.

4. For 52 weeks, beginning with the date of the determination or decision, if the Commission finds that such individual, within 36 calendar months immediately preceding such determination or decision, has made a false statement or representation knowing it to be false, or has knowingly failed to disclose a material fact, to obtain or increase any benefit or payment under this title, the unemployment compensation of any other state, or any other program of the federal government which is administered in any way under this title, either for himself or any other person. Overpayments that have been fraudulently obtained and any penalty assessed against the individual pursuant to § 60.2-636 shall be recoverable as provided in § 60.2-633.

5. If such separation arose as a result of an unlawful act which resulted in a conviction and after his release from prison or jail until he has performed services for an employer for (i) 30 days, whether or not such days are consecutive, or (ii) 240 hours, and subsequently becomes totally or partially separated from such employment.

6. If such separation arose as a condition of the individual's parole or release from a custodial or penal institution and such individual was participating in the community corrections alternative program pursuant to § 19.2-316.4.

Code 1950, § 60-47; 1952, c. 184; 1954, c. 203; 1956, c. 440; 1960, c. 136; 1962, c. 12; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-58; 1972, c. 764; 1974, c. 466; 1977, c. 286; 1979, cc. 675, 681; 1981, c. 251; 1982, cc. 319, 363; 1983, c. 559; 1984, c. 458; 1986, c. 480; 1991, c. 296; 1993, c. 249; 1996, cc. 175, 182, 194, 199; 1997, c. 202; 1998, c. 241; 1999, c. 919; 2004, cc. 525, 977; 2005, c. 464; 2008, c. 719; 2009, c. 878; 2013, cc. 175, 771; 2014, cc. 201, 442; 2019, c. 618.

Article 5. Claims Adjudication.

§ 60.2-619. Determinations and decisions by deputy; appeals therefrom.

A. 1. A representative designated by the Commission as a deputy, shall promptly examine the claim. On the basis of the facts found by him, the deputy shall either:

a. Determine whether or not such claim is valid, and if valid, the week with respect to which benefits shall commence, the weekly benefit amount payable and the maximum duration thereof; or

b. Refer such claim or any question involved therein to any appeal tribunal or to the Commission, which tribunal or Commission shall make its determination in accordance with the procedure described in § 60.2-620.

2. When the payment or denial of benefits will be determined by the provisions of subdivision A 2 of § 60.2-612, the deputy shall promptly transmit his full finding of fact with respect to that subdivision to any appeal tribunal, which shall make its determination in accordance with the procedure described in § 60.2-620.

B. Upon the filing of an initial claim for benefits, the Commission shall cause an informatory notice of such filing to be mailed to the most recent 30-day or 240-hour employing unit of the claimant and all subsequent employing units, and any reimbursable employing units which may be liable for reimbursement to the Commission for any benefits paid. However, the failure to furnish such notice shall not have any effect upon the claim for benefits.

C. Notice of determination upon a claim shall be promptly given to the claimant by delivering or by mailing such notice to the claimant's last known address. In addition, notice of any determination which involves the application of the provisions of § 60.2-618, together with the reasons therefor, shall be promptly given in the same manner to the most recent 30-day or 240-hour employing unit by whom the claimant was last employed and any subsequent employing unit which is a party. The Commission may dispense with the giving of notice of any determination to any employing unit, and such employing unit shall not be entitled to such notice if it has failed to respond timely or adequately to a written request of the Commission for information, as required by § 60.2-528.1, from which the deputy may have determined that the claimant may be ineligible or disqualified under any provision of this title. The deputy shall promptly notify the claimant of any decision made by him at any time which in any manner denies benefits to the claimant for one or more weeks.

D. Such determination or decision shall be final unless the claimant or any such employing unit files an appeal from such determination or decision (i) within 30 calendar days after the delivery of such notification, (ii) within 30 calendar days after such notification was mailed to his last known address, or (iii) within 30 days after such notification was mailed to the last known address of an interstate claimant. For good cause shown, the 30-day period may be extended. A claim that the Commission has determined to be invalid because of monetary ineligibility shall first be subject to review only upon a request for redetermination pursuant to § 60.2-629. The Commission shall issue a new monetary determination as a result of such review, and such monetary determination shall become final unless appealed by the claimant within 30 days of the date of mailing. The Commission shall clearly set out the process for requesting a redetermination and the process for filing an appeal on each monetary determination issued. Monetary ineligibility does not include an appeal on the effective date of the claim, unless the claimant has requested and received a redetermination of the monetary determination pursuant to § 60.2-629.

E. Benefits shall be paid promptly in accordance with a determination or redetermination under this chapter, or decision of an appeal tribunal, the Commission, the Board of Review or a reviewing court under §§ 60.2-625 and 60.2-631 upon the issuance of such determination, redetermination or decision, regardless of the pendency of the period to file an appeal or petition for judicial review that is provided in this chapter, or the pendency of any such appeal or review. Such benefits shall be paid unless or until such determination, redetermination or decision has been modified or reversed by a subsequent redetermination or decision, in which event benefits shall be paid or denied for weeks of unemployment thereafter in accordance with such modifying or reversing redetermination or decision. If a decision of an appeal tribunal allowing benefits is affirmed in any amount by the Commission, benefits shall continue to be paid until such time as a court decision has become final so that no further appeal can be taken. If an appeal is taken from the Commission's decision, benefits paid shall result in a benefit charge to the account of the employer under § 60.2-530 only when, and as of the date on which, as the result of an appeal, the courts finally determine that the Commission should have awarded benefits to the claimant or claimants involved in such appeal.

Code 1950, § 60-49; 1954, c. 203; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-61; 1970, c. 104; 1972, c. 692; 1974, c. 466; 1976, c. 708; 1980, cc. 408, 426; 1982, c. 363; 1986, c. 480; 1995, c. 515; 1997, c. 202; 1999, c. 79; 2013, c. 771; 2022, cc. 668, 716, 754.

§ 60.2-620. Hearing and decision on appeal.

A. Appeals filed under § 60.2-619 shall be heard by an appeal tribunal appointed pursuant to § 60.2-621. Such appeal tribunal, after affording the claimant and any other parties reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing, shall have jurisdiction to consider all issues with respect to the claim since the initial filing thereof. Such tribunal shall affirm, set aside, reverse, modify, or alter the findings of fact and decision of the deputy, and may enter such order or decision with respect to the claim as such appeal tribunal finds should have been entered. However, no such order or decision shall affect benefits already paid except in accordance with the provisions of § 60.2-633.

B. The parties shall be duly notified of such tribunal's decision, together with its reasons therefor, which shall be deemed to be the final decision of the Commission, unless within thirty days after the date of notification or mailing of such decision, further appeal is initiated pursuant to § 60.2-622. However, for good cause shown the thirty-day period may be extended.

Code 1950, § 60-50; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-62; 1976, c. 708; 1980, c. 426; 1986, c. 480; 1995, c. 515; 1999, c. 79.

§ 60.2-621. Appeal tribunals.

In order to hear and decide disputed claims expeditiously, the Commissioner shall establish one or more impartial appeal tribunals consisting in each case of either (i) a salaried examiner or (ii) a tribunal consisting of three members, one of whom shall be a salaried examiner, who shall serve as chairman, one of whom shall be a representative of employers and the other of whom shall be a representative of employees. Each of the latter two members of the tribunal in (ii) of this section shall serve at the pleasure of the Commissioner and be paid a fee of not more than ten dollars per day of active service on such tribunal plus necessary expenses. No person shall participate on behalf of the Commission in any case in which he is an interested party. The Commissioner may designate alternates to serve in the absence or disqualification of any member of an appeal tribunal. The chairman shall act alone in the absence or disqualification of any other member and his alternates. In no case shall the hearings proceed unless the chairman of the appeal tribunal is present.

Code 1950, § 60-51; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-63; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-622. Commission review.

A. The Commission (i) may on its own motion affirm, modify, or set aside any decision of an appeal tribunal on the basis of the evidence previously submitted in such case, or direct the taking of additional evidence by an appeal tribunal, or receive such evidence itself, or (ii) shall permit any of the parties to such decision to initiate further appeals before it. The Commission may remove to itself or transfer to another appeal tribunal the proceedings on any claim pending before an appeal tribunal. Any proceeding so removed to the Commission shall be heard in accordance with the requirements of § 60.2-620. The Commission shall promptly notify the interested parties of its findings and decision.

B. 1. Any decision of the Commission, upon a hearing on appeal, shall become final 10 days after the date of notification or mailing, and judicial review shall be permitted the claimant or any interested party claiming to be aggrieved. The Commission shall be deemed to be a party to any judicial action involving any such decision, and shall be represented in any such judicial action by the Office of the Attorney General.

2. Any such decision by the Commission involving (i) whether an employing unit constitutes an employer or (ii) whether services performed for or in connection with business of an employing unit constitute employment for such employing unit, from which no judicial review is had pursuant to subsections C and D of § 60.2-500, shall be conclusive in any subsequent judicial proceedings involving liability for taxes by the Commission against any employing unit which was a party to the proceedings held before the Commission.

C. The Commissioner shall have the power to designate a special examiner to hear appeals to the Commission under this section. The Commissioner may authorize and empower such special examiner to decide any appeal so heard, in which event the decision of the special examiner shall be the final decision of the Commission under this section, subject to judicial review under § 60.2-625.

Code 1950, § 60-52; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-64; 1977, c. 445; 1986, c. 480; 1995, c. 515; 1996, c. 106; 2005, cc. 47, 91.

§ 60.2-623. Procedure generally; confidentiality of information.

A. The manner in which disputed claims shall be presented, reports required from the claimant and from employers, the conduct of hearings and appeals before any deputy, appeal tribunal or the Commission, and transcripts prepared shall be in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commission for determining the rights of the parties. Such regulations need not conform to common law or statutory rules of evidence and other technical rules of procedure. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings in connection with a disputed claim. All testimony at any hearing upon a disputed claim shall be recorded, but need not be transcribed unless the disputed claim is further appealed and a timely request for a hearing before the Commission has been made in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commission. In lieu of providing a transcript, and with the consent of all parties who participated in the hearing, the Commission may provide a digital or other electronic recording of the testimony taken at any hearing, which recording may be transmitted in any medium provided that the recording is protected from unauthorized interception by reasonable security measures.

B. Information furnished the Commission under the provisions of this chapter shall not be published or be open to public inspection, other than to public employees in the performance of their public duties. Neither such information, nor any determination or decision rendered under the provisions of § 60.2-619, 60.2-620 or 60.2-622, shall be used in any judicial or administrative proceeding other than one arising out of the provisions of this title; however, the Commission shall make its records about a claimant available to the Workers' Compensation Commission if it requests such records. The Commission may also, in its discretion, furnish copies of the transcript of hearings to any party.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the Commission shall, on a reimbursable basis, furnish wage and unemployment compensation information contained in its records to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Virginia's child support enforcement agency for their use as necessary for the purposes of the National Directory of New Hires established under § 453 (i) of the Social Security Act.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the Commission shall, upon written request, furnish any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth such information as it may require for the purpose of collecting fines, penalties, and costs owed to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. Such information shall not be published or used in any administrative or judicial proceeding, except in matters arising out of the collection of fines, penalties, and costs owed to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.

Code 1950, § 60-53; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-65; 1972, c. 764; 1986, c. 480; 1988, c. 766; 1994, c. 203; 1996, cc. 108, 130; 1997, c. 385; 1998, cc. 91, 745; 2012, c. 50.

§ 60.2-623.1. Party's recording of hearing.

A. Any party to a compensation hearing of the Virginia Employment Commission may employ the use of a court reporter to record for transcription the proceeding, provided it is done at the party's own expense.

B. In the event the Commission's transcript of the proceeding is lost, damaged, or parts are missing, a transcript existing as a result of subsection A of this section may be used in addition to any full or partial Commission transcript.

1986, c. 129, § 60.1-65.1.

§ 60.2-624. Witness expenses.

Witnesses subpoenaed pursuant to this chapter shall be allowed expenses at a rate fixed by the Commission. Such expenses shall be deemed a part of the expense of administering this title.

Code 1950, § 60-54; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-66; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-625. Judicial review.

A. Within thirty days after the decision of the Commission upon a hearing pursuant to § 60.2-622 has been mailed, any party aggrieved who seeks judicial review shall commence an action in the circuit court of the county or city in which the individual who filed the claim was last employed. In such action against the Commission, the Commission and any other party to the administrative procedures before the Commission shall be named a defendant in a petition for judicial review. Such petition shall also state the grounds upon which a review is sought; it shall be served upon a member of the Commission or upon such person as the Commission may designate, and such service shall be deemed completed service on all parties. There shall be left with the party so served as many copies of the petition as there are defendants, and the Commission shall forthwith mail one such copy to each such defendant. With its answer, the Commission shall certify and file with the court all documents and papers and a transcript of all testimony taken in the matter, together with its findings of fact and decision therein. In any judicial proceedings under this chapter, the findings of the Commission as to the facts, if supported by evidence and in the absence of fraud, shall be conclusive, and the jurisdiction of the court shall be confined to questions of law. Such actions and the questions so certified shall be heard in a summary manner at the earliest possible date. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the court to the Court of Appeals in conformity with Part Five A of the Rules of Supreme Court and other applicable laws.

B. From any circuit court decision involving (i) the provisions of § 60.2-612 or § 60.2-618, (ii) whether an employing unit constitutes an employer or (iii) whether services performed for or in connection with the business of an employing unit constitute employment for such employing unit, the Court of Appeals shall have jurisdiction to review such decision regardless of the amount involved in any claim for benefits. It shall not be necessary, in any proceeding under this chapter, to enter exceptions to the rulings of the Commission or an appeal tribunal, and no bond shall be required upon an appeal to any court. Upon the final determination of such judicial proceeding, the Commission shall administer the Unemployment Compensation Fund in accordance with such determination.

C. The Commission shall have the right to appeal a decision of a circuit court in any proceeding under this chapter.

1980, c. 463, § 60.1-67.1; 1982, c. 24; 1984, c. 703; 1986, c. 480; 1987, c. 567; 1988, c. 766; 1996, c. 573.

§ 60.2-626. Oaths and witnesses; subpoenas.

In the discharge of the duties imposed by this title, the chairman of an appeal tribunal and any duly authorized representative or member of the Commission shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records deemed necessary as evidence in connection with a disputed claim or the administration of this title.

Code 1950, § 60-36; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-41; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-627. Failure to obey subpoenas; orders of court; penalty.

A. In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, any court of this Commonwealth within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on or within the jurisdiction of which such person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found or resides or transacts business, upon application by the Commission or its duly authorized representative, shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear before an appeal tribunal, a commissioner, the Commission, or its duly authorized representative, in order to produce evidence or to give testimony concerning the matter under investigation or in question. Any failure to obey such court order may be punished by the court as contempt.

B. Any person subpoenaed by the Commission who, without just cause, fails or refuses to attend and testify or to answer to any lawful inquiry or to produce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and other records, when it is within his power to do so, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. Each day any violation of such court-issued subpoena, court order, or Commission-issued subpoena continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense.

Code 1950, § 60-37; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-42; 1986, c. 480; 2020, c. 1261.

§ 60.2-628. Protection against self-incrimination.

No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records before the Commission in any cause or proceeding before the Commission, on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture. However, no individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

Code 1950, § 60-38; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-43; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-629. Redetermination of claims.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this title, the Commission may, at any time within one year from the date the deputy's determination becomes final pursuant to § 60.2-619, redetermine any monetary determination issued by a deputy from which no appeal was taken by the claimant. Notice of any such redetermination shall be given promptly to the interested parties, and an appeal from such redetermination may be filed within the time and in the manner prescribed for an appeal from any original determination. If no such appeal is filed such redetermination shall be final. Any redetermination hereunder shall be limited to monetary determinations containing (i) an error in computation or (ii) newly discovered wages of the claimant pertinent to such determination.

Code 1950, § 60-56; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-68; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-630. Authority to set aside or vacate determinations and decisions.

The Commission may, in its discretion, at any time before a determination or decision becomes final pursuant to §§ 60.2-619, 60.2-621, or § 60.2-622, with good cause set aside or modify any such determination or decision.

1981, c. 74, § 60.1-68.1; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-631. Board of Review.

A. The Commissioner, in his discretion, is hereby authorized to appoint a Board of Review consisting of three members, one of whom shall be designated chairman for a term of six years. The terms of the members first taking office shall be two, four, and six years, respectively, as designated by the Commissioner at the time of the appointment. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Commissioner for the unexpired term. During his term of membership on the Board no member shall serve as an officer or committee member of any political organization. The members of the Board shall be compensated in a manner determined by the Commission. The Commission shall furnish the Board such stenographic and clerical assistance as the Board may require. All compensation of the members of the Board and all necessary expenses for the operation thereof shall be paid out of the administrative fund provided for in §§ 60.2-306 through 60.2-309 and §§ 60.2-311 through 60.2-313. The Commissioner may at any time, after notice and hearing, remove any member for cause. The Commissioner may, after thirty days' notice to the members of the Board and upon a finding that the Board is no longer needed, abolish the same.

B. 1. The Board shall meet upon the call of the chairman. It shall have the same powers and perform the same functions vested in the Commission in this title for review of decisions by an appeal tribunal, including the power to administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and other records deemed necessary as evidence in connection with disputed claims.

2. The Board may hold its hearings in the county or city where the claimant was last employed, except that hearings involving the provisions of subdivision A 2 of § 60.2-612 shall be held in the county or city where the claimant was last employed. When the same or substantially similar evidence is relevant and material to matters in issue in claims by more than one individual or in claims by a single individual with respect to two or more weeks of unemployment, the same time and place for considering each such claim may be fixed, hearings thereon jointly conducted, and a single record of the proceedings made.

C. The Commission may issue such regulations as it deems necessary for the procedure of the Board in the conduct of its hearings. During the time the Board is organized under authority of the Commissioner, the Commission shall have no jurisdiction under § 60.2-622. Any decision of the Board shall become final ten days after the date of notification or mailing and judicial review shall be permitted the claimant, the Commission or any interested party claiming to be aggrieved. In any judicial action involving any such decision the Commission shall be represented by the Office of the Attorney General. Any decision of the Board from which no judicial review is sought within the time prescribed in § 60.2-625 shall be conclusive against any party to the hearing before the Board and the Commission in any subsequent judicial proceedings involving liability for taxes under this title.

D. Within the time specified in § 60.2-625 the Commission, or any party to the proceedings before the Board, may obtain judicial review by filing in the circuit court of the county or city in which the individual who filed the claim was last employed, in the Commonwealth, a petition for review of such decision. In any such proceeding any other party to the proceeding shall be made a party respondent. The Commission shall be deemed to be a party to any such proceeding. The petition need not be verified. A copy of such petition shall be served upon the Commission and each party to the proceeding held before the Board at least thirty days prior to the placing of the petition upon the docket. The mailing of a copy of such petition to each party at his last known address shall be sufficient service. The Commission shall file along with its petition or answer a certified copy of the record of the case, including all documents and papers and a transcript of all testimony taken in the matter, together with the Board's findings, conclusions and decision therein.

E. In any proceeding under this section the Board's findings of facts, if supported by the evidence and in the absence of fraud, shall be conclusive and the jurisdiction of the court shall be confined to questions of law. The court may order additional evidence to be taken by the Board, which such additional evidence, findings of fact or conclusions, together with the additional transcript of the record, shall be certified by the chairman of the Board and filed by him with the court. Such petition for review shall be heard in a summary manner and shall have preference over all other cases on the docket, except cases in which the Commonwealth is a party.

F. An appeal may be taken from the decision of such court to the Court of Appeals in conformity with Part Five A of the Rules of Supreme Court and other applicable laws. From any such decision involving (i) the provisions of § 60.2-612 or § 60.2-618, (ii) whether an employing unit constitutes an employer or (iii) whether services performed for or in connection with the business of an employing unit constitute employment for such employing unit, the Court of Appeals shall have jurisdiction to review such decision regardless of the amount involved in any claim for benefits. It shall not be necessary, in any proceeding before the Board, to enter exceptions to its ruling, and no bond shall be required upon any appeal to any court. Upon the final determination of such judicial proceeding, the Board shall enter an order in accordance with such determination.

Code 1950, § 60-57; 1966, c. 30; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-69; 1974, c. 466; 1984, c. 703; 1986, c. 480; 2022, c. 668.

Article 6. Violations, Penalties, and Liabilities.

§ 60.2-632. False statements, etc., to obtain or increase benefits.

Whoever makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, with intent to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under this title, the unemployment compensation act of any other state, or any program of the federal government which is administered in any way under this title, either for himself or for any other person, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each such false statement or representation or failure to disclose a material fact shall constitute a separate offense.

Code 1950, § 60-112; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-129; 1970, c. 104; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-633. Receiving benefits to which not entitled.

A. Any person who has received any sum as benefits under this title to which he was not entitled shall be liable to repay such sum to the Commission. For purposes of this section, "benefits under this title" includes benefits under an unemployment benefit program of the United States or of any other state. In the event the claimant does not refund the overpayment, the Commission shall deduct from any future benefits such sum payable to him under this title. However, if an overpayment of benefits under this chapter, but not under an unemployment benefit program of the United States or of any other state, occurred due to administrative error, the Commission shall have the authority to negotiate the terms of repayment, which shall include (i) deducting up to 50 percent of the payable amount for any future week of benefits claimed, rounded down to the next lowest dollar until the overpayment is satisfied; (ii) forgoing collection of the payable amount until the recipient has found employment as defined in § 60.2-212; or (iii) determining and instituting an individualized repayment plan. The Commission shall collect an overpayment of benefits under this chapter caused by administrative error only by offset against future benefits or a negotiated repayment plan; however, the Commission may institute any other method of collection if the individual fails to enter into or comply with the terms of the repayment plan. Administrative error shall not include decisions reversed in the appeals process. In addition, the overpayment may be collectible by civil action in the name of the Commission. Amounts collected in this manner may be subject to an interest charge as prescribed in § 58.1-15 from the date of judgment and may be subject to fees and costs. Collection activities for any benefit overpayment established of five dollars or less may be suspended. The Commission may, for good cause, determine as uncollectible and discharge from its records any benefit overpayment which remains unpaid after the expiration of seven years from the date such overpayment was determined, or immediately upon the death of such person or upon his discharge in bankruptcy occurring subsequently to the determination of overpayment. Any existing overpayment balance not equal to an even dollar amount shall be rounded to the next lowest even dollar amount.

B. The Commission is authorized to accept repayment of benefit overpayments by use of a credit card. The Virginia Employment Commission shall add to such payment a service charge for the acceptance of such card. Such service charge shall not exceed the percentage charged to the Virginia Employment Commission for use of such card.

C. Final orders of the Commission with respect to benefit overpayments may be recorded, enforced and satisfied as orders or decrees of a circuit court upon certification of such orders by the Commissioner as may be appropriate.

Code 1950, § 60-115; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-132; 1974, c. 466; 1979, c. 675; 1980, c. 751; 1981, c. 251; 1984, c. 458; 1985, c. 151; 1986, c. 480; 1988, c. 544; 1990, c. 687; 1996, c. 95; 2008, c. 492; 2010, c. 327; 2013, c. 683; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 539.

§ 60.2-634. Receiving back pay after reinstatement.

Whenever the Commission finds that a discharged employee has received back pay at his customary wage rate from his employer after reinstatement such employee shall be liable to repay any benefits paid to such person during the time he was unemployed. When such an employee is liable to repay benefits to the Commission, such sum shall be collectible without interest by civil action in the name of the Commission.

Code 1950, § 60-116; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-133; 1974, c. 466; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-635. Deprivation of further benefits.

Any person who has been finally convicted under this chapter shall be deprived of any further benefits for the one-year period next ensuing after the date of conviction.

Code 1950, § 60-117; 1962, c. 138; 1968, c. 738, § 60.1-134; 1974, c. 466; 1986, c. 480.

§ 60.2-636. Penalty for fraudulent claim.

A. Any person who has been disqualified for benefits under subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618 and who, because of those same acts or omissions, has received any sum as benefits under this title to which the person is not entitled shall be assessed a penalty in an amount equal to 15 percent of the amount of the payment to which the person was not entitled. All penalties collected by the Commission shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the clearing account of the Fund established pursuant to § 60.2-300. The penalty applies to an erroneous payment made under any state program providing for the payment of unemployment compensation as well as an erroneous payment made under any federal program providing for the payment of unemployment compensation. The notice of determination or decision advising the person that benefits have been denied or adjusted pursuant to subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618 shall include the reason for the finding of an erroneous payment, the penalty amount assessed under this section, and the reason the penalty has been applied.

B. The amount of the penalty assessed pursuant to this section may be collected in any manner allowed for the recovery of the erroneous payment. When a recovery with respect to an erroneous payment is made, any recovery shall be applied first to the principal of the erroneous payment, then to the penalty amount imposed under this section, and finally to any other amounts due.

2013, c. 771.

§ 60.2-637. Notice of penalties for false or misleading statements.

A. The Commission shall provide to each claimant notices of the sanctions to which the claimant is subject as a consequence of providing false or misleading statements to obtain unemployment benefits. The notices shall, at a minimum, (i) identify the penalties and sanctions to which any person is liable as a result of providing false or misleading statements to obtain benefits; (ii) inform the claimant that making a false statement or representation knowing it to be false or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact, with intent to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under this title, is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor; and (iii) provide a summary of all remedies available to the Commission to collect overpayments made to a claimant as a result of his making false or misleading statements to obtain benefits.

B. The notices required by subsection A shall be included with the written statement advising claimants of their benefit rights and responsibilities that is provided by the Commission to claimants following the filing of the initial claim. In addition, the notices shall be provided to claimants at the time of the filing of initial and weekly claims by the same medium, including telephone or the Internet, that is used by the claimant to file his claim.

C. The failure of the claimant to receive any of the notices set out in subsection A shall not constitute a defense to any criminal prosecution for unemployment insurance fraud under § 60.2-632, to an administrative fraud disqualification under subdivision 4 of § 60.2-618, or to any overpayment of benefits under § 60.2-633 that the claimant would be required to repay as a result of the fraudulent act or acts.

2013, c. 740.