April 28, 2021
Virginia still dead last in the country in issuing unemployment assistance
FALLS CHURCH, VA –Conservative Republican business leader and candidate for Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin today called for a complete and total overhaul of the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) as Virginia still ranks last in the nation for resolving unemployment claims. More than 1.5 million Virginians have filed for unemployment in the past year. The average wait time for claims awaiting appeal is 247 days, and some applicants have been waiting more than a year to receive financial assistance.
Additionally, during Governor Northam’s disastrous tenure, the VEC also paid out an estimated $40 million in claims filed by ineligible prison inmates – a staggering amount of fraud enabled by government incompetence.
“These failures represent a callous disregard for Virginians who have fallen on tough times during a global pandemic,” said Youngkin. “There are many examples of the Northam Administration’s mismanagement, but the mess at the VEC has to top the list. It’s clear that one party control in Richmond is failing hardworking Virginians and their families, and it’s time to elect a new kind of leader who can deliver results and get the job done. I will make fixing this problem and getting Virginians the help they need a top priority of my administration. We need a complete and total overhaul that modernizes and streamlines the Virginia Employment Commission – not another career politician who has never run anything in the real world, and not Terry McAuliffe’s same old, status-quo way of doing things.”
Many Virginians lost their paychecks due to the pandemic, failed to receive unemployment assistance even though they filed on time, and have waited for months with no help in sight. For much of last year, Virginia had the worst rate in the United States for making an eligibility determination, doing so within 21 days only 9% of the time, according to federal data. Further, on some days, the average time unemployed Virginians had to wait on the phone to talk to a customer service representative was more than six hours.
Problems have mounted. Just last week, unemployed Virginians weren’t able to file weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Youngkin has the real-world business experience needed to completely overhaul the VEC and get it working for Virginians again.