Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response • Have you downloaded COVIDWISE, Virginia's COVID-19 exposure notification app? Add your phone to the fight here. For up-to-date information, assistance, and resources from across state government, click here.
Executive Directive Number Sixteen (2021)
Directing the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
to Further Expand Capacity of Unemployment Insurance (UI) System
Importance of the Issue
The Commonwealth of Virginia ranks 51st out of 53 states and territories regarding the amount of federal funding it receives relative to what Virginia businesses pay in taxes. Despite being underfunded, the Commonwealth’s UI system successfully distributed $12.9 billion in benefits to over 1.3 million eligible Virginians since the start of the pandemic. This is a testament to the incredible value of this system to Virginia citizens and the economy. The Commonwealth is now ranked sixth in the nation and first in the Mid-Atlantic region for the timely payment of benefits to eligible applicants.
It is evident, however, that we must do more to ensure that Virginians’ unemployment benefit claims are resolved in a timely manner and that those who are eligible for benefits receive them quickly. VEC must have access to and mobilize additional staff and funding to carry out this critical role.
Directive to Further Expand Capacity of Unemployment Insurance System
By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, I hereby direct VEC to undertake the following measures to prioritize the adjudication of UI claims:
Effective Date of the Executive Directive
This Executive Directive shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect unless amended or rescinded by further executive action.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 18th day of May, 2021.