Gov. Northam directs $20 million investment in Va. Employment Commission to speed up unemployment claims

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Tuesday that $20 million will be invested in the Virginia Unemployment Commission in order to help process the agency’s massive backlog of claims.

Northam signed Executive Directive 16, which requires the VEC to add 300 new staffers, implement technology upgrades and complete a full modernization of the commonwealth’s unemployment insurance system by Oct. 1.

Additionally, Gov. Northam has directed the VEC to increase the number of claims being processed per week from 5,700 to 10,000 by June 30, with a deadline to increase that load to 20,000 by July 31.

“Virginia is a national leader in getting unemployment benefits to eligible individuals, but it’s clear that complex cases must be resolved more quickly,” Gov. Northam said. “That’s why I’m directing the Virginia Employment Commission invest $20 million to significantly speed up its adjudication process and immediately implement long overdue technology upgrades. This action will address many of the issues that have caused delays and ensure that we continue to deliver relief to Virginians who need it.”

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