More than 300,000 Virginians file for unemployment in 3-weeks span

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(WRIC) — More than 306,000 Virginians have applied for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks, and nearly 150,000 in the last week alone.

Governor Ralph Northam reports the Virginia Employment Commission is paying out more than $57 million in benefits so far.

Next week, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program kicks in, boosting weekly payments by up to $600.

“We’re putting every resource we can into supporting the volume of unemployment claims we’re receiving,” Northam said. “The VEC is hiring more staff, hiring a private call center and upgrading the claims website.”

The federal program will also cover GIG workers and the self employed. Northam says the VEC will contact 75,000 Virginians who were previously denied benefits to see if they’ve become eligible.

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