Virginia Employment Lawyer and Social Security disability Attorney

Areas of Practice

Initial Consultations

If you would like to discuss your employment or disability related concerns, call 804-440-6557 to schedule an initial consultation. You will meet directly with attorney D. Scott Gordon for an extended evaluation of your issues, not an inexperienced paralegal.


Unemployment Benefits

Initial Qualification Rules and Standards

To receive benefits, Claimants must full be or partially unemployed; they must have had a prior earnings history in the past five quarters; they must have been separated due to no fault or decision of their own; they must be actively seeking work; and they must be able and available to work each week for which they seek benefits.

Monetary Determination

When a claim is filed, the VEC initially issues a "Monetary Determination." This decision reviews your prior earnings history and determines the maximum weekly benefit that you MAY be eligible to recevie. The maximum weekly benefit is currently $378 in Virginia. At a minimum, a Claimant must have earned at least $3,000 in two quarters in the base period. The weekly benefit amount is calculated as a percentage of your highest two periods of quarterly earnings in the lookback period. See VEC Calculation Table. Note, a Monetary Determination represents the first step in the eligibility determination process. Once the VEC has confirmed a base monetary entitlement, it still will review your underlying reason for job separation and your weekly availabilty for work. These other factors still can disqualify one from receiving weekly benefits.

Employer Separation Report

When you file your claim, you will be asked about the reason for your separation. The VEC then will contact your employer and require that they submit a Separation Report, which includes their stated reason for termination or separation. If the employer's account differs from the Claimant's version, a VEC Deputy will be tasked with reconciling any factual discrepancies and issuing a "Deputy Determination" of eligibility

Weekly Availability for Work

To receive weekly benefits, you must be able and available for work each week. You also must accept any suitable work. Unemployment benefits are not intended to serve as an alternative to medical disability benefits. If you are unable to work any job due to medical reasons then the VEC likely will deem you to be unable to work. However, if your medical condition merely limits you from working a specific job, you still may draw benefits if you are seeking alternative work. For example, if you work in heavy industry and can no longer lift in excess of 50 pounds, your physician may find that you are not qualified to return to your prior job. This lifting restriction does not preclude you from seeking light or sedantary work, so you still are considered "able and available" to work. In these instances, it is important that your physician document your restrictions and capabilities prior to your separation. The VEC will inquire specifically whether you left work based on the advice of your doctor and whether the doctor agrees that you retain the capacity to perform some other work. The VEC's standard form for this purpose is called a Physician's Certification of Health

Job Search Requirements

The VEC requires that you document your job search efforts in order to receive weekly benefits (This requirement was suspended temporarily during COVID but has now been reinstated.)

Severance Pay

The receipt of lump sum severance benefits does not disqualify one from unemployment benefits.  However, severance benefits are prorated on a weekly basis and applied as an offset to any unemployment benefits to which you may otherwise be entitled.