In Virginia, as in most states, in order for claimants to be eligible for compensation, they must file weekly reports documenting their job contacts; This requirement is for the purpose of showing that you are able and available for work. Your job search efforts can be done over the internet, over the phone or in person at the unemployment office.
Most people use the Internet or the phone. However, there may be occasions when you may be locked out of such reporting systems due to some inadvertent error. Do not think that this will excuse you from reporting. If you fail to report searches, you will be ineligible for compensation in the weeks that you do not successfully report.
What to do if you are locked out. If you unable to electronically report your job efforts, keep a written record of them, noting the day of contact, the company contacted, the company address if available, and the person contacted. Since job searches are subject to verification, the more information you keep on them, the easier it will be to verify that you did make such contacts. You can then use these records to document your efforts during weeks when you were unable to provide them electronically to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Go to the local VEC office immediately and explain your situation to a staff person. The VEC should provide you with weekly paper reports, which you can then fill in retroactively and return to the VEC. Keep copies of such reports. With these reports, the VEC will be able to find that you met your past reporting requirement provided that you contact them and submit the reports within 28 days of the lockout. If you fail to contact them within 28 days of the lock-out, you will be automatically reduced to “inactive status". Once placed in inactive status, you will have to apply for unemployment compensation again and will lose past benefits for those weeks in which you were unable to report.
Do reporting requirements apply if your claim is denied? Yes. Many claimants once, they are denied by the Deputy Examiner, assume that they do not have to continue making and reporting job contacts. This is a serious mistake because should you appeal and win your case, you will be considered ineligible in the weeks that you failed to report. Such an error can wipe out a large portion of your back benefits.