The Virginia Employment Commission is still lagging in processing claims, according to an interim report from the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC) presented to legislators Monday.
“A theme that you will hear in the presentation is that while the agency could not have been expected to be fully prepared to respond to the pandemic, it could have been better prepared,” JLARC Director Hal Greer said. “As you’ll hear, 18 months into the pandemic, the agency is still overwhelmed by backlogs of claims. Its call center continues to under-perform, and the agency is struggling with how to recoup a significant amount of benefit payments that were incorrectly issued.”
A spokesperson for the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) told legislators that the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is still unable to answer most of its incoming calls and expressed concern about the backlog of certain types of claims requiring extra review. On Tuesday, JLARC Principal Legislative Analyst Lauren Axselle gave a brief update to legislators, noting that an interim report will be complete in September with a final report on the VEC scheduled for November.
The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is on track to finish adjudicating outstanding unemployment insurance claims that were pending as of May 10th, Commissioner Ellen Hess said on Thursday. A settlement in a lawsuit against the VEC requires the backlog of 92,158 claims to be resolved by Labor Day.
“As of June 5, 66,966 claims remain in this effort,” Hess told the Commission on Unemployment Compensation, a joint commission with legislators from both chambers.
Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.