Virginia Employment Commission Making Some Progress, but Still Has Serious Institutional Problems

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is starting to recover from over a year of unemployment insurance (UI) backlogs and call wait times brought on by unprecedented demand during COVID-19, according to a final report from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC.) But the VEC crisis highlighted long-term systemic problems in the agency, and the agency still has a long way to go.

“As you’ll hear, some backlogs have been reduced, and call center performance has been improved somewhat, but there are increasing backlogs in other areas. There remain substantial challenges for the agency in the coming weeks, months, and even years,” JLARC Director Hal Greer told legislators on Monday.

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Watchdog: Virginia Employment Commission Still Struggling

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.

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