Virginia unemployment website experiences ‘internal server error’


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Employment Commission’s website was down for part of Tuesday with an “internal server error.”

The VEC’s website is where Virginians must go to apply for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.

10 On Your Side noticed the issue Tuesday morning. This isn’t the first time the website has gone down, as demand in recent weeks has surged. By the afternoon Tuesday, the site was functioning again.

Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting industries across the country. In the first week of April, nearly 150,000 Virginians applied for unemployment benefits through the VEC.

This number is more than triple the number of Virginians who filed initial unemployment claims in the week of March 21 when 46,277 people in the commonwealth filed for benefits. Virginia was averaging around 2,600 weekly jobless claims before the pandemic.

Gov. Ralph Northam says the state recently upgraded the VEC website and capacity to help with demand, and increased call center staffing by 20 percent, but Virginians are still reporting being unable to apply for benefits.

10 On Your Side has reached out to the VEC to find out more about the website error(s). This story will be updated when more information is available.

10 On Your Side has also put together a comprehensive guide on understanding and filing for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes information about expanded unemployment under the CARES Act.

Are you having an issue filing for unemployment? Email Adrienne Mayfield at

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