UPDATE: Virginians having trouble filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Tuesday evening, the Virginia Employment Commission said people who were having trouble filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance this week should now be able to do so without issue.

Previously, some reported seeing a notification on Gov2Go that they had no weeks available to claim. 

Others said the option to file didn’t show up as usual. That’s what happened to Laurel Herman on Sunday. 

Unable to find instructions from the VEC on what to do next, Herman said she turned to a Facebook group for help. 

“My overall message is that the system is not working,” Herman told 8News. “It’s a failure to communicate.” 

She said another claimant advised people to file via phone but that too caused confusion, as some commented that the automated system abruptly hung up before they received their full confirmation number.

“Are we going to get our money? I have no way of knowing that the claim is valid or not,” Herman said.

The VEC declined to do an interview with 8News on Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, some claimants speculated on social media that the benefits had ended and that they would be resuming next week.

“They have not ended,” VEC Spokesperson Joyce Fogg clarified in an email on Tuesday morning. “By close of business today all PUA claimants should have that week offered.  Please inform claimants still inquiring to try again and if the week is not offered to try again after 5 p.m. today.”

Fogg didn’t respond to follow up questions about what was done to inform the press or the public about this problem. It’s also still unclear what caused it and how many people were impacted, though Fogg said it didn’t affect all PUA recipients.

At 8AM on Tuesday morning, a banner on the VEC website said, “We are aware that individuals are having difficulty filing PUA claims. We are working to resolve this issue. Please check back for updates on this situation.”

8News reached out to Fogg and Gov. Ralph Northam’s Administration shortly after that.

Later Tuesday morning, an updated banner read: 

“We are aware that individuals are having difficulty filing their weekly PUA claims. We are working to resolve this issue and many individuals can now file for the week ending April 17, 2021 by accessing their Gov2Go account. We expect all affected claimants to be able to be able to file their weekly claim later today (April 20th). Please check back for updates to this situation.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.

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