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Virginians wait weeks for unemployment benefits despite being told they qualify

Posted at 11:50 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 00:34:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) have said that more than 70 percent of claims and $1 billion in benefits have been paid in Virginia. But hundreds of Virginians have contacted CBS 6 saying that they still haven't received their benefits.

William Kidd is among many across Virginia trying to get unemployment benefits.y

"It's frustrating because you can't get a person on the line to get answers," Kidd said.

The 64-year-old works security at Bon Secours full-time but received a letter that he was being let go at his part time job in March because of the pandemic.

"I took on the part time job to help with my responsibilities," Kidd said. "That was part of the supplemental income you know to help with my responsibilities and help pay my bills."

Kidd said he called the VEC for help.

"The person I spoke to said I did qualify and they told me I had to apply," Kidd added.

He said they even gave him a weekly amount for which he was approved, but he said he still hasn't seen any money.

"I'm trying to get answers as to what is the outstanding issues on the claim and again I never get to talk to anybody," Kidd said.

Robert Miller is also trying to get unemployment benefits.

"I call the unemployment office 15,20, 25 times a day trying to get in touch with somebody," Miller said. "Everyday I worry about this because I got bills just steadily piling up."

Miller said that he was laid off on March 20th and hasn't received any money or answers since.

"I want some answers, yeah," Miller said. "I was told I would receive a letter within two to three days and then today I was told it was would take 10 days."

Both men said they just hope they can get some help soon

"I don't want to lose everything that I got," Miller said.

CBS 6 reached out to the VEC and they said they will have someone call both men soon. They also said most people who have not yet received their benefits have outstanding issues on their claim, which require further investigation into their eligibility.