Laid-off auto tech says VEC has fumbled his claim for more than 2 months

Laid-off auto tech says VEC has fumbled his claim for more than 2 months
Posted at 7:53 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 19:53:50-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- With a new administration promising dramatic change at the Virginia Employment Commission and a lawsuit against the agency now behind it because it finally met the standards a judge had demanded, 2022 could be a better year for the VEC.

A Caroline County man says that sounds great, but he hopes they don’t forget his claim from last year, which is now more than two months late.

“Just communicating with them seems to be a major ordeal for some reason,” said Kenneth Peets. “I don't think it should be that way.”

Peets was laid off from a car dealership in early November and for the next eight weeks, says was waiting for the VEC to come through with some much-needed income.

“This is horrendous, to have people go through in general,” Peets said. “I don't understand what the VEC is actually thinking, that any form of this is even legitimately okay. In my situation, both my bank accounts are drained, my credit cards are maxed out. I'm really still waiting for them just to do anything.”

While the auto tech has recently found work, he says repeated calls to the VEC have been fruitless, that he, like many claimants we've talked to, has been told repeatedly that a deputy must sign off on approving his claim.

Peets said he did learn from one employee at the VEC that his claim has been hung up because his former employer delayed filing the appropriate paperwork.

"This money’s supposed to be there to bail us out when we're in trouble,” Peets said. “I never thought I'd be one that would be filing, to be honest with you. I thought I'd bounce right back and be right back to work a couple weeks later. Unfortunately, in this atmosphere, because of the climate we're in, it didn't work out that way."

Peets says whatever the reason for the delay, the VEC should have a better system of sorting through the issues slowing down claims.

"The VEC is just got a really bad way of trying to verify information,” he said. “Apparently they just get to it, when they get to it. Like I said, 10 months down the road, five months down the road. It doesn’t matter to them."

When CBS6 asked Joyce Fogg, the spokesperson for the VEC about Peets' case, she said she emailed him herself Thursday and again Friday morning and that someone would be contacting him Friday.

As of early evening Friday, Peets said that had not happened. So his wait continues.