Virginia Small Business: What You Need to Know About UI Benefits

Date: October 24, 2022

Employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Important Information Regarding the Virginia Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits + Employer Responsibilities


The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) previously communicated this year that Virginia employers are now required by law under section 60.2-121.2 of the Code of Virginia to submit all unemployment insurance claim information electronically to the agency.

This is done by enrolling in the Commonwealth’s Employer Self Service (ESS) portal via

Users select “Enroll in Business iFile to establish your User ID and Password” then select “VEC Only” and complete the enrollment process.

The Employer Self Service (ESS) portal allows employers to receive timely information concerning claims filed against your company that could have an effect on your unemployment insurance tax liability. It is important that you enroll so that you are in compliance with the law, but it will also serve as a tool to protect your business interest.

Your enrollment allows the VEC to notify you quickly when a claim of unemployment insurance has been filed against your company.  The VEC does this by sending notice of separation and wage information commonly known as a separation report. The return of this separation report allows the agency to ensure your input is considered so that benefits can be paid or not paid in accordance with the law.

Your participation in the unemployment insurance program also helps the agency prevent fraud. There have been attempts nationwide to defraud the UI program. Your response to any potential claim helps identify fraudulent behavior and prevent the theft of your tax dollars.

The goal is to protect the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that only those individuals who are eligible for benefits receive benefits.

Please note: Employers who are currently enrolled in the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) do not need to register with ESS. 


Related Content: Small Business News | Virginia

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