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Virginia Expands Unemployment Benefits During Pandemic

Self-employed may also file claims with state

Courtesy photo

Alexandria, VA – In its nightly email, the city continues to urge residents to stay at home, unless going out is essential. And when out, they stress the importance of maintaining six feet of distance around others.

Expanded Unemployment Benefits

Today Virginia announced expanded unemployment benefits as part of the CARES Act. Weekly benefits will be raised to $600 for those who filed for unemployment starting March 29. This also applies to workers who file a claim through July 31.  Payments are retroactive and will be made automatically in tandem with weekly claims.

Additional benefits for people who previously had no coverage are available. The self-employed, who are generally not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, could now receive assistance through the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. To apply, candidates must sign up for regular unemployment with the Virginia Employment Commission or the Virginia Workforce Connection. 

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resources

Though most Alexandrians are staying home to practice social distancing, for people experiencing domestic violence, home is often a place of fear. If help is needed to avoid threats or harm, call Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 703-746-4911 or the Sexual Assault Hotline at 703-638-7273. These other resources may also be helpful. Click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Trash and Recycling

The city reminds residents to place trash and recycling in the appropriate city-issued containers. Trash must be placed in tied or sealed plastic bags and put into the trash bin. Recycling can be placed in its blue bin without a plastic bag.

For residents who do not have city-issued containers, trash can be placed in plastic bags at the curb. Recyclables should placed in paper bags. Trash or recycling that is left curbside without a bag will not be collected.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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  1. At this time the next step for unemployment claims under the PUA are still not released,. We self employed cannot yet get benefits, still waiting on step 2, as we have been since we were forced to stop working a month ago.

  2. I never received my first 2 weeks of benefits even though I was approved. How long does it take the system to catch up? Luckily I am getting my current weekly benefit but am owed the first two weeks. Does anyone know? The web site does not include this information and getting through on the phone is impossible. Thank you, GB

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