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Recipients of unemployment benefits could see delay this week after computer system disruption, VEC warns
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Recipients of unemployment benefits could see delay this week after computer system disruption, VEC warns

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Richmond Times-Dispatch

RICHMOND — Virginians who are receiving unemployment benefits could see a delay in their payments this week, partly because of a construction accident Tuesday that disrupted computer networks for several state agencies.

The Virginia Employment Commission, which administers unemployment benefits in the state, said Wednesday that payments this week could be delayed by two days.

The federal bank holiday Monday already had resulted in delayed payments. On Tuesday, a Verizon cable was accidentally struck by equipment at a sewer project outside the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in Chesterfield County, causing connectivity problems for the Virginia Department of Elections, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Employment Commission, an agency that already has been hit by an unprecedented number of filings for unemployment benefits because of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outage also affected the VEC’s online portal where people apply for unemployment benefits, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

“Please be advised that benefit payments this week are delayed up to 2 days,” the VEC said in a notice to benefit recipients. “Even though VEC was open for business, this delay is due to the federal bank holiday on Monday and the extended system outage on Tuesday from a damaged fiber optic cable outside of our control. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

However, VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg said some people did get their unemployment benefits Wednesday and the agency expected all recipients to have them by Thursday.

The VEC reported it had about 160,764 continued claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending Oct. 3. New claims for benefits were 10,843.

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