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File for Unemployment in Georgia
You can apply for Georgia unemployment benefits online or at a GDOL Labor Career Center. Applications filed online require a private and secure email address so you can receive updates and correspondence from the GDOL. Make sure you complete the entire application and receive your confirmation number to keep for your records if you apply online. After you submit your unemployment claim, you have to sign an Applicant Status Affidavit. Make sure you check your email and regular U.S. mail for correspondence about reporting to your local GDOL career center and any other applicable instructions. After your unemployment claim is filed, entered, and processed, you can and should begin claiming your benefits weekly.
Within a couple of days of filing your unemployment claim successfully, you will get in the mail a monetary determination explaining your claim, wages used to establish your claim, the amount you will receive, and the duration of your benefits. A benefit determination should be mailed to you within 21 days. Individuals receiving UI benefits need to make a minimum of three valid job contacts a week. These contacts must be reported and sent to the GDOL.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
Once you’re eligible for benefits, it’s time to file for unemployment in Georgia. It’s important to start your unemployment application immediately after losing your job, because a filing delay may cost you your benefits. You can and should apply as early as the next business day from the date you were let go.
The following will discuss the specifics of actually filing a claim using the GDOL’s online system. The online system is accessible to everyone through the GDOL website.
Towards the middle of the page is a Affidavit Acknowledgment that you have to check indicating you understand that Georgia law requires you to complete an Applicant Status Affidavit. After you check that box, continue to the bottom of the screen where you will need to enter your Social Security Number and set up a PIN number. Make sure you remember your PIN. From there, a personal information page will appear where you enter your contact information. The on-screen instructions will then either assign you a reporting office or allow you to choose one that is convenient for you. Next, you will have a second personal information page, which asks for your gender, date of birth, and other standard demographic information.
Once your profile and account are set up, you’ll be directed to the main homepage. From this page, you can choose to start a new claim, file your weekly reports, and a couple other services that you may need at some point. In the upper left hand corner, you’ll see a link that says “Apply for Benefits.” That link will then walk you through the process of submitting your application.
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Documents and Information Needed During Filing
When filing a claim, it will be quicker if you have the following information on hand:
- Your Social Security card
- A valid and unexpired government-issued picture I.D.
- Employer-issued separation notice or letter (if available)
- Names, addresses, and dates of employment of all employers for the last 18 months
- Alien Registration Number and expiration date for non-citizens
- SF-50 or SF-8 form and pay stubs for federal employment in the last two years
- Most recent or current DD-214, orders to report or of release, military earnings leave statement, or W-2 forms for former military personnel
- Personal banking account and routing number for direct deposit
- Most recent filed income tax return, or if applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and you are self-employed or a farmer, your quarterly estimated income tax payment records
Claim Weekly Benefits
UI provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed by no fault of their own while seeking a new job. Unemployment benefits help bridge the gap between jobs by replacing part of the worker's lost income.
UI is funded entirely by employer contributions. In Georgia, no withholdings are made from workers' pay for these benefits.
As of July 1, 2012, the maximum number of weeks of UI eligibility is between 14 and 20 weeks.. The UI benefit determination will provide the unemployment rate for your claim filing period.
The online claim filing system is designed to enable you to easily and quickly file your claim for unemployment benefits. There is no charge for using this service.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
Claims can be filed at any Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) career center or online. To file an unemployment claim online, you will need a secure email address. This email account should be your personal email address because private and confidential information about your claim will be sent to this email address.
If you prefer to apply at a GDOL career center in person, you can find a list of centers at https://dol.georgia.gov/locations/career-center.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
You will not be able to collect and receive unemployment benefits if you were terminated from your position for failure to follow order, rules, instructions, or for misconduct on the job. The only way to know whether you are eligible for benefits, however, is to file a claim. The department cannot and will not make a predetermination regarding eligibility before the claim is filed.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
An appeal is the only process for a decision or denial to be reviewed by GDOL as well as potentially amended or reversed. Any claimant has the right to appeal a decision made by the GDOL. Rights to appeal expire after 15 days from the date the decision being appealed is released. The Commissioner of Labor has no authority to intervene in the process. Your employer may also have the right to appeal if the decision is based on the circumstances around you separating from work. The appeal will be conducted by an administrative hearing officer.
A request for an appeal has to be in writing and can be submitted to the GDOL by fax, email, mail, or it can be hand delivered to a GDOL Career Center. Your determination notice will have the contact information where you have to submit your appeal. The request must include the claimant’s name, the claimant’s Social Security Number, and an intent or reason for filing an appeal.
After an appeal is received, it can take from two to two-and-half weeks for a hearing to be scheduled. The GDOL is required by law to send notice of the appeal hearing time, date, and issues to be discussed. The notice has to be mailed a minimum of 10 days in advance of the hearing. After the hearing, a written decision is mailed to all parties.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Appeals to the Board of Review (404) 232-3325
Appeals to Hearing Officers (404) 232-3900
Any written communication regarding your appeal should be mailed to:
Georgia Department of Labor
UI Appeals Tribunal
148 Andrew Young International Blvd. NE STE 525
Atlanta, Georgia 30303