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Georgia Department of Labor
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Child Labor
back to top
Where do I get a work permit?
Can I start a work permit online?
Do I need a work permit if I am a minor performing community service?
I work in a restaurant and have a 12-year old daughter. I do not want to leave her home during the day on non-school days. May I take her to work with me? Can she clear tables and sweep/mop floors as long as she is there anyway?
I am 17 years old, married, and have a child. Do I have to get a work permit?
After I have worked for 4 hours at my job, doesn't the boss have to give me a 15 minute break?
I am 16 years of age. What time does the boss have to let me off in the evenings on a school night?
I worked for this company for two weeks, then quit. They won't pay me. They say the two weeks was a training period. What should I do to get paid?
I resigned 3 weeks ago. My boss keeps telling me to come back to get my last pay check. Each time I go back he tells me to come back on their next regular pay day. What should I do?
I am a 16-year old. I supervise a shift at a fast-food restaurant. Now my boss wants me to close (work to 12 midnight or 1:00 a.m.). If I do I will be in charge with only other teenagers on duty. Is this legal?
How many hours can a minor under age 16 work on Fridays? Is Friday considered a weekend or a school day?
If school is not in session one day during a school week, what are the maximum hours a minor under age 16 can work on that day?
Do I need a work permit if I am a minor working as a volunteer?
Under the new Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA), drivers with a Class D license can not drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. Are there any exceptions for minors driving to and from work?
Can a minor who is visiting and working in Georgia use an out-of-state work permit?
If an area school session ends prior to June 1, can a minor under the age of 16 work 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week or does the minor have to wait until June 1 to begin full time employment?
Can I obtain a list from the Child Labor Section of employers who are currently hiring minors?
Disaster-Related Benefits
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What is DUA?
Who may apply for DUA?
How do I apply for DUA?
How is DUA related to UI?
Are Taxes Withheld?
Fair Labor Standards Act
back to top
When is my employer required to pay overtime?
What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips?
Isn't my employer required to pay severance pay if I was laid off?
Can my employer require me to perform duties not included in my job description?
Is my employer required to pay a higher rate if I work during the weekend or at night?
Isn't my employer required to give me breaks and a meal period?
What are an employer's requirements to provide vacation, sick and/or personal leave?
My employer had no good reason for firing me. What recourse do I have?
Labor Market Information
back to top
What are the fastest growing occupations in Georgia?
What is the average salary for Georgia workers with a college degree? High school diploma? High school dropout?
Laws and Regulations
back to top
Where can I get information about my reemployment rights if I was called up for active reserve duty?
I quit my job and my employer refuses to pay me for my last week worked. What can I do?
How can an employer fire me under "Employment-at-Will" if Georgia is a "Right-to-Work" state?
Services
back to top
Does the Georgia Department of Labor provide special services for veterans?
Can the Georgia Department of Labor help individuals get bonded?
What workshops are offered for job seekers at the Career Centers?
What are the hours of operation for the Career Centers?
How do I qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation services?
UI Extended Benefits
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How many unemployment insurance benefit extension programs are available in Georgia?
Is there a possibility of more extensions?
Has there been any new legislation passed to create further extensions?
How will the current legislation impact individuals receiving EUC or SEB?
Can I contact my career center or the UI Customer Service Unit now to find out if I may be eligible for EUC and/or SEB in the future?
How many tiers and weeks of EUC are available?
What are the eligibility requirements to establish an EUC claim?
What are the eligibility requirements to establish a SEB claim?
Can I apply for EUC before my regular UI claim exhausts?
I noticed my SEB job prospect classification is listed as “Not Good Prospect.” What does that mean and how does it affect me?
How and when do I need to apply for EUC benefits?
How and when do I need to apply for SEB benefits?
How much will I receive?
How will I receive my EUC and SEB payments?
I was on EUC and was told I qualify for a new claim. The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is lower than my EUC WBA. Can I stay on the EUC?
Will EUC benefits affect my Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) payments?
Will SEB benefits affect my Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) payments?
Will EUC benefits affect my Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payments?
Will SEB benefits affect my Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payments?
What are the employment service registration and work search requirements for EUC?
How do I submit my EUC work search contacts?
What are the work search requirements for SEB?
How do I submit my SEB work search contacts?
What are the reemployment services and eligibility assessment activities requirements for EUC?
I don’t like my current job. If I quit, will I be eligible for EUC or SEB benefits?
I was unemployed for a long time, but I have taken a part-time job now. Can I receive any EUC or SEB benefits?
Will taxes be withheld from my EUC and SEB benefits?
When does the EUC program expire?
When does the SEB program expire?
Are Georgia employers being charged for SEB benefit payments?
Are Georgia employers being charged for EUC benefit payments?
Unemployment Insurance
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What is unemployment insurance?
How do I file a claim for unemployment insurance?
What information should I have when I file a claim?
Who can file by Internet?
What are the Browser Requirements for Filing a Claim Online?
What is the Applicant Status Affidavit?
Why is an affidavit required?
When do I execute the Applicant Status Affidavit?
I executed an Applicant Status Affidavit last year when I filed for UI benefits. Do I have to execute another one this year?
When is my claim effective?
How do I qualify for unemployment insurance benefits?
What is the base period?
How long must I have worked to establish a claim in Georgia?
What are the minimum and maximum weekly benefits paid in Georgia?
What is the maximum and minimum number of weeks a regular unemployment claim can be established?
How can I determine the potential maximum number of weeks a claim can be established?
Why has the maximum number of potential UI weeks been changed?
Is everyone eligible for the maximum number of weeks?
How can I determine what unemployment rate is being used to establish my claim?
If I establish a claim and the unemployment rate goes up at a later date, will my claim be recalculated to add extra weeks?
What do I have to do to qualify for benefits if I have earned enough money to establish a claim?
Can I draw benefits if I quit my job?
Can I draw benefits if I was fired?
Are there other requirements if I draw benefits?
Does severance pay have an effect on my benefits?
Does retirement pay have any effect on my benefits?
How do workers' compensation payments affect my claim?
How do I claim benefits each week after I file?
How will I receive my payments?
What should I do if my address changes?
What is the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®?
What are the benefits of having a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®?
What do I have to do to receive a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®?
I have received my new Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®, what actions should I take to begin using the card?
Does receiving a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® mean I am eligible to receive unemployment benefits?
What are the fees associated with using the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®?
Can I deposit other money into my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® account?
What should I do if my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® is lost or stolen?
What is my responsibility as a cardholder to secure my debit card account?
Whom should I call with questions about my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® account?
How do I dispute a transaction?
Whom should I contact if the amount of the unemployment benefits payment credited to my account is incorrect?
How do I change my method of payment from a debit card?
Are unemployment benefits taxable?
I received two determinations on my claim. One says I can draw benefits and the other says I cannot. Which is correct?
What if I disagree with the decision made on my claim?
How do I file an appeal?
How long does it take to get an appeal?
Should I continue to file my weekly certifications while waiting for the appeal hearing/decision?
What if I disagree with the decision of the hearing officer?
How do I file an appeal with the Board of Review?
Can I appeal the Board of Review's decision?
What happens if I am being paid unemployment benefits and I lose the appeal?
Child Labor
Where do I get a work permit? back to top
A minor can get a completed work permit from the school the minor attends. If a minor does not attend school OR if the school does not maintain a supply of work permit data sheets, one may be obtained from the county school superintendent's office. A minor will need to take a copy of a certified birth certificate to have a completed work permit issued.
Can I start a work permit online? back to top
Yes, the work permit data sheet can be started on-line. Use the link below to access the online work permit system designed to allow completion of the work permit data sheet by Minors and Employers and the issuance of work permits by authorized Issuing Officers.

Online Work Permit
Do I need a work permit if I am a minor performing community service? back to top
A work permit is not required if you are not getting paid or receiving compensation for your community service.
I work in a restaurant and have a 12-year old daughter. I do not want to leave her home during the day on non-school days. May I take her to work with me? Can she clear tables and sweep/mop floors as long as she is there anyway? back to top
Child labor laws do not apply to simply bringing her to work with you. It is strictly up to the "boss" if you are allowed to bring your child with you. However, she may not do any work at all.
I am 17 years old, married, and have a child. Do I have to get a work permit? back to top
Yes. Individuals who have not reached their 18th birthday, regardless of marital status, need a work permit.
After I have worked for 4 hours at my job, doesn't the boss have to give me a 15 minute break? back to top
No. State nor federal law requires meal periods or breaks. If you are willing, the boss can work you 24 hours a day provided you are 16 years of age or older.
I am 16 years of age. What time does the boss have to let me off in the evenings on a school night? back to top
There are no restriction on hours for minors 16 years of age and above. (No cutoff hour; no maximum number of hours per day).
I worked for this company for two weeks, then quit. They won't pay me. They say the two weeks was a training period. What should I do to get paid? back to top
Call the U. S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

Atlanta: (404) 893-4600
Savannah: (912) 652-4221
I resigned 3 weeks ago. My boss keeps telling me to come back to get my last pay check. Each time I go back he tells me to come back on their next regular pay day. What should I do? back to top
Call the U. S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

Atlanta: (404) 893-4600
Savannah: (912) 652-4221
I am a 16-year old. I supervise a shift at a fast-food restaurant. Now my boss wants me to close (work to 12 midnight or 1:00 a.m.). If I do I will be in charge with only other teenagers on duty. Is this legal? back to top
Yes, there are no legal restrictions that apply.
How many hours can a minor under age 16 work on Fridays? Is Friday considered a weekend or a school day? back to top
If school was in session on Friday, that day is considered a school day. According to state law, the minor cannot work more than 4 hours. However, if the employer is subject to the FLSA, the minor cannot work more than 3 hours.
If school is not in session one day during a school week, what are the maximum hours a minor under age 16 can work on that day? back to top
If school is not in session on any particular day during a school week, according to state law, a minor can work 8 hours on that non-school day. However, if the employer is subject to the FLSA, the minor cannot work more than 18 hours during that particular school week.
Do I need a work permit if I am a minor working as a volunteer? back to top
A work permit is not required if you are not getting paid or receiving compensation for your services.
Under the new Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA), drivers with a Class D license can not drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. Are there any exceptions for minors driving to and from work? back to top
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, there are no exceptions to this Act.

Georgia Office of Highway Safety
Can a minor who is visiting and working in Georgia use an out-of-state work permit? back to top
No. Any minor working in the state of Georgia must obtain a Georgia Employment Certificate issued by an authorized Georgia Issuing Officer. A work permit can be obtained from the local board of education where the minor is temporarily residing.

If an area school session ends prior to June 1, can a minor under the age of 16 work 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week or does the minor have to wait until June 1 to begin full time employment? back to top
Once the school session ends, a minor can work up to 8 hours per day but no more than 40 hours per week. However, according to federal law, the minor cannot work past 7:00 p.m. until June 1. For the period of June 1 through Labor Day the work hours are extended to 9:00 p.m.
Can I obtain a list from the Child Labor Section of employers who are currently hiring minors? back to top
The Child Labor Section does not assist in obtaining employment for minors but rather ensure the safety of minors in the work place. The following industries are major employers of minors: grocery stores, amusement parks, recreation centers, day care centers, restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and retail stores. You can visit any GDOL Career Center to get help in finding a job.
Disaster-Related Benefits
What is DUA? back to top
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a federal unemployment assistance program that provides compensation for individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster, but who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI). A major disaster is a natural catastrophe such as a severe storm, hurricane, tornado, straight-line winds, and associated flooding that resulted in a Presidential declaration of a disaster. A Presidential declaration is made when it is determined governmental assistance is needed for communities and individuals directly affected by the disaster.
Who may apply for DUA? back to top
Any individual who is unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster may apply for DUA. This includes self-employed business people, farmers, loggers, commissioned-paid employees and others whose unemployment occurred as a direct result of a declared disaster, but who are not eligible for the state's regular unemployment insurance program.
How do I apply for DUA? back to top
To apply for DUA, visit any Georgia Department of Labor career center and file an unemployment insurance claim. Present valid government issued picture identification and your social security number. If self-employed, have proof of earnings for the most recently completed income tax year, such as:
  • Copies of the most recently completed income tax returns
  • Copies of quarterly estimated income tax payments records
  • Similar documents
How is DUA related to UI? back to top
Individuals eligible to receive UI will not qualify to receive DUA until all UI benefits have been exhausted. Self-employed, farmers, and other individuals who generally are not eligible for UI, may be eligible to receive DUA.
Are Taxes Withheld? back to top
DUA benefits are subject to federal and state tax. Individuals may elect to have federal and/or state taxes deducted from their DUA payments. Individuals will receive IRS Form 1099-G to file with their income tax return.
Fair Labor Standards Act
When is my employer required to pay overtime? back to top
Unless specifically exempted, employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate of 1 and 1/2 their regular rates of pay. Some exemptions include white collar workers employed in executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales positions who are paid on a salary basis.

FLSA elaws - Exemptions
What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips? back to top
An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages, if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer must make up the difference.

FLSA elaws - Minimum Wage
Isn't my employer required to pay severance pay if I was laid off? back to top
There is no requirement in the Fair Labor Standards Act for severance pay. Severance pay is a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee per the employment contract.

FLSA elaws - Severance Pay
Can my employer require me to perform duties not included in my job description? back to top
Yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not limit the types of work employees 18 and over may be required to perform. This is true whether or not the work asked of the employee is listed on the job description.
Is my employer required to pay a higher rate if I work during the weekend or at night? back to top
Extra pay for working weekends or at night is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative). The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require extra pay for weekend or night work. It does require 1 and 1/2 the regular rate of pay for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek for nonexempt employees.

elaws FLSA Advisor
Isn't my employer required to give me breaks and a meal period? back to top
Neither the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) nor Georgia law requires breaks or meal periods be given to workers. However, many employers do provide breaks and meal periods, even though discretionary with the employer. Breaks of short duration, from 5 to 20 minutes, are common. The FLSA requires that workers be compensated during short break periods; however, an employer does not have to compensate workers meal periods of thirty minutes or more, as long as the workers are free to use the meal period time as they wish and are not required to perform work during that time.
What are an employer's requirements to provide vacation, sick, and/or personal leave? back to top
Neither federal nor state law requires that an employer provide vacation, sick, or personal leave.
My employer had no good reason for firing me. What recourse do I have? back to top
Unless you have a contract with your employer for a specified length of service, either you or your employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, for any reason or no reason at all, with the exception of illegal discrimination. This is frequently called "Employment-at-Will."

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII

Obtain Information About An Employment Issue
Labor Market Information
What are the fastest growing occupations in Georgia? back to top
Occupational growth is defined using projections data. These data list the fastest growing jobs (percentage of growth), largest job growth (numerical growth), most annual openings, etc. Eight of the 20 fastest growing jobs are related to health services and five are related to computer technology. Fastest growing occupations, defined as a percentage of new growth, also have a minimum of 100 annual openings. Additionally, more than half of these occupations have higher than average wages. Occupations with a high percentage of growth, 100 or more openings per year and higher than average wages earn the distinction of being a "hot job".

Occupational projections are published in Georgia Workforce 2014 – Long-term Employment Trends and Georgia Area Workforce Trends (local workforce investment act areas).

Georgia Workforce 2014 – Long-term Employment Trends
What is the average salary for Georgia workers with a college degree? High school diploma? High school dropout? back to top
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that college definitely pays. Workers age 18 and over with a Bachelor's degree earn an average of $51,206 a year, while those with a high school diploma earn $27,915. Workers without a high school diploma average $18,734. An advanced degree earns workers an average of $74,602. These data were collected in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2004.

Current Population Surveys from 1998, 1999 and 2000 were used to estimate Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates. These estimates show that over a lifetime (age 24-65), the differences in earned income are far more significant. Workers without a high school diploma will earn less than $1.0 million in their lifetime. Those with a high school diploma will earn $1.2 million. Workers with a Bachelor's degree will earn $2.1 million and an advanced degree will earn 2.5 million.
Laws and Regulations
Where can I get information about my reemployment rights if I was called up for active reserve duty? back to top
Certain persons who serve in the armed forces have a right to reemployment with the employer they were with when they entered service. This includes those called up from the reserves or National Guard. These rights are administered by the Veterans Employment and Training Service of the USDOL.

Nontechnical Resource Guide to USERRA

elaws USERRA Advisor

FAQs for Reservists Being Called to Active Duty
I quit my job and my employer refuses to pay me for my last week worked. What can I do? back to top
Often employers and workers disagree over final amounts due. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employees be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, and time and a half for any overtime hours worked; salaried personnel must also be paid. The USDOL Wage and Hour Division enforces these requirements, but enforcement may be slow. The practical alternative is to file a claim for wages against the employer in the small claims court (Magistrate Court) in the county where the employer is located. Although the worker will have to pay a filing fee, that filing fee can be collected along with wages if the court rules in the worker's favor.
How can an employer fire me under "Employment-at-Will" if Georgia is a "Right-to-Work" state? back to top
Georgia is a "Right-to-Work" state. This means that workers may not be required to join a union or make payments to a union as a condition of employment. This protects a worker who is not hired, or is fired, due to refusal or unwillingness to join a union only.

Services
Does the Georgia Department of Labor provide special services for veterans? back to top
Yes. Eligible veterans receive priority service on job referrals. Additionally, each career center has dedicated veteran program staff who provide veterans with a wide range of services to meet their employment needs. Veterans' Program staff are familiar with all the programs and services available in the community for military veterans, and help connect job seekers with these services.

Find Veteran Information

Veterans' Employment and Training Services

Department of Veteran Affairs

USDOL's Veteran Audience page
Can the Georgia Department of Labor help individuals get bonded? back to top
The Georgia Department of Labor is the local agency certified by the Federal Bonding Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. This program issues fidelity bonds to employers free-of-charge, and serves as an incentive to the company to hire a job applicant who is an ex-offender or has some other personal background "risk" factor. For the bond to be issued, the employer must make the individual a job offer, and a date to start work must be set. For assistance, contact the federal bonding representative at the GDOL Career Center nearest you.

Federal Bonding Program

Federal Bonding Program - A U.S. Department of Labor Initiative

GDOL Career Centers
What workshops are offered for job seekers at the Career Centers? back to top
The number and variety of workshops provided each week vary by career center, depending on customer needs and preferences. All career centers provide an Orientation workshop (job search and GDOL services), and a Re-Place Yourself (comprehensive job search) workshop. Examples of other specialized workshop topics include Networking, Résumé Writing, Internet Job Search, Career Exploration, and Interviewing. Contact the career center nearest you to get the schedule.

GDOL Career Centers
What are the hours of operation for the Career Centers? back to top
GDOL Career Centers are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. except to observe state holidays.

GDOL Career Centers
How do I qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation services? back to top
To qualify for vocational rehabilitation services, you must have a permanent disability that affects your ability to work in at least two ways. Each person's situation is considered individually. Contact a local VR office to inquire.

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
 
UI Extended Benefits
How many unemployment insurance benefit extension programs are available in Georgia? back to top
The unemployment insurance benefit extension program – Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) ended with the week ending date December 28, 2013.
Is there a possibility of more extensions? back to top
The President and US Congress can enact legislation to create further extensions. If another extension occurs after you exhaust your benefits, we will notify you by mail if you qualify. Please keep us informed of your current address.

Has there been any new legislation passed to create further extensions? back to top
On January 2, 2013, the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (the Act) which extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program to allow payments through December 28, 2013. The Act does not provide additional weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted all entitlements under previous law. Further, this legislation is retroactive to December 30, 2012.

How will the current legislation impact individuals receiving EUC or SEB? back to top

The legislation will cut additional weeks of total benefits in Georgia, by reducing the potential maximum weeks available to individuals beginning in September 2012. Further reductions may occur, if Georgia's Total Unemployment Rate (TUR) falls below the required unemployment rate for each EUC Tier.

As of April 21, 2012, Georgia’s SEB program ended. This cut an additional 20 weeks of extended benefits.

Can I contact my career center or the UI Customer Service Unit now to find out if I may be eligible for EUC and/or SEB in the future? back to top
No. EUC and SEB programs can start and end at various times. This is determined either through the legislation that created the extension, or by a reduction in the unemployment rate. We cannot determine your future eligibility until you either exhaust your current eligibility or your claim expires.
How many tiers and weeks of EUC are available? back to top
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program provides up to four tiers as long as the Total Unemployment Rate (TUR) requirement is met according to the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96. The TUR requirement applies to second, third and fourth EUC tiers. If the TUR falls below the required rate, the affected EUC tier will not be available.

First-Tier Emergency Unemployment Compensation (1st Tier EUC): Individuals who have been paid all regular UI benefits may be eligible to receive First-Tier EUC. Effective September 2, 2012, First-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 54% or 14 times the weekly benefit of the regular UI claim. First-Tier EUC benefits are payable through week ending date December 28, 2013 and there is not a Total Unemployment Rate (TUR) requirement to pay benefits. EUC cannot be paid for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Second-Tier Emergency Unemployment Compensation (2nd Tier EUC): Individuals who have been paid all First-Tier EUC benefits may be eligible to receive Second-Tier EUC benefits. As of May 27, 2012, Georgia's TUR must be at least 6% to continue to pay Second-Tier EUC. The tier calculates to be the least of either 54% or 14 times the weekly benefit of the regular UI claim. Second-Tier EUC benefits are payable through week ending date December 28, 2013, as long as Georgia’s TUR remains above the required rate. EUC cannot be paid for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Third-Tier Emergency Unemployment Compensation (3rd Tier EUC): Individuals who have been paid all Second-Tier EUC benefits may be eligible to receive Third-Tier EUC benefits. As of May 27, 2012, Georgia’s TUR must be at least 7% to continue to pay Third-Tier EUC. Effective September 2, 2012, Third-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 35% or 9 times the weekly benefit of the regular UI claim. Third-Tier EUC benefits are payable through week ending date December 28, 2013, as long as Georgia's TUR remains above the required rate. EUC cannot be paid for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Fourth-Tier Emergency Unemployment Compensation (4th Tier EUC): Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 21, 2012, the three month average, seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate in Georgia fell below the 9.0% rate required to remain triggered "on" to the Fourth Tier EUC program. As a result, individuals must qualify for and exhaust Third Tier EUC benefits prior to or during the claim week of January 6-12, 2013, in order to establish a new Fourth Tier EUC claim. Individuals who meet this requirement and have a remaining balance as of the week beginning January 13, 2013 are eligible to receive the remaining Fourth Tier EUC balance through week ending date December 28, 2013. EUC cannot be paid for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

As of December 21, 2012, the 3-month average unemployment rate for Georgia is less than 9.0%. As a result, individuals must exhaust Third-Tier EUC with a payment for a week ending date on or before January 12, 2013 to establish Fourth-Tier EUC.
What are the eligibility requirements to establish an EUC claim? back to top
To establish an EUC claim, individuals must have: (1) established an unemployment insurance (UI) claim that began on or after May 7, 2006; (2) exhausted their regular UI benefits, or their claim benefit year has ended; (3) must not be eligible to establish a new regular UI claim in Georgia, any other state, U.S. territory, or Canada.
What are the eligibility requirements to establish a SEB claim? back to top
State Extended Benefits (SEB) may be available for individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment insurance (UI) and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), First, Second, Third, and Fourth Tiers on or after February 15, 2009.

The State Extended Benefits (SEB) Program for the state of Georgia ended on March 26, 2012. Individuals who exhausted Fourth-Tier EUC benefits were required to apply for SEB by completing an online SEB application. Individuals had to qualify for and exhaust all regular UI and EUC eligibility (all four EUC Tiers) with a payment for a week ending date prior to or during the week of
April 8, 2012 – April 14, 2012, to qualify for SEB. SEB payments will not continue for any week after April 21, 2012, even if a balance remains.
Can I apply for EUC before my regular UI claim exhausts? back to top
No. If you have regular UI benefits remaining, you must be paid all of your balance first, or your regular UI claim must expire, before you can file for EUC.
I noticed my SEB job prospect classification is listed as “Not Good Prospect.” What does that mean and how does it affect me? back to top
Under the SEB program, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is required to classify an individual's prospects for obtaining a job that will start within four (4) weeks as either “good prospects” or “not good prospect.” Classification will be determined by the answer to the following question: “Do you have a guarantee to start a job within 30 days from the date of this application?” This question appears on the online SEB application.

“Good Prospects” classification means that an individual has indicated he/she will start a job within 30 days from the submittal date of their application. Individuals who receive this classification will be required to meet the same work search and availability requirements each week as required on their previous UI and EUC claim.

“Not Good Prospects” classification means that an individual has indicated he/she will not start a job within 30 days from the submittal date of their application. Individuals who receive this classification will be required to meet the stringent SEB work search requirements listed below. They also will be expected to
apply for and accept any job if it: (1) is within their capabilities to perform; (2) pays a gross wage exceeding their weekly benefit amount (WBA); and, (3) pays not less than minimum wage. This means that an individual may be required to accept work outside of their regular occupation.

In order for an individual to have his/her job prospects reclassified as “good prospects,” he/she must submit a copy of an employer's written offer of a job that will start within four (4) weeks to his/her local career center. Once reclassified as “good prospects,” the individual will be expected to meet the “good prospects” requirements.
How and when do I need to apply for EUC benefits? back to top
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is currently not available under state or federal law. The final week payable of EUC was the week which ended December 28, 2013.
How and when do I need to apply for SEB benefits? back to top
The State Extended Benefits (SEB) Program for the state of Georgia ended on March 26, 2012. Individuals who exhausted 4th Tier EUC benefits were required to apply for SEB by completing an online SEB application. Individuals had to qualify for and exhaust all regular UI and EUC eligibility (all four EUC Tiers) with a payment for a week ending date prior to or during the week of April 8, 2012 – April 14, 2012, to qualify for SEB. SEB payments will not continue for any week after April 21, 2012, even if a balance remains.

Weekly certifications may be made by certifying through the Internet, using the telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, or by submitting a paper certification form.
How much will I receive? back to top

First-Tier EUC: Effective September 2, 2012, First-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 54% of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) received on your most recent regular claim, or 14 times your weekly benefit amount. First-Tier EUC benefits will be payable through week ending date December 28, 2013. No additional weeks of EUC can be made for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Second-Tier EUC: Second-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 54% of the MBA received on your most recent regular claim, or 14 times your weekly benefit amount. Second-Tier EUC benefits will be payable through week ending date December 28, 2013. No additional weeks of EUC can be made for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Third-Tier EUC:Effective September 2, 2012, Third-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 35% of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) received on your most recent regular claim, or 9 times your weekly benefit amount. Third-Tier EUC benefits will be payable through week ending date December 28, 2013. No additional weeks of EUC can be made for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

Fourth-Tier EUC: Fourth-Tier EUC will calculate to be the least of either 39% of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) received on your most recent regular claim, or 10 times your weekly benefit amount. As of December 21, 2012, the 3-month average unemployment rate for Georgia is less than 9.0%. As a result, individuals must exhaust Third-Tier EUC with a payment for a week ending date on or before January 12, 2013 to establish Fourth-Tier EUC eligibility. Under phase-out provisions, individuals who establish Fourth-Tier on or before January 13, 2013, are eligible to receive the remaining Fourth-Tier EUC balance through week ending December 28, 2013. No additional weeks of EUC can be made for any weeks ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a remaining balance.

State Extended Benefits (SEB) will be calculated to be the least of either 80% of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) received on your most recent regular claim, or 20 times your weekly benefit amount. Individuals who live in another state but have filed a Georgia claim will only be eligible for up to two weeks of SEB, if the state of residence is not in a SEB period.

The State Extended Benefits (SEB) program for the state of Georgia ended on March 26, 2012. The last payable week of SEB was the week of April 15-21, 2012.

How will I receive my EUC and SEB payments? back to top
The preferred method is Direct Deposit into your personal checking or savings account. You may also choose to receive payments on the Georgia Unemployment Insurance (UI) Way2Go Debit MasterCard®, which works like a standard debit card. Payments by paper checks are no longer issued.

Direct Deposit of Weekly UI Benefits
I was on EUC and was told I qualify for a new claim. The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is lower than my EUC WBA. Can I stay on the EUC? back to top
Possibly, new language added to the EUC legislation passed in July, 2010, allows certain individuals to elect to receive EUC instead of filing a new regular unemployment insurance (UI) claim when their benefit year expires. The potential new regular UI claim must be at least $100 or 25% less than the individual's weekly benefit amount of the expired benefit year claim. This piece of the legislation only affects claims that expire with the week ending July 24, 2010 or later.

NOTE: This legislation does not apply to SEB. If an individual can establish a regular unemployment claim while receiving SEB benefits, the individual no longer qualifies for SEB benefits. He or she must be paid regular unemployment benefits even if the weekly benefit amount is lower than the SEB weekly benefit amount.
Will EUC benefits affect my Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) payments? back to top
Yes. An individual cannot collect TRA for a week if he or she is eligible to receive EUC benefits. EUC benefits must be paid instead of TRA benefits. If a person is claiming TRA benefits, the TRA benefits are suspended until he or she exhausts their EUC benefits.

The maximum amount of EUC benefits that a claimant may receive may be deducted from the maximum amount of basic TRA payable to the individual if the EUC benefits and the TRA are based on the same regular unemployment claim. When an individual exhausts EUC benefits, his or her eligibility to resume TRA will be determined.

TRA eligibility periods for basic, additional, and remedial TRA will not be revised or extended because of eligibility of EUC benefits.
Will SEB benefits affect my Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) payments? back to top
Yes. An individual cannot collect TRA for a week if he or she is eligible to receive SEB benefits. SEB benefits must be paid instead of TRA benefits. If a person is claiming TRA benefits, the TRA benefits are suspended until he or she exhausts their SEB benefits.

SEB will be reduced on a week to week ratio for each week the individual receives basic TRA prior to receiving SEB.

TRA eligibility periods for basic, additional, and remedial TRA will not be revised or extended because of eligibility of SEB benefits.
Will EUC benefits affect my Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payments? back to top
Yes. An individual cannot collect DUA payments for a week if he or she is eligible to receive EUC benefits. EUC benefits must be paid instead of DUA benefits. If an individual is not able to qualify for EUC benefits because an injury suffered in the disaster left them unable to work, they will revert to the DUA payments.
Will SEB benefits affect my Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payments? back to top
Yes. An individual cannot collect DUA payments for a week if he or she is eligible to receive SEB benefits. SEB benefits must be paid instead of DUA benefits. If an individual is not able to qualify for SEB benefits because an injury suffered in the disaster left them unable to work, they will revert to the DUA payments.

Payments of DUA benefits cannot be made after the disaster assistance period (DAP). The DAP is not extended or revised based on SEB eligibility.
What are the employment service registration and work search requirements for EUC? back to top
All individuals receiving EUC benefits must be registered for employment services and are required to be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work, unless exempted due to participation in approved training, union affiliation, or have a definite recall to work date within six weeks. Individuals are required to record and submit proof of their work search efforts, listing verifiable contacts, while receiving EUC. A weekly work search record must be submitted online or by fax to the GDOL for each week you claim EUC benefits. Your work search record must show that you made a minimum of three new verifiable job contacts each week. Employer contacts can include those made in person, by telephone, online or faxed, mailed, or emailed résumés. Your work search record is subject to random audit by the GDOL at any time.

Submit Weekly Work Search

Weekly Work Search Record (PDF)


Weekly Work Search Record (Búsqueda de registros semanales de trabajo) (PDF)
How do I submit my EUC work search contacts? back to top
A Work Search Record must be submitted for each week of EUC benefits claimed. Work search records can be submitted by the following methods:

Internet: The faster, preferred method to submit your Weekly Work Search Record is by Internet. You will need to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Use the same PIN number you use to submit your weekly certifications. You will be provided a confirmation number after each weekly submission of your weekly work search is complete. Retain each confirmation number as evidence of submitting your work search record.

Submit Weekly Work Search

Fax: The Weekly Work Search Record may be downloaded. This document is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print. A free software download is available from the Adobe web site.

Weekly Work Search Record (PDF)

Weekly Work Search Record (Búsqueda de registros semanales de trabajo) (PDF)

Other paper work search forms will not be accepted. Completed work search forms must be faxed to one of the following numbers: 404.525.3605; 404.525.3606 or 1.877.302.1573 (toll-free). DO NOT mail or deliver this form to a career center, as it will not be accepted.

Random Audits
Your work search records are subject to random audit by the GDOL. Failure to submit a timely, complete EUC work search record by Internet or fax for any week of EUC benefits claimed, or listing unverifiable contacts, will result in a denial and/or repayment of benefits.
What are the work search requirements for SEB? back to top
Individuals must actively seek work for each week SEB is claimed. A work search record should be maintained beginning the first week after the mail date shown on the SEB Monetary Determination, DOL-411SEB. Individuals must contact at least two different employers each week, Sunday through Saturday. Each contact must be verifiable and made on a different day of the week. Individuals have the option of submitting work search records once a week, or may submit up to four weeks of work search records at a time.

Failure to seek work for any reason during a week claimed will result in denial and/or repayment of benefits. Denial of benefits will require individuals to return to work for at least four weeks and earn at least four times the WBA.
Individuals who are unable to meet the SEB work search requirements may choose not to claim SEB for that period and resume claiming SEB for weeks that the requirements are met.
How do I submit my SEB work search contacts? back to top
A Work Search Record must be submitted for each week of SEB benefits claimed. Work search records can be submitted by the following methods:

Internet: The faster, preferred method to submit your Weekly Work Search Record is by Internet. You will need to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Use the same PIN number you use to submit your weekly certifications. You will be provided a confirmation number after each weekly submission of your weekly work search is complete. Retain each confirmation number as evidence of submitting your work search record.

Submit Weekly Work Search

Fax: The Weekly Work Search Record may be downloaded. This document is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print. A free software download is available from the Adobe web site.

Weekly Work Search Record (PDF)

Weekly Work Search Record (Búsqueda de registros semanales de trabajo) (PDF)


Other paper work search forms will not be accepted. Completed work search forms must be faxed to one of the following numbers: 404.525.3605; 404.525.3606 or 1.877.302.1573 (toll-free). DO NOT mail or deliver this form to a career center, as it will not be accepted.
What are the reemployment services and eligibility assessment activities requirements for EUC? back to top
All individuals who establish a new First-Tier and/or Second-Tier EUC claim on or after March 25, 2012, will be required to actively participate in mandatory EUC Reemployment Activities in order to receive weekly EUC benefits. Individuals will be required to report in person to their local career center to receive the following activities: Labor market and career information, skills assessment, services offered in the career centers, and a review of prior work search records to determine continued EUC eligibility. Individuals identified to participate in these mandatory activities will receive a notice by email or regular mail to report in person to their local career center.
I don't like my current job. If I quit, will I be eligible for EUC or SEB benefits? back to top
If you voluntarily quit your most recent job, you would have to prove there was a good work-related reason for quitting to qualify for benefits.
I was unemployed for a long time, but I have taken a part-time job now. Can I receive any EUC or SEB benefits? back to top
Possibly. You may be entitled to partial benefits if you are currently working less than
full-time.
Will taxes be withheld from my EUC and SEB benefits? back to top
EUC and SEB benefits are subject to state and federal taxes. If you had taxes withheld weekly on your regular unemployment benefits, they will be withheld on your EUC and SEB benefits. If you wish to change your withholding status, you should visit your career center to make the change, or print and complete the income tax withholding form found online at the following link and mail as instructed.

Income Tax Withholding Option Form - DOL- 414I
When does the EUC program expire? back to top
The most recent legislation extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program to allow payments through December 28, 2013, as long as Georgia's Total Unemployment Rate (TUR) remains above the required rate. EUC cannot be paid for any week ending after December 28, 2013, even if there is a balance remaining.
When does the SEB program expire? back to top
Legislation has been enacted to extend the eligibility period of State Extended Benefits (SEB) through week ending January 5, 2013; however, provisions for SEB are only available while Georgia’s unemployment rate remains above the required minimum set by the federal regulations. Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 30, 2012, as well as revisions to prior years data released on February 29, 2012, Georgia no longer meets the criteria to continue the SEB program. Therefore, effective March 26, 2012, the SEB program ended. Under federal and state law, individuals may receive three additional weeks of SEB after the week the program ends. The last payable period for the SEB program will be the week ending April 21, 2012. SEB payments will not continue for any week after April 21, 2012, even if a balance remains.
Are Georgia employers being charged for EUC benefit payments? back to top
No. EUC benefits are completely funded by the Federal Government.
Are Georgia employers being charged for SEB benefit payments? back to top
Currently, governmental entities and Indian reservations are charged for the benefits paid to individuals receiving SEB.
Unemployment Insurance
What is unemployment insurance? back to top
Unemployment insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are either looking for another job, have a definite recall within 6 weeks of the last day worked, or are in approved training. The funding for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by employers. Workers do not pay any of the costs.
How do I file a claim for unemployment insurance? back to top
Unemployment claims can be filed in person at any Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) career center or by Internet from any computer with appropriate Internet access.

To file an unemployment claim via the Internet,
you must have a valid 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.

GDOL Career Centers

File an Unemployment Insurance Claim
What information should I have when I file a claim? back to top
When filing a claim, you should have:

ALL INDIVIDUALS: A copy of your valid government-issued picture identification and Employer Separation Notice, if you were given one.

PRIOR MILITARY PERSONNEL: At least one of the following: most recent DD-214 Member 4, “orders to report”, “orders of release”, military earnings and leave statement, and/or W-2 form(s) from your most recent military service.

PRIOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: Standard Form 50, Standard Form 8, W-2 form, or pay stubs (if you worked for the federal government at any time during the last 18 months).

UNION MEMBERS: Union card (if you are a member of a union that assists you in finding employment).

DISASTER AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS: A copy of your most recently completed income tax return or quarterly estimated income tax payment record(s), if applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and you are self-employed or a farmer.

NON-CITIZENS: A copy of the front and back of your Employment Authorization Document.
Who can file by Internet? back to top
If you have earned Georgia wages in the past two years, you can file a Georgia Internet claim.

Information for individuals who cannot file a Georgia claim by Internet:
If you reside in Georgia but have not earned Georgia wages in the past two years, go to a Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) career center to obtain information for filing a claim against the proper state. We will also register you for employment services.

GDOL Career Centers
What are the Browser Requirements for Filing a Claim Online? back to top
Javascript must be enabled and pop-up blockers should be set to allow pop-ups.

The claim filing process contains PDFs that may need to be printed and Adobe Acrobat Reader will be required. A free software download is available. Please ensure this software is available prior to beginning the claim filing process

Adobe web site
What is the Applicant Status Affidavit? back to top
Georgia law requires all applicants for unemployment benefits who are 18 years of age or older sign an affidavit attesting they are (1) a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident or (2) a non-citizen legally present in the United States.

Individuals who are 18 years of age or older, must execute this affidavit whether the claim is filed via the Internet or in a GDOL career center. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older, must provide valid government-issued picture identification to complete the affidavit. Employment Authorization Document(s) are also required for non-citizens. Your employment authorization status with the Department of Homeland Security must be verified before benefits can be paid, if eligible.

Georgia Residents:
If you are filing your claim in a Georgia Department of Labor career center and have the required document(s), you may complete the affidavit the same day. Otherwise, you will receive an email providing instructions on completing the affidavit process.

Non-Georgia Residents:
If you are not a resident of Georgia, you will receive an email which contains a link to the affidavit. You will need to print the affidavit, complete the required information, sign and have the affidavit notarized and mailed to the Interstate Unit at the address below which will also be in the email.

Georgia Department of Labor, Interstate Unit
P.O. Box 38184
Atlanta, GA 30334

You must also mail a legible copy of your valid, government-issued picture identification or Employment Authorization Document(s), if applicable, to the Interstate Unit at the address shown above which will also be in the email.

Failure to complete the affidavit process may result in a delay or denial of benefits.
Why is an affidavit required? back to top
Section 50-36-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) requires every applicant for public benefits, including unemployment insurance (UI), who is 18 years old or older, sign an affidavit attesting that they are (1) a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident or (2) a non-citizen legally present in the United States.
When do I execute the Applicant Status Affidavit? back to top
Upon completing an application for UI benefits, applicants visiting a GDOL career center will be assisted with the execution of an Applicant Status Affidavit. Applicants filing for UI benefits via the Internet will receive an email within 3 to 5 days providing a date on which the applicant is to report in person to the local career center to execute the Applicant Status Affidavit. Valid government-issued picture identification is required. You cannot receive benefits until the affidavit is accomplished.

I executed an Applicant Status Affidavit last year when I filed for UI benefits. Do I have to execute another one this year? back to top
No. This is a one-time requirement, but non-citizen status documents must be presented each time an individual files for UI benefits.
When is my claim effective? back to top
Your claim is effective the date you first file for benefits. GDOL does not backdate claims.
How do I qualify for unemployment insurance benefits? back to top
There are several qualification requirements, but these three are critical:
  • You must have earned enough money in the base period to set up a claim.
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You must be able to work, be available for work, and be actively seeking work each week you claim benefits.
What is the base period? back to top
The base period is the period of time we look at to determine if you have been paid enough wages to establish a claim. For Georgia, the base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time you file your claim. An alternative base period consisting of the most recently completed four calendar quarters will be used only when a claim cannot be established using the regular base period.
How long must I have worked to establish a claim in Georgia? back to top
Your claim is based on insured wages earned in the base period, which is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time you file your claim. You must have earned qualifying wages in at least two of the four quarters in the base period. The total wages in the base period must equal or exceed one and one-half times the wages in the highest quarter. A secondary calculation will be made when the sole reason that a claim cannot be established is the one and one-half times requirement. An alternative base period consisting of the most recently completed four calendar quarters will be used only when a claim cannot be established using the regular base period.
What are the minimum and maximum weekly benefits paid in Georgia? back to top
Effective July 1, 2007, the minimum is $44 per week. The maximum is $330 for claims filed on or after July 1, 2008. The amount an individual will receive is based on the amount of wages earned in the base period.
What is the maximum and minimum number of weeks a regular unemployment claim can be established? back to top
Prior to July 1, 2012, the maximum number of weeks is 26. Effective July 1, 2012, the maximum number of weeks a claim can be established will range from 14 to 20, depending on the seasonal adjusted statewide unemployment rate in use at the time the regular UI claim is filed. For claims filed from July 1 through December 31, Georgia’s seasonal adjusted UI rate for the previous April will be used. For claims filed from January 1 through June 30, Georgia’s seasonal adjusted UI rate for the previous October will be used. The minimum number of weeks is 6.
How can I determine the potential maximum number of weeks a claim can be established? back to top
The date the claim is filed will determine this for you. The chart below provides the maximum number of weeks the claim can potentially be established based upon the unemployment rate in effect at the time the claim is filed.

Seasonal Adjusted UI Rate
Maximum Number of Weeks
Maximum Benefits Payable will Equal the least of:
Less than or equal to 6.5%
14 weeks
14 x Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) or 1/4 of Base Period Wages
Greater than 6.5% up to 7.0%
15 weeks
15 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
Greater than 7.0% up to 7.5%
16 weeks
16 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
Greater than 7.5% up to 8.0%
17 weeks
17 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
Greater than 8.0% up to 8.5%
18 weeks
18 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
Greater than 8.5% but less than 9.0%
19 weeks
19 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
9.0% or above
20 weeks
20 x WBA or 1/4 of Base Period wages
Why has the maximum number of potential UI weeks been changed? back to top
The Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 347 which changes the calculation method to determine the maximum number of weeks to be based upon the adjusted statewide unemployment rate in use at the time the regular UI claim is filed. The change became effective July 1, 2012.
Is everyone eligible for the maximum number of weeks? back to top
No. The individual’s base period wages are used to determine the maximum benefits payable which may or may not qualify an individual for the maximum number of weeks. The maximum benefits payable to an individual in a benefit year is the least of the maximum number of weeks times the weekly benefit amount or one-fourth of the base period wages.
How can I determine what unemployment rate is being used to establish my claim? back to top
An Unemployment Benefit Determination is mailed to claimants when an initial claim is filed on or after July 1, 2012. The determination will provide the rate for your claim filing period. The current rate for a specified claim filing period may also be obtained by contacting UI Customer Service at 404-232-3001 or 1-877-709-8185.
If I establish a claim and the unemployment rate goes up at a later date, will my claim be recalculated to add extra weeks? back to top
No. An unemployment claim will be established using the unemployment rate in effect at the time of filing the claim. The claim will not be recalculated if the unemployment rate changes during the life of the claim.
What do I have to do to qualify for benefits if I have earned enough money to establish a claim? back to top
Just earning enough money to set up a claim is not enough to receive unemployment benefits. You must also meet other eligibility conditions. You must have a decision made on the reason for separation from your last work. If your most recent job loss was not the result of a lack of work (i.e. layoff, business closure), a decision on the reason for separation is required. A department employee may conduct a telephone interview with you and your former employer to get information about the reason for your separation or any other issues which might affect your claim. A written decision will be mailed to you, and to your employer if the issue is separation. Other requirements include, but are not limited to, being able to work, being available for work, and actively seeking work.
Can I draw benefits if I quit my job? back to top
If you quit, you may be eligible to draw benefits if you can show that you quit for good work-connected reason(s). Examples of good work-connected reasons are material change in working conditions, material change in working agreement, nonpayment for work, and similar reasons. You will not be able to draw benefits if your reason for quitting was personal even though the personal reason was a good or compelling one. The only way to know for sure whether you are eligible if you quit is to file a claim. The department cannot make a predetermination of eligibility before a claim is filed.
Can I draw benefits if I was fired? back to top
If you were fired from your job, you will not be able to draw benefits if your former employer can show that you were fired for failure to follow rules, orders, or instructions, or for misconduct on the job. The only way to know for sure whether you are eligible if you are fired is to file a claim. The department cannot make a predetermination of eligibility before a claim is filed.
Are there other requirements if I draw benefits? back to top
Yes. If you are awarded benefits based on your reason for separation from your last work, you must meet other weekly requirements. You must be able to do some kind of work that is available in your area and that you are qualified to do. You must be available for work without placing undue restrictions on your availability, such as lack of child care, lack of transportation, or other restrictions. You must be actively seeking work each week and you must be looking for full-time employment. As a part of your weekly certification, you must submit three new verifiable job contacts for each week of benefits claimed. You must not refuse any offer of suitable work or referral to suitable work without good cause. You must be registered for work with the department's Employment Service Division, and you must respond to any notices to come in for services. If you work and earn any money while you are drawing benefits, you must report all earnings for the week in which the money is earned, not for the week the money is paid. Any amount over $50 earned during a week will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount if you filed your claim on or after July 1, 2002. Any amount over $30 will be deducted if you filed your claim on or before June 30, 2002.

Learn About Work Search Requirements
Does severance pay have an effect on my benefits? back to top
You are usually not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits during a period covered by severance pay paid to you by your employer. The only way to know for sure whether severance pay is disqualifying is to file a claim.
Does retirement pay have any effect on my benefits? back to top
If you are receiving a retirement pension from a base period employer, the pension may be deductible from your weekly benefit amount if your employer contributed 50% or more toward the pension fund. If the pension payment is determined to be deductible, the department will reduce your weekly benefit amount dollar for dollar by the weekly amount of the pension that is attributable to the employer. NOTE: If your pension is from an employer you worked for before the base period, it is not deductible. The receipt of Social Security is also not deductible, although you do have to be available for full-time work.
How do workers' compensation payments affect my claim? back to top
If you are receiving Temporary Total or Temporary Partial Workers' Compensation payments, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance in Georgia. The only way to know for sure is to file a claim.
How do I claim benefits each week after I file? back to top
Once you file your claim, you will be required to certify your eligibility for each week you claim benefits and submit your work search for each week of benefits claimed. You may claim benefits using the telephone interactive voice response system, over the Internet, or in person at a GDOL Career Center.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System
Certify for Benefits over the Internet
Learn About Work Search Requirements
GDOL Career Centers
How will I receive my payments? back to top
Payments can be made by direct deposit or debit card. The preferred method is direct deposit into your personal checking or savings account. If you do not enroll in direct deposit, payments will be deposited to your Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® which works likes a standard debit card. Payments by paper checks are no longer issued.

Direct Deposit of Weekly UI Benefits
What should I do if my address changes? back to top
You must update your address with the Georgia department of Labor (GDOL) immediately. You can update your address and contact information online or in person at your local career center.

For your protection, your identity must be verified when you report an address change. This ensures you receive all correspondence from the GDOL regarding your unemployment benefits. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward any GDOL UI mail, even if you have completed a change of address with your post office.

If you have a pending appeal when your address changes, you must also notify the Appeals Tribunal by any of the following methods:
  • Appeals Online
  • Fax at 404-232-3684
  • Appeals Email
  • Mail:
    Georgia Department of Labor
    Appeals Tribunal
    148 Andrew Young International Blvd., NE
    Suite 525
    Atlanta, Ga., 30303-1734
Change of Address and Contact Information
What is the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®? back to top
The Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®, operated by GoProgram® and issued by Comerica Bank, is one of two fast and reliable methods to receive unemployment benefit payments. The card is valid for three years. Individuals eligible to receive unemployment benefits during the three-year period will not receive a new card. One free replacement card may be issued each 12-month period for lost or stolen cards.
What are the benefits of having a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®? back to top
  • Get benefits faster. Payments are posted directly to your debit card. No waiting for the check to arrive in the mail.
  • Make purchases. Simply spend your money by presenting your debit card with a cash back option.
  • Convenient. No personal bank account is required.
  • Protection. Your card is protected by the PIN number you select.
  • Secure. Your account is FDIC insured.
What do I have to do to receive a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®? back to top
You will automatically receive the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® if you do not enroll in direct deposit; no other action is required to receive a card.
I have received my new Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®, what actions should I take to begin using the card? back to top
You should immediately call UI Debit MasterCard® Customer Service at 1.888.929.2460 or visit the GoProgram® website to activate your debit card account. Be sure to check your card balance before using the card. Do not spend more than the amount of funds posted to your account.

Go Program®
Does receiving a Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® mean I am eligible to receive unemployment benefits? back to top
Receipt of the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® does not guarantee that you meet unemployment eligibility criteria established by the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL).
What are the fees associated with using the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®? back to top
Fees can be avoided with careful use of your card. Many services are available free of charge when using or managing the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® account such as, deposit notifications, purchases wherever MasterCard® is accepted, cash back with purchases, unlimited MoneyPass ATM, and bank teller cash withdrawals. However, fees may apply if you use an out-of-network ATM. Review the fee schedule and thoroughly read the Terms of Use included in your card package to ensure you understand any transaction and service fees that may apply to your card.

Fee Schedule

UI Debit MasterCard® - Comerica Card Terms of Use

UI Debit MasterCard® - Comerica Card Terms of Use (ajeta de Comerica Términos de uso)
Can I deposit other money into my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® account? back to top
No, the Georgia UI Way2Go MasterCard® can only be used to receive unemployment benefit payments.
What should I do if my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® is lost or stolen? back to top
If your Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® is lost or stolen, you must immediately notify UI Debit MasterCard Customer Service at 1.888.929.2460.
What is my responsibility as a cardholder to secure my debit card account? back to top
You are responsible for securing your Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® issued by Comerica Bank. Securing the card means that the card and the PIN are never kept together, the card is kept in a secure location, and the PIN is not known by anyone but you. If your card security is compromised, you must also change your unemployment insurance claim PIN immediately even if you are not currently filing weekly claims for benefits. If you fail to report the loss of the card and change the PIN immediately, or fail to secure the card, you will be liable for claims made and money removed from the card.
Whom should I call with questions about my Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard® account? back to top
You should call UI Debit MasterCard® Customer Service at 1.888.929.2460 or visit the GoProgram® website for information about your debit card account.

Go Program®
How do I dispute a transaction? back to top
All account disputes should be directed to the UI Debit MasterCard® Customer Service at 1.888.929.2460. You should contact UI Debit MasterCard® Customer Service as soon as you can if you think your transaction activity or receipt is wrong, or if you need more information about a transfer on the transaction activity or receipt.
Whom should I contact if the amount of the unemployment benefits payment credited to my account is incorrect? back to top
You should contact your local career center to inquire about the amount of unemployment benefits credited to your Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®.
How do I change my method of payment from a debit card? back to top
You can enroll in, change, or cancel direct deposit. A PIN is required.

Direct Deposit of Weekly UI Benefits
Are unemployment benefits taxable? back to top
Yes. Any unemployment insurance benefits you receive are fully taxable income if you are required to file a tax return. At the time you file your claim, you may elect to have the department withhold state and/or federal tax on the benefits you receive. You may change this withholding election one time during the year. The department will send you a 1099-G form at the end of the calendar year showing how much in benefits you received during the previous year. It also shows the amount of taxes, if any, that were withheld. You should use this form when you file your income taxes to report benefits received and any taxes withheld by the department. Questions about filing should be directed to the IRS, to the State Department of Revenue, or to a tax consultant.
I received two determinations on my claim. One says I can draw benefits and the other says I cannot. Which is correct? back to top
The department will release a determination on each separate issue on your claim. As a result, you may sometimes receive more than one determination. A decision imposing any kind of disqualification takes precedence over a decision allowing benefits. For example, you could receive a decision allowing benefits because you were laid off due to lack of work, but be ineligible because you do not have child care to enable you to look for another job.
What if I disagree with the decision made on my claim? back to top
The only way for a decision to be reviewed and potentially reversed is to file an appeal. You have the right to file an appeal of any decision made by the department on your claim. The appeal rights expire 15 days after the date the decision is released. The Commissioner of Labor does not have the authority to intervene in the appeals process. If the decision is on your separation from work, your employer also has the right to appeal. An administrative hearing officer will conduct the appeal.
How do I file an appeal? back to top
An appeal request must be in writing and can be submitted by email, fax, mail or hand delivered to a Georgia Department of Labor Career Center. The contact information to submit your timely appeal request can be found on your determination notice. The written request must include, at a minimum, the name of the claimant, the social security number contained on the determination being appealed and some indication of intent to file an appeal.
How long does it take to get an appeal? back to top
Once an appeal is filed, it usually takes from 2 - 2 1/2 weeks for a hearing to take place. The department is required to send written notice of the hearing time, date, and all issues to be discussed. This notice must be mailed at least 10 days before the hearing takes place. A written decision is mailed to all interested parties.
Should I continue to file my weekly certifications while waiting for the appeal hearing/decision? back to top
Yes. If you are successful on appeal, you will not get paid for any weeks for which you did not file.
What if I disagree with the decision of the hearing officer? back to top
You may appeal to the Board of Review. The Board is a three-member panel appointed by the Governor. The Board reviews the entire record of the hearing held by the administrative hearing officer and all other relevant materials. The Board does not hold in-person hearings and does not take new evidence or testimony. The Board reviews the case and either affirms, modifies, or reversesthe decision of the hearing officer. The Board's written decision is mailed to all interested parties.
How do I file an appeal with the Board of Review? back to top
The appeal must be in writing and it should be sent directly to the Board of Review (the address is on the decision received from the Appeals Tribunal). If your appeal is sent to the career center, or appealed in person at the career center, processing will be delayed until it can be forwarded.
Can I appeal the Board of Review's decision? back to top
The Board's decision may be appealed to the Superior Court of the county in which the work was performed. A petition for review must be filed with the court. The department does not file these appeals. If the work on which the claim was based was performed out of state, the appeal of the decision of the Board of Review must be filed in Fulton County Superior Court.
What happens if I am being paid unemployment benefits and I lose the appeal? back to top
If the Appeals Tribunal or the Board of Review reverses a determination that allowed benefits, you will be required to repay any benefits received.



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