What is Unemployment Insurance?
Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through 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 UI rate in use at the time a claim is filed determines the maximum number of potential weeks of UI eligibility to be between fourteen (14) and twenty (20) weeks. The UI Benefit Determination will provide the unemployment rate for your claim-filing period.
The Internet claim filing system is designed to enable you to file a claim for unemployment benefits. You will not be charged a fee for using this service.
Who can file a Georgia claim?
Individuals who worked or earned wages in the state of Georgia in the past 2 years can file a Georgia claim; and
If you reside in Georgia, you must also register for employment services at EmployGeorgia.com immediately upon filing your claim to avoid delay or denial of benefits; or
If you reside outside the state of Georgia and have earned Georgia wages in the past two years, contact the State Workforce Agency in your state of residence to register for employment services in the state of residence.
Information for individuals who may be eligible to file a claim in another state:
- If you reside in Georgia and have not earned Georgia wages in the past two years but earned wages in another state, contact UI Customer Service at 1.877.709.8185 (toll-free) to obtain information for filing a claim against the proper state. You will be required to register for employment services at EmployGeorgia.com.
Before filing a claim you will need to have the following information available:
- Your Social Security Number.
- Your work history for the past 2 years (including the name, address, telephone number, employment dates, rate of pay, total earnings, and information about your job separation for each employer). If you received severance pay or retirement pay, you must know the amounts.
- In the event you qualify for benefits and you would like your unemployment payments to be directly deposited into your bank account, you will need your bank routing number and account number. You should also contact your bank to make sure that your bank accepts electronic fund transfers. There are several advantages to direct deposit. You will receive your unemployment benefits faster; it saves time and money because you do not need to go to the bank; and it means no mail delays, or lost, stolen, or forged checks. If you do not have your direct deposit information, you may enter it at a later date.
If you are identified in any of the categories below, provide the additional documentation indicated:
- NON-CITIZENS: Alien number and expiration date from your Employment Authorization Document.
- FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: SF-50 form or SF-8 form and pay stub(s) (if you were a federal employee within the past two years).
- FORMER MILITARY PERSONNEL: At least one of the following: most recent DD214 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. If this is the first claim you are filing since release from the military and you do not live in Georgia, contact the State Workforce Agency in the state that you are physically located for assistance with filing your claim.
- DISASTER AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS: A copy of your most recently filed 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.
Important things to know about filing a claim
- The information you have entered will be held for 120 hours during which you may save data entered and reopen your claim application to add additional information. If you choose not to continue with the claim process after that time, your information will be deleted to preserve your privacy.
- If you knowingly make false statements or withhold information to obtain or increase your unemployment benefits, you may be subject to penalties and criminal prosecution. You may also have to repay any benefits paid to you.
- You must have earned sufficient wages during the claim base period to establish a monetary claim.
- The approximate length of time you can expect to spend filling out the Internet claim is 30 minutes.
- The date of your claim will be based on the date and time in Georgia when the claim confirmation is issued. The final form will announce the completion of your claim filing and issue a confirmation number. Your claim will not be processed if you have not received a confirmation number.
- You should normally receive a written decision on whether you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits within 21 days from the date your claim is filed.
- In order to establish your claim, you are required to establish a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to use each time you certify or ask about a payment. You will make up your own PIN to use. Use a 4-digit number that you can remember, but one that is not easy for anyone to guess. All further electronic communication with the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will require the entry of this PIN.
Affidavit to Verify Applicant's Lawful Presence in the U.S.
- Georgia law requires that 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.
- You 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 registration with the Department of Homeland Security must be verified before benefits can be paid, if eligible.
- If you are filing your claim in a GDOL career center and have the required document(s), you may complete the affidavit the same day. Otherwise, you will receive an email providing instruction on completing the affidavit process.
- If you have already completed an Applicant Status Affidavit, you will not be required to complete the process again as this is a one-time requirement; however, each time a non-citizen files a claim for any type of UI benefits, Employment Authorization Document(s) must be provided.
- Failure to complete the affidavit process may result in a delay or denial of benefits.
- You must indicate acknowledgement of the affidavit requirement below to proceed to the application.