Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Georgia


“What are the requirements to get unemployment in Georgia?” is a question often asked by residents in need of financial assistance when they find themselves unemployed. When trying to figure out who qualifies for unemployment, it must be noted that there are multiple requirements necessary to qualify, but there are a few that are the most vital. First, qualifications for unemployment include showing a sufficient amount of income earned throughout a particular base period to file the initial claim. When learning how to qualify for unemployment in Georgia, applicants should keep in mind time restrictions as well as income limitations. Knowing how to qualify for unemployment benefits can help significantly when attempting to get back on track financially. Learn more about unemployment insurance eligibility in GA in the sections below.

Qualifications for Unemployment in Georgia

Unemployment insurance eligibility requires that you meet a set of criteria to receive benefits. To qualify for UI eligibility in Georgia, your employer must terminate you from your job completely or you must experience a drastic reduction in the number of hours you work. Part-time employees wishing to claim unemployment insurance must prove that their part-time salary is less than what they would receive in UI benefits. Georgia requires those seeking eligibility for unemployment make all reasonable efforts to find a new job that is both appropriate and provides full-time hours. To receive unemployment insurance eligibility, claimants must show proof that they are lawful U.S. citizens, legal green card holders or otherwise legal residents of the U.S. They must also have earned income during at least six months of their base period. If applicants want to collect UI benefits, but currently reside outside the state of Georgia, then they are required to register with the workforce agency in their new home state and meet that state’s requirements for an ongoing employment search. Unemployment insurance eligibility claims call for a waiting period of one week, during which claimants will not receive any benefits. To continue seeking eligibility for EDD in Georgia, applicants must recertify their unemployed status weekly. This can be done online, in person at a Georgia Department of Labor office or by calling the state unemployment phone number. Claims for unemployment benefits that go two weeks without recertification are subject to a temporary termination of the unemployment claim. Find out how termination of benefits works by downloading our complete guide here.

When asking, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” you should note that you must find yourself unemployed as a result of circumstances not of your own making. These are often referred to as work and wage criteria. Eligibility for unemployment in Georgia due to circumstances out of your control include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Market or economic conditions where your employer was forced to lay you off
  • Reduced hours at work due to a shortage of work
  • How your termination came about, such as a result of misconduct or something other than misconduct on the job.
  • Having to leave your job of your own volition for reasons related to your work situation, such as being sexually harassed, bullied or working in a hostile environment.

Unemployment benefits eligibility does not extend to employees fired for cause, such as misconduct or failing to follow the rules and policies of the company. Attaining unemployment eligibility in enied cases requires filing a claim.

The Base Period Eligibility for Unemployment in Georgia

When researching how to qualify for unemployment in Georgia, a major component in the process is referred to as the base period. This is the period of time leading up to the discharge from employment in which the employee received income. To qualify for unemployment insurance, an employee is required to have earned income during the 12- to 18-month period prior to filing a claim and must show income for at least six months of the base period. In Georgia, a base year equals the four completed quarters of the year prior to an application for benefits. When calculating unemployment insurance eligibility benefits, the state considers an employee’s salary during employment time. The minimal amount needed in order to qualify is determined by Georgia state guidelines.

Maintaining Eligibility for EDD in Georgia

In order to claim and maintain your eligibility for unemployment in Georgia, there is a list of conditions that must be met each week you file to receive your benefits. EDD eligibility requires you have work availability. If for some reason, such as an illness or personal matter, you are not available, then you may not be eligible for benefits during that period. Maintaining your qualifications for unemployment is dependent on how active you are in seeking work as well. To learn more about how to qualify for UI benefits, download our comprehensive guide.

Part of maintaining eligibility for Georgia unemployment insurance is keeping records of your work search. The Georgia Department of Labor verifies your work search and may audit you whenever they wish as a condition of continuing your UI benefits, so it is imperative to keep the details complete and accurate. To maintain eligibility for unemployment, you must provide, upon request, dates of contacts with prospective employers, including phone calls and interviews. You must also provide the company name or names and other details documenting contact, such as a job identification number. EDD eligibility also requires that you include contact names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. You must also furnish your contacts’ positions or titles, how you made contact and the result of any contact you made. To maintain your Georgia unemployment insurance eligibility, take care to provide at least three job search contacts every week in addition to all other requirements in order to avoid delay or denial of benefits.