Unemployment Insurance Benefits In Georgia


An unemployment benefits claim in Georgia is part of a Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program designed to distribute assistance to workers who find themselves without a job as a result of circumstances beyond their control as determined by the laws of the state of Georgia. Claiming benefits for unemployment gives temporary relief and help to Georgia workers who meet state requirements. However, employees must first learn how to claim unemployment benefits before they can collect such assistance as needed. While the federal unemployment benefits program may have one set of requirements, an employee’s individual state may have other criteria. Learning when to claim unemployment benefits in Georgia is the first step state workers should take to get the financial assistance they need. Find out more about unemployment benefits claims in the sections below.

What are Georgia unemployment benefit claims?

An unemployment insurance claim affords Georgia residents monetary assistance until they find their next job if they find themselves out of work through circumstances beyond their control or underemployed. Applicants claim unemployment benefits for the purpose of aiding them in providing the necessities as well as allowing them to seek employment suited to their skillsets, education or comparable to their last income level. Unemployment insurance benefits in Georgia come from a trust fund that is sponsored by Georgia employers who pay unemployment insurance taxes. Find out more about unemployment benefits in Georgia by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Basics of Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Georgia

A claim for unemployment benefits is a process that consists of several steps. A claim includes determining your benefits, how to claim unemployment benefits, the weekly process for filing your claim and extending them when your benefits run out. To qualify for Georgia unemployment insurance, you must meet a set of criteria. The first is having earned a sufficient amount of salary and/or wages insured for unemployment benefits by your former employer. To claim UI benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own. Your unemployment benefits claim must also prove you reside in the United States legally and you are required to have availability and actively look for a job.

To claim Georgia unemployment benefits, your earned income during the base period must meet state wage requirements. The base period is the period of time during which you last earned money and is used to calculate your benefits. Unemployment insurance claims typically use the first four of the last five calendar quarters that you completed prior to filing your claim. Claiming benefits for unemployment in GA requires that at least two of the quarters in your base period include insured wages. To having qualifying claims for unemployment benefits, your wages must have covered a threshold during the two quarters, predetermined by the state of Georgia.

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Georgia

You must first learn how to claim unemployment benefits before you can collect financial assistance. You must claim your unemployment insurance each week you want to receive it after you apply for benefits. When you submit your weekly claim, you affirm that you:

  • Were available for work, looked for work and were able to work.
  • Did not decline any reasonable offer of work.
  • Did not earn any income from any work performed.

You can claim unemployment benefits in Georgia through the state Department of Labor (GDOL) website. You may also submit an unemployment benefits claim over the phone by using the GDOL’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Both the GDOL website and the IVR system are accessible for you to make a claim seven days a week, 24 hours per day. You may check the status of your claim using either the GDOL website or IVR system as well. You may claim unemployment benefits in GA only after the current benefits week ends. However, you have two weeks during which you may submit your claim. An unemployment insurance benefits week goes from Sunday to Saturday. You may also claim benefits for unemployment insurance for two weeks at a time, but you may only claim the current and previous week.

Claiming unemployment benefits in Georgia requires you to create a PIN for the GDOL system, which you may do during your initial claim. However, if you submit your weekly claims using paper forms, then you will not require the PIN. UI benefit claims use the PIN when you call the IVR system or log onto the GDOL website. Once you log in using your PIN you will be asked the following questions:

  • Were you available, able and looking for work?
  • Did you decline any offer of a job?
  • Did you work or earn any income this week?
  • If you did, how much did you earn?
  • Are you currently still working?
  • If you are not, is it because that job had no more work for you this week?

When submitting answers for your unemployment benefits claim, be mindful that they are accurate and truthful. Any false information may result in criminal penalties and repayment of benefits. Additionally, take care to report any wages you may have earned even if you have not received them at the time you file your claim.

Georgia Unemployment Benefits Extension

Unemployment insurance benefits in Georgia are available for up to 20 weeks. After exhausting regular UI benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), individuals may apply for state extended benefits (SEB). An unemployment benefits extension still requires some of the same procedures, such as documenting and reporting progress on a job search. However, any lapse in seeking work results in a denial of benefits and runs the risk of forcing repayment. Furthermore, the total amount of extended unemployment benefits available will typically be less than the original claim in terms of the overall sum dispersed. Learn more about unemployment benefit extensions in our complete and detailed guide here.