This week, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is implementing the additional unemployment benefits provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The new legislation will extend potential unemployment insurance benefits and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) weekly supplement of $300 for those still unemployed through September 6, 2021.
“We have received the guidelines from the USDOL to implement the 29 week extension that is part of the new stimulus bill,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “This extension should be seamless for claimants currently receiving benefits that were part of the Continued Assistance Act. However, many claimants will need to pay close attention to upcoming benefit year ending dates and reapply for benefits accordingly.”
Claimants who have not reached their benefit year ending date should continue to request payments weekly as the extensions are implemented and should not experience any delay in payments. However, if a claimant’s benefit year ends, he/she will need to file a new claim. A benefit year is the 52-week period beginning on the Sunday of the week a new claim is filed. Once this time period expires, claimants must reapply for benefits reporting any additional work history, including temporary, part-time, self-employment, or W-2 work. Once the new regular UI claim is processed, claimants who are unable to establish a valid claim, will be placed back into the appropriate federal CARES Act program for the new extensions to be applied.
“There has been a great deal of confusion regarding filing a new claim,” said Commissioner Butler. “Claimants need to be aware that no matter what program you are part of, if you have reached the end of your benefit year, you must reapply for regular UI benefits to determine if you qualify for a new regular UI claim.”
The GDOL announced today that Georgians have received more than $19.6 billion since March 21 of 2020, more than the past 57 years prior to the pandemic combined. Last week, the GDOL dispersed over $310 million in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits including regular unemployment insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), State Extended Benefits (SEB), and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements.
Today, over 207,000 jobs listings are online at https://bit.ly/36EA2vk for Georgians to access. These listings could include multiple positions for each job indicating a much higher number of jobs available. The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs. Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at https://bit.ly/2ZudL0c.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year, the GDOL has processed 4,522,899 regular UI initial claims, more than the combined last nine years prior to the pandemic (4.0 million). Initial claims for the first 11 weeks of 2021 totaled 322,066, compared to 291,962 for all of 2019. Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 24,700, down 274 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 347,313 active PUA claims.
The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 5,652, Administrative and Support Services, 2,985, Manufacturing, 2,287, Retail Trade, 1,850, and Health Care, 1,556.
The number of initial claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending March 13 was 770,000, an increase of 45,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 725,000.
UI benefits are taxable income and 1099-G tax forms are issued in accordance with federal law to report payments and all taxes withheld during each tax year. If you received a 1099-G tax form and did not file a UI claim yourself or your employer did not file one on your behalf, you may be the victim of UI fraud and should report the incident on the GDOL website at https://www.dol.state.ga.us/public/uiben/fraud/reportType. Select Report 1099 ID Theft at the bottom and follow the instructions. If you received a 1099-G tax form and returned the benefits or wish to return the benefits, please see detailed instructions on next steps at https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/form-1099-g-tax-information.
For more information on jobs and current labor force date, visit the Georgia Labor Force Market Explorer at https://bit.ly/3ayIPjd to view a comprehensive report.