The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced last week that it has issued over $1.7 billion in combined state and federal unemployment benefits in the past seven weeks.  Since the middle of March (week ending March 21, 2020), GDOL has processed 1,597,593 regular initial unemployment claims.  Of these claims, 778,330 were valid with enough earned wages to receive benefits and 518,000 Georgians (84 percent of all those filing for unemployment) have already received their first payment.

“Over half a million Georgians have received a payment from the Georgia Department of Labor,” said GDOL Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We have been enhancing our current systems and creating new ones to make sure every eligible applicant receives their UI benefits as quickly as possible.”

Those individuals with invalid or denied claims that could potentially be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) began to see payments last week totaling over $4 million.  This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.  As of last week, 83,583 PUA applications were processed and are eligible for payment (82 percent of all PUA claims received).   89 percent of the processed claims have either been paid or are eligible to be paid.  Over 34,000 applications have been processed, but applicants have not requested payments. In order to receive benefits, applicants must request payments for each eligible week. Applicants are continuing to be identified as potential PUA recipients when deemed ineligible for state benefits and directed to apply for federal benefits.

Last week, GDOL processed 228,352 claims.  Of the weekly total, 171,747 were employer filed claims, seventy five percent of all claims. In the past seven weeks, of all claims determined to be eligible, approximately 576,382 were employer filed partial claims. The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States was 3.1 million last week, a decrease of 677,000 from the previous week.

The sectors with the most initial claims in the past seven weeks included Accommodation and Food Services, 446,437, Health Care and Social Assistance, ­183,328, Retail Trade, 182,663, Administrative and Support Services, 130,039, and Manufacturing, 122,772.

Last week, the GDOL issued regular weekly UI benefits totaling $176,354,763, up $21 million over the previous week. Over the last seven weeks, over $620 million has been paid in regular UI benefits.

In addition, the total federal funds issued for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, or FPUC, totaled over $400 million last week.  Over the past seven weeks, the GDOL has issued over $1.1 billion in federal funds. FPUS provides an additional $600 weekly payment to any individual eligible for any of the unemployment compensation programs – state and federal.

As of 5/02/2020, the Georgia Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Balance was $2,126,662,546, up $34 million, from the previous week’s balance.  This upward tick was attributed to tax revenue collections of $165 million deposited on April 30, 2020 outpacing the benefit payments for the week.

At this time, the GDOL career centers are remaining closed to the public. All online services are still available as the staff continues to answer phones, return emails, and assist applicants. The GDOL will open offices to the public as soon as social distancing can be effectively implemented to protect both staff and customers.

The GDOL is also continuing to work with employers to get Georgians back to work.  Employers have been contacting the GDOL with job opportunities that are critical during this crisis – some in the workplace and others that can be done from home. Today, over 100,000 jobs are listed online at for Georgians to access. The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs.

Information on filing an unemployment claim, details on how employers can file partial claims, and resources for other reemployment assistance can be found on the agency’s webpage.

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  1. Then where is my husbands back pay? His employer filed for him, he got approved on April 21st and no payments. I wouldn’t be bragging about how much you “did” so far because there are a lot of people who still didn’t get it who should and NEED it. All my husband co workers are getting it except him, I call discrimination is what it is. There is no reason for it. We have a 5 year old and we need to pay our bills. I was messaged through Facebook we were on a list to get a call from the Georgia dept of labor. A week has gone by and surprise, no call. This is unexceptable. Someone reading this if you can please help.

    • I received my first payment last week. So I started making payment arrangements thinking everything’s a go, but no payment this week. I have people looking at me side ways thinking I’m trying to bilk them. I have no understanding of when to expect payments to start being consistent. I’ve sent an email to the put email address and no response.

      • I completely agree! I got that initial payment on 5/6 and thought ok great I’ll @ least be able to count on this bi weekly it looks like because it was a double payment. This would be two weeks and nothing. I’ve certified my weekly thing 3 times now. I did notice for gig workers they’ve changed the format on that second page you click on. It’s more compact. Easier to navigate. Still I’ve submitted my weekly thing THREE times for this prior week and nothing! I’ve got my initial letter stating I was eligible for a certain amount plus the 600 for 4/4 thru the end of July. I’ve asked numerous times how you claim those prior weeks and NO ONE answers specific questions. All they do is throw out generalizations over and over. I look to see what other states are telling their people and their state labor commissioners are very specific and positive. All ours has done is throw out scenarios concerning fraud. Not hopeful whatsoever assuring us we’ll get the help needed whatsoever. So fed up with this guy. He’s getting by with the least he can

  2. Please don’t make the GA DOL or Governor Kemp sound like the hero of this story. If you go to the GA DOL FaceBook and Twitter Feeds you will see comment after comment of people in all situations that are not receiving unemployment payments. Many have been approved, yet still aren’t receiving payments. Others, like myself are self-employed with no other resources. Yet, the 21 days to process an unemployment claim has long since passed. The career centers are not open and no phone calls are being answered, and voicemails and emails are ignored. And, I personally have reported and made claims for payment each week since April 27th. Yet, when I go to check the status of my claim, I am told that my SSN isn’t recognized.

    I went back and scrolled through Governor Kemps twitter feed to find that he has no mentioned unemployment in almost a month, and even then it was in relation to POTUS and the Cares Act. And as a business owner with no employees, I didn’t qualify for the PPP and other loans, so unemployment was my only hope. I have been without income for over 2 months and I am getting further behind every day. So not only am I probably going to have to shut my doors, I am now at risk for losing everything.

    Also, regarding the comment about claiming payments, maybe the GA DOL should do some damage control. I say this because if this is truly what is stopping some people from getting their payments, then they need to look at how confusing it is to be told that reporting requirements are waived.

    • I agree! It’s time to get a protest going with the media involved outside the state DOL. this is beginning to sound fraudulent on the states part honestly. I’m stunned they can’t open the offices yet anyone else? You mean to tell me they can’t have staggered seating, staggered lines and shields in front of the counters or workers? Seriously?? Grocery stores open with crowds galore and they can’t stagger claimants?? I’m calling BS on this. Other DOL commissioners in every single state it seems are giving out lots more detailed info to their state than ours. Ours is throwing out these generic copy and paste answers to anything asked of him. Check out what they’re telling the citizens of Pennsylvania. It was so specific about system crashes, things you can do, exactly when the money is coming, on and on

  3. I totally agree. I was approved 2 months ago. I received my card. I was so relieved. I could pay rent, my phone, and car. Nope. It was only$6.00. my paper from the state said I was approved for over$100. When I check my status claim. It really only took$6.00 from the whole total. Of course no one answers. I’ve done everything. Now I’m about to have to pack and live in my car. I can only imagine what other people are going thru with children. Something needs to happen. Of all the money their bragging about giving people to help. I dunno what they thought. It’s 2020. Not 1940 $6.00 Dosent help.

  4. It makes No Since Too Give someone One Check When There Approved. Then Stop Never Respond Too Why no correspondence letter No communication at All. It’s Going On two months Now. And I’m on a Employer File And There’s 100 staffed 97 of Them Are Being paid weekly on The Same File. So I’m Ignored Every week why is my name Not apparent it’s right in front of Them…

    • I’ve been unemployed for 2 months and behind on rent car payment insurance I have a one-year-old and another one on the way I received one payment and everything else stopped I’ve been out of work for two months I’m about to begin work again and I can put gas in my car to go to work and I cannot get ahold of anybody at any office in the Georgia Department of Labor it’s very sad to see it come to this and I have to come post on a news article to try to find information because I’m desperate upset I’m becoming very stressed with no communication between Dol

  5. It’s amazing how you all can sit and say what you’ve done but yet in all actuality you’re not doing enough. There are people still in need people who have families to take care of and bills to pay just like the rest of the world. But because it’s not you all in the situation you’re not as hands on or urgent enough to get everyone processed and done especially people who have been waiting weeks and weeks for their FIRST payment. I myself have requested seven weeks of Unemployment payment and have yet to see a penny. Ive called. Ive left messages I have emailed. I have called the commissioner I have also emailed him and yet everything still goes unanswered. The people grow tired and fear the loss of very valuable things. But yal dont hear anybody though.

  6. Well I have been waiting 5 weeks for unemployment compensation. I don’t know what to do to get it. I can see I’m on their website. My employer says that all the other furloughed people at our company have received it. I try to call it asks to leave a message and no one calls back. I go to the office and it’s closed teleworking. How about doing by appointment like the driver services is! I will get my compensation as I have savings to make it until the end and will hire an attorney to get it at the end! I Qualify for the max Georgia payment and the federal. I guess I’ll wait until they open their offices but I will get what I’m entitled too!

  7. This is absolutely horrible I’ve received one single payment then nothing for weeks. The PUA approved me and one check then nothing I’m the sole provider of three. My business in next to zero and I’ve received no reply emails, calls, this is terrible. People are losing their homes, cars, even life insurance. I thought Georgia was better than this. Horrible

    • Me also I’m a gig worker and received that one initial payment for 2 weeks and though yes but now nothing this go round. I’ve done the claiming of the prior week three times now and it’s still stating below my initial payout record no eligibility found or something similar. It’s maddening. I’m stunned they can’t open the offices with shields and staggered appts but yet you can go eat in a Longhorn. They just don’t want to fool with hiring more employees to handle the load. Oh wait. I thought it was all about hiring and getting folks back to work?

  8. So I was deemed eligible for PUA benefits on 04/30/2020 and thought great I will be getting some cash inflow soon. Wrong. Week after week I certify and still no money. I just happened to down load the Child Support app and Hey my child support is being paid but I’m not getting paid. WTH ????


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