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GDOL to Release First Round of LWA Payments This Week

LWA will allow distribution of an additional $300 weekly supplement to eligible individuals receiving UI benefits from state and federal unemployment insurance programs. 

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced last week that claimants who qualify for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program will be issued their first round of supplemental payments in the early part of the week for the first three eligible weeks. LWA is a program that receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.  LWA will allow distribution of an additional $300 weekly supplement to eligible individuals receiving UI benefits from state and federal unemployment insurance programs. 

FEMA announced last week that all states will be limited to six weeks of benefits.  The GDOL recently received approval for all six weeks of LWA benefits. The GDOL plans to issue the final three weeks’ worth of payments by late this week. 

Eligibility for the LWA Program is based upon an individual’s weekly benefit determination – an amount calculated by a claimant’s reported wages. Individuals must have received a weekly benefit amount determination of at least $100 to be eligible for LWA supplemental benefits. He/she must also be unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To check eligibility, claimants should visit their My U.I. portal where they will use a link to attest to the reason for their unemployment.  Individuals whose employers have filed on their behalf or those who are receiving benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) do not need to attest their reason for unemployment due to weekly certification that addresses this requirement.  Only those with an individually filed claim will need to do so. If the claimant is qualified for LWA, he/she will be issued their payments in separate batches, the first batch for three weeks of $300 each ($900) and the second batch for the remaining three weeks of $300 each. These will be LWA benefits for weeks ending August 1 through September 5.

“We understood the President’s Executive Order was contingent upon the availability of funds,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.  “Although the six weeks of benefits wasn’t what many had hoped for, the additional support will make a big difference to some struggling to avoid eviction.”  

Today, nearly 150,000 jobs are listed online at EmployGeorgia.com for Georgians to access. This is a 50% increase over what we saw before the pandemic. The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs.

The Georgia Department of Labor has paid more than $13 billion in state and federal benefits since the pandemic began in mid-March. The GDOL issued $196 million in regular unemployment benefits and federal funds for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) payments, PUA payments, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplements, and State Extended Benefits.

From week ending 3/21/2020 through 9/5/2020, 3,646,864 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the last eight years combined (3.3 million). Of those, 2,441,116 were employer filed claims (67%), and 1,205,748 were individual claims. Claims numbers have dropped below 100,000 for a sixth consecutive week. For week ending Sept. 5, initial claims totaled 50,320, down 963 from the prior week.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending Sept. 5 was 884,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level of 884,000.

Last week, the GDOL issued more than $51 million in PUA payments to eligible 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. The PUA program may provide benefits to claimants that did not have enough wages to establish a valid regular state UI claim but were prohibited from employment due to COVID-19. From week ending 3/21/2020 through 9/5/2020, 332,444 PUA claims have been validated.

In addition, the total federal funds issued to Georgians for FPUC totaled over $27 million last week. Over the past 24 weeks, the GDOL has issued more than $8.5 billion in FPUC funds. FPUC provided an additional $600 weekly payment to any individual eligible for both state and federal unemployment compensation programs. This program ended July 31.

From week ending 3/21/2020 through 9/5/2020, the sectors with the most regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 872,074, Health Care and Social Assistance, 426,927, Retail Trade, 391,387, Administrative and Support Services, 308,374, and Manufacturing, 281,858.

As of 9/1/2020, the trust fund balance was $47,562,149, down $2.5 billion, or 98 percent, from the 3/24/2020 balance of $2,547,476,454. The GDOL will draw funds from the federal government daily to continue paying Georgians out of work.  

“We had to request funds from the federal government during the recession of 2008-2009 after I first took office,” said Commissioner Butler.  “It did not take us long to pay back the money and build our trust fund to one of the healthiest in the nation prior to the pandemic.  We will do the same this time.”

At this time, GDOL career centers are remaining closed to the public.

You can learn more about LWA here.

 

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    James Emling

    September 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

    I am STILL WAITING ON ANY MONEY FROM MY UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM THAT I FILED BACK IN MAY OF 2020. IVE REACHED OUT TO BRIAN KEMPS OFFICE AT LEAST 3 TIMES. HIS OFFICE DIRECTS ME TO FILL OUT A FORM, WHICH I HAVE ALL THREE TIMES….STILL NO ANSWERS OR MONEY. I HAVE CALL THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY!! I SPEND NO LESS THAN 3 TO 4 HOURS JUST TRYING TO GET THROUGH. OCCASIONALLY, A RECORDING PICKS UP AND GIVES ME THE OPTION TO HOLD FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE REPRESENTATIVE OR PRESS 1 AND LEAVE MY NAME AND NUMBER WHICH SUPPOSEDLY HOLDS MY PLACE IN LINE FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE REPRESENTATIVE TO RETURN MY CALL.

    BOTH OPTIONS A FUCKING JOKE! IF YOU CHOOSE TO STAY ON HOLD, IT’S NO LESS THAN 4 HOURS AND YOU 90% OF THE TIME GET DISCONNECTED BY SO INCOMPETENT IMBECILE WHO CAN’T WORK A PHONE AND JUST DOESN’T CARE.
    THE SECOND OPTION OF THE CALL BACK…NEVER EVER HAPPENS!!
    SO JUST WHO IN THE HELL IS ALL THIS MONEY GOING TO. I BELONG TO A SPECIFIC SUPPORT GROUP FOR PEOPLE IN GEORGIA AND THIS LARGE GROUP HAS THE SAME ISSUES!!

    YOUR ARTICLE MAKES GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT SOUND LIKE IT’S RUN BY TOP NOTCH TOTALLY CAPABLE COMPENT INTELLIGENT PEOPLE…..PLEASE!! I’VE SEEN MONKEY’S THROW SHIT AT EACH OTHER AT THE ZOO WHO WERE MORE COMPENT, ORGANIZED, MORE INTELLIGENT AND FAR BETTER EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THIS CLUSTER FU*CK.
    PLEASE CHECK YOUR FACTS AGAIN.
    THANKS TO THEIR TOTAL INCOMPETENCE, OUR FAMILY LOST
    EVERYTHING, HOUSE, CAR, ALL OUR POSSESSIONS PERSONAL ITEMS, PICTURES, OUR FAMILY HEIRLOOMS THINGS YOU CAN’T REPLACE. OUR CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING THE MOST BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE A HOME ANYMORE. MY WIFE HAS SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES AND I LOST MY INSURANCE SO SHE LOST HER NECESSARY REGULAR MEDICAL CARE AND MEDICATIONS. IT’S HARD TO FIND FULL TIME WORK BECAUSE SHE IS SO ILL.

    IT INFURIATES ME HOW GEORGIA paints such a great picture of how well their handling the UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS!!

    WHAT THAT MISERABLE BACKWARDS STATE NEEDS IS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION FROM A SOURCE WHO CAN UNFUCK THIS CLUSTER FUCK IMMEDIATELY @

  2. Avatar

    Sabrina

    September 16, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Despite the number of claims dropping, there’s still several of us who applied for assistance back in April and still haven’t gotten any help!!!

  3. Avatar

    Kashandra Burton

    September 16, 2020 at 8:11 am

    I have not got any help or anything from the department of labor. Here in Dublin Ga they said call number and no one answered, I filed back in March then tried to certify and it says not found I only have one social security number, redid my information and still no help, called governor kemp office did a paper still no help. When are they gonna help us we need help bad no income no letter or nothing it’s like they tell you to leave a message o ly to not call use back. This needs to be addressed!!!!

  4. Avatar

    Mercedes

    September 16, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I still Haven’t Receive my Second stimulus check And My Money Has been cut Since ending of June 2020

  5. Avatar

    Oscar Lilly

    September 16, 2020 at 10:03 am

    I just don’t understand why they act like they are doing a great job. I have been waiting since July for my benefits can’t talk to no one they do not call back. I mean people who cheat the system get their benefits with no problem. What are we as law abiding citizens do I have been working for 33 years and never claimed unemployment this is scary not knowing or not having people who can help you.

  6. Avatar

    Sonya sanders

    September 16, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I have been displeased and unsatisfied on the Department of labor of their action concerning our unemployment payment that is due to hard working citizens that in need of their money to pay there mortgage, rent,bills… I experience some of the samething as others when calling no one is answering the phone ,no callback from the agent I have emailthem ,fax,and still no REPLY even on line they are blocking you to make your weekly claim ,where is the help ? Who is running the Department,and why does it have to take this long?OUR governor need to step up and do something Now I’m upset that they are playing games with our daily lives just maybe they need to be in our POSITION to understand My job that filled Bankruptcy and decided they would not claim in behalf of there employee which makes thing even harder for us all yet they hide behind there desk still working and receiving a big check for themselves Why is that when they can help more and make this process move quickly .the department of labor act quickly when the job filled for you the unfairness is just hurtful and sad.I never had to reply for this assistance but its worst Our senators and congressmen need to stop going on vacation and take care of this matter for the American people the time is Now.May blessing of all.🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

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