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State Says All Unemployment Claims in Queue Have Been Processed

The Georgia Department of Labor says now that the office is caught up, once an application is submitted, it takes less than seven days to process the claim.
GDOL has processed over 4 million regular UI claims since March 21, 2020. 

After 34 weeks of pandemic unemployment, the Georgia Department of Labor has processed all of the regular state unemployment applications in the queue. At this time, once an application is submitted, it takes less than seven days to process the claim. This accomplishment comes after the GDOL has processed over 4 million regular UI claims since March 21, 2020.  After processing, the claim proceeds to eligibility determination – the most frequent step for a claimant to experience an extended wait.  If a separation is due to reasons other than lack of work, such as a quit, discharge, leave of absence, or receipt of severance/retirement pay, additional review will be necessary to determine claimant eligibility. This review includes adjudication with a claims examiner and can potentially delay payments.

“Any delays you are currently hearing regarding claims are not related to processing,” said Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We are processing claims at Pre-COVID rates.  The claims that are taking a while are the ones where there is a disagreement about the separation reason between the employer and employee.  This is similar to a court case traveling through the judicial system and appeals can be escalated all the way to the superior court. However, this can take time.”

A common misconception during the pandemic has stemmed from a misinterpretation of the Benefits Determination letter the claimant receives that shows the period and wages used to calculate a claimant’s weekly benefit amount.  This letter is not a statement of approval, but only an explanation of the calculated benefit amount. After the claim is processed, a claimant’s last employer is notified and provided 10 calendar days to respond. After the employer has had an opportunity to respond to the claim, the separation reason is reviewed and a determination to allow or deny benefits is released and mailed to the claimant’s address.  Claimants have the right to appeal all decisions released, including the weekly benefit amount and the determination of eligibility.

With the extreme increase in claims volume, the GDOL is continuing to hire experienced workers to assist in fact finding, eligibility determinations, and appeals.  Benefit eligibility reviews and appeals dates are being addressed as quickly as possible to issue valid payments to approved claimants.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), established under the March Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, has provided benefits to many self-employed and IRS Form 1099 workers in the state of Georgia. For up to 40,000 PUA claimants, these benefits have already stopped or will be exhausting in the next few weeks after reaching the 39-week limit in accordance with federal program guidelines.  The CARES Act does not include any provisions for additional extended benefits beyond the 39 weeks of PUA. Federal extension programs are enacted by the US Congress.  The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) does not determine whether any additional extension programs will be enacted.  If additional legislation is passed to extend the PUA program, GDOL will act swiftly to notify impacted individuals on the website and social platforms.

Today, over 162,000 jobs are listed online at EmployGeorgia for Georgians to access.  These job opportunities have more than doubled since the April 2020 listing of just 73,000 jobs. The GDOL offers online resources for finding careers, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs. GDOL’s Business Services Unit hosts job fairs for businesses across Georgia and promotes employment positions regularly on EmployGeorgia.

Georgians have received more than $15.7 billion in unemployment insurance benefits since March of this year, more than the past 28 years combined.  Last week, the GDOL dispersed over $174 million in benefits, which included nearly $52 million in regular unemployment and more than $5.8 million in federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, $43 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), $52 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), $14 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and $5 million in State Extended Benefits.

Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 23,827, down 13,426 over the week. PUA claims totaled 1,136 last week, making 342,592 claims during the pandemic.

The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 4,768, Administrative and Support Services, 2,506, Manufacturing, 2,446, Health Care and Social Assistance, 1,836, and Retail Trade, 1,461. Many claimants in the Accommodation and Food Services division have utilized the $300 earnings exemption rule allowing workers to earn wages and still receive unemployment benefits.  An individual can make up to $300 per week without reducing their maximum weekly benefit amount, allowing employees to work reduced hours and still qualify for state weekly benefits.  However, it is important to make sure all earnings are reported each week in order to avoid an overpayment that will require repayment to the GDOL.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending November 7, 2020 was 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 757,000.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Mary Doyle

    November 18, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been waiting since August 23, 2020. It’s been way longer than 10 days since my last employer has had this information. It’s been like 4 to 6 weeks. If I miss anything by 1 day well that’s my loss. But the companies and corporations are in control. Hey DOL make a decision. I would have already died if I had to solely depend on you. I have no partner no spouse no one to take care of all of it. I’m it.

  2. Charles Lamar

    November 19, 2020 at 1:34 am

    My claim was filed 08/01/20 regular UI,it was received 08/07/20,processed 09/17/20,I know the 10 day limit for my former emploer to respond is over 2 months and counting,somebody lying somewhere,I have been lied to since 08/20,09/20,10/20,11/20,one GDOL representative told me they were behind in processing give it a couple more weeks,one told to me my security question was wrong she told me to go to IDME, did that got vertified in 10/20 to date 11/19/20 still have not received code from GDOL, this is an processing issue, but you say all claims been processed,was told my claim had to be put on the back log because they had”an influx of new claims to process,if my claim was accepted and process why did GDOL put other people ahead of me that’s not fair at all,I even sent the Commissioner Mark Butler an email in which he replied that”he would forward it to UI division” guest they didn’t get,and last was told my claim is schedule for an examiner on 01/29/2021,WTF is this? My claim ends 07/31/2021,I was laid off 04/2020 because of Covid-19,mailed in separation notice 04/20 because I had a claim from 2019 I drew from that claim,that claim ended 07/31/19 that’s why I had to reapply.So all the claims processed??? Well what happened to mine???

  3. Charles Lamar

    November 19, 2020 at 2:29 am

    I filed 08/01/2020 my claim was processed 09/17/20 just been getting the runaround from GDOL was told my claim had to be put on hold because”we have an influx of new claims we have to process”why should I have to wait you already processed my claim finish it.GDOL let people break in line and that wasn’t fair to me.the 10 day ruled has long past about 2 mts and counting,shouldn’t my former emploer be penalize about this rule?I was told my claim will be reviewed 01/29/2021 that’s next year,It should not take this long to finish my claim,my claim security question is wrong,been verified with IDME 10/20/20 waiting for GDOL to send me code as of 11/19/20 have not received one, this is an processing issue,Are you sure all of you claims have been processed? Sent Mark Butler email telling him this he said he would forward it to U I division in 10/20,Looks like he didn’t do it,since I’m still waiting,the time line days 4 to 6 weeks for claims to be processed,well we are over that limit to.Are you sure all ui claims been processed? Mines have not.

  4. Volkmar Earl Alphin

    November 19, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    That is completely untrue. My case has been pending with no explanation. I try everyday to call the Cartersville office and the Statewide customer service number and have NEVER recieved a return call. My emails have NEVER been answered. Try it yourself, call Cartersville or the state office. Call Mark Butler out on his BS.

  5. Malinda Woodard

    November 23, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Wrong. I’ve been waiting since may 23rd. Where is my resolution.

  6. Ebony Kirkland

    November 24, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Lies!! I filed a PUA claim back in June and I was told my claim has been certified and that was 6 months ago. Not a word since June!!! After going back to work and getting laid off after almost 2 months back in I ended up having to start all over again! This time it’s regular UI I’m waiting to receive! Since early last month! I have called and emailed everyday since JUNE!

  7. Jan Rhodes

    December 3, 2020 at 9:37 am

    I have been trying to get someone to email me back for over three months. I f have not received any Back pay & am trying to ask questions. This system is very frustrating. jdrhodes1021@gmail.com

  8. Rhonda Lipsey

    December 4, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I have been waiting for a response from the u.i. department. I have been given only 2 e-mails 1 telling me my claim was accepted and 1 telling me that my claim was processed. Recieved both in July. They have now contacted my present employer that I work for part time less then 20 hours a week. But have not contacted the employer that fired me illegally on discriminatory basis. Yes I was a bit lucky because I filed charges for discrimination with the EEOC and settled in mediation. I was granted a settlement unfortunately I only received my back pay will not be getting the judgement payment due to the company filling bankruptcy. I now am so behind in rent it’s inevitable a forced eviction is coming very soon. Oct I suffered a stroke was advised by physicians not to return to work but I do not have a choice. Have not had hot water nor heat in my apartment for 2 months and going. Spent Thanksgiving alone in my apartment without electricity, heat or hot water. I have sent 428 voice messages to every career center in the state of georgia and have not been contacted. My u.I portal says the same thing eligibility pending determination it has been 29 weeks that is far more then the comments above. Its shocking that they department claims they are all caught up but 40 thousand georgians are still waiting for eligibility. Let alone any kind of financial help. IT MAKES ME SO MAD THE PUBLIC, THE HUMAN BEINGS THE LIVES BEING DESTROYED FROM A VIRUS THAT NOT ONE OF US CREATED NOR HAD THE WHOLE FACTS ABOUT. So why is it that we are all being treated as if it was our fault. Our government failed us our president lied and failed us. But we are the ones facing homelessness, employment less threats of loss of everything we worked hard for our whole lives and friends,family co workers dying all around us. YET Our President whom claimed had COVID19 WAS COMPLETELY CURED IN A FEW SHORT DAYS. WHY??? WHY ARE SO MANT PPL STILL DYING BUT A SADISTIC LEADER CURED AND SHOWED NO SIGNS OF ILLNESS IN A FEW SHORT DAYS..

  9. Cere

    January 8, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    This is not true! There are SO many people waiting and hurting. They have waited 4-6 months to get any kind of response or recognition from the Butler DOL. They treat people like they are less than human. Give you the runaround. Don’t answer calls or emails. Pass you on to someone else. Or flat out lie. Like this press release. Lies.

  10. Lashanda Gales

    January 10, 2021 at 11:21 am

    This is totally untrue and someone should be held accountable for lying and deceiving all of us with putting out false information we have been waiting for months with absolutely no response not even a courtesy contact to let us no they are behind .

  11. Justin

    September 4, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Complete Lies.. After waiting almost 9 months for an appeal hearing, I finally had a hearing on June 30 2021 and received a letter where the decision was ruled in my favor for back pay. I got a call from a Ms Brown on 9/2/21 saying the benefits would be released and long behold I check the mail today and got a denial letter stating Im ineligible because I was eligible for compensation under another program or state..How do I win my appeal and get denied in less then 2 months. I never lived in another state. Lies and Fraud throughout the system.

  12. Robert J. Peirce III

    August 19, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    I filed a claim back in March of 2020, was laid off along with other people because of COVID 19. We got shut down. I got an actual approval for $149 a week for up to 39 weeks. I applied for weeks going up from March 12 to September 8th of 2020, and never got state or federal pua relief. Seems my case still says pending according to GA DOL as of last week. It’s August of 2022 and they haven’t even looked at it yet. What a bunch of crooks. This Governor won’t get my vote ever again or the Senators of this state.

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