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Georgia Reinstates Pre-Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Requirements

June 10th, 2021 – 5:15 PM

Georgia Department of Labor –

In accordance with the plan for reemployment and the announcement to no longer participate in the federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs enacted through the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will reinstate many of the eligibility requirements waived during the recent pandemic. The last payable week for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) is week ending June 26, 2021, reinstating additional requirements on June 27 for claimants and employers.

Pandemic-related eligibility rules previously suspended require that claimants be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. These requirements will again become mandatory for UI claimants on June 27. Claimants must be able and available for work and actively seek employment for each week benefit payments are requested. Individuals requesting unemployment benefits must register for employment services in their state of residence to avoid interruption, delay, or denial of benefits if found to be eligible. Individuals who reside in the state of Georgia must register with EmployGeorgia, the state’s reemployment system, and include his/her social security number during registration. Individuals will be asked to create a searchable resume or upload a searchable resume to the site and submit three work search contacts for each week payments are requested.

“States across the nation are reinstating work search mandates as emergency rules are lifted and businesses reopen to the public,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We adjusted many of our regulations during the pandemic to make receiving benefits easier during the crisis and now those modifications are no longer necessary.”

The previously adjusted earning disregard rule that allowed earnings up to $300 per week to be disregarded when calculating the weekly benefit amount will be reduced to $150 per week. This means reported earnings more than $150 will be deducted dollar for dollar from the weekly entitlement amount.

*For more information about these requirements and how to fulfill them, claimants can reference the  Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook .

Employers will also experience changes regarding benefits charging and employer filed claims beginning June 27, 2021. During the pandemic, contributory employers were relieved of unemployment benefit charges for claims filed for individuals who were unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19. Effective June 27, 2021, the relief for unemployment benefit charging will end regardless of the reason for unemployment. Unemployment benefits paid for weeks ending on or after June 27, 2021, will be charged to the most recent employer under the law section OCGA 34-8-43.

The Partial Claims (Rule 300-2-4.09) will recommence effective June 27, 2021. Employers will only be allowed to submit six (6) consecutive weeks of partial claims with no earnings. Individuals that are unemployed for more than six (6) consecutive weeks will be considered to be separated and subsequent claims filed will not be processed or paid. In such cases, employers are encouraged to convert claims from partial claims to individuals-filed claims to allow the individuals to request their own weekly benefits and report gross earnings if they work.

*Employers are asked to report job refusals online for employees who refuse to report or return to work or refuse an offer of work at Report UI Fraud & Abuse.