Resource for Employers – Guides and resources for employers to understand and reduce costs associated with unemployment insurance.
If you are unemployed and based in Georgia, you should check out the resource article published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution online edition. Here is a summary and refer to article source for all the details
How to apply for unemployment in Georgia:
Georgia Department of Labor Career Centers: Directory by City: Where Atlanta job seekers can apply for unemployment benefits
Once registered for unemployment benefits in Georgia, you can claim benefits online
Three requirements for Georgia unemployment benefits (per Georgia Department of Labor):
* Filer must have earned enough money in base period (In Georgia, this is defined as the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time you file your claim) to set up a claim.
* Your unemployment status must be through no fault of your own.
* You must be able to work, be seeking work and make yourself available for work on a weekly basis while collecting unemployment benefits.
What to bring when filing Georgia unemployment benefits:
* Social security card
* Separation notice from employer
* Names and addresses of your employers for the last 18 months, with the dates you worked at each place.
* Proof of immigration status if you are not a citizen of the United States.
* If you want to apply for direct deposit of your unemployment insurance benefits, bring a check with your account number and your bank’s routing number.
* For former Military/Government members only: If you separated from the military in the last 18 months, bring DD214 Member 4. If you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months, bring Standard Form 50 and Standard Form 8. If you do not have Standard Form 50, please bring a W-2 form or pay stubs and your wages will be estimated.
Here is the complete link to the article:
You have lost that precious job that provided all the financial support. Now what? Obviously, this is not the time to panic or being depressed. Take a step back, and relax – there is always another job waiting to be hunted for. You can use job search links on this site to look for new job, but the first thing you want to do is to file for unemployment insurance benefits and allow the lengthy process to start while you look for new jobs. This guide provides all the necessary steps to apply for unemployment benefits.
Claiming Unemployment Benefits – Where to start?
State unemployment offices generally take a few weeks to process unemployment benefits claims, so it is important that you understand how to file for unemployment and file the claim at the earliest opportunity. Be aware that you will get back-credits from the second week of filing, even though state employment offices may take a long time to process your claim for the very first time. Here are the steps to claim unemployment benefits
Check your eligibility to apply and receive the unemployment benefits. Eligibility criteria are defined by state unemployment programs and you can use the unemployment eligibility article to ensure you have met all the rules. Here is a quick test to check if you are eligible to claim unemployment insurance
You must be willing and able to work. You may need to claim disability insurance if you have physical disabilities
Your job loss must be due to employers inability to offer continued employment. If you were fired or lost job due to your own fault, you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits
Your salary from the lost job was high enough to cover basic living expenses. Most of the part-time or seasonal jobs do not qualify you for unemployment benefits
Estimate Benefits Amount using our unemployment calculator. Based on your eligibility, this smart tool provides an instant estimate of benefits depending on the data collected from you.
Locate state unemployment insurance agency. You can use State unemployment instructions or the interactive map provided here to locate the state agency, their contact number, office address and the website if you choose to file unemployment online
Choose your filing method. Most state unemployment offices allow you to file your claims online or through a telephone. It is advised to file online or by visiting the state agency as telephone method is prone to data entry errors and you do not want to delay claims processing when you file the first time. You can always use the telephone method to extend unemployment benefits.
Prepare to file the paperwork. According to an estimate, about 50 percent of eligible people do not apply for unemployment benefits due to complex paperwork process. However many states have reduced the complexities as you can see from the State of Michigan unemployment data gathering form which is as short as one page. Here is a list of things generally needed when you file the paperwork and be aware that some States may require more details
Name, social security number and other personal details
Name of all previous employers in the last 2 years and their details.
An approx. estimate of dates and duration of each employment. Generally, employers do not provide this info to states.
If you are a member of a union, need name and local number of the union
Reason you left the job – it has to be involuntary to be eligible to receive benefits
After you have applied for unemployment benefits, wait for the benefits check and stay positive! It takes 2-3 weeks for state offices to process you claim and issue the check. Keep hunting for jobs in that period. Most importantly, do not sit idle. You can learn new skills, read new topics, or find a cost-effective volunteering opportunity to keep you mind engaged. Remember you are just searching for a job; there is no reason to let yourself down.
Register for jobs with the state employment services.This is not mandatory but many state unemployment agencies offer employment services at free of charge if you register. They will guide you with job opportunities within and outside of the state. They will offer counseling services to find the jobs you like. They will also refer you to discounted training programs, or refer you to other agencies if you need special assistance
Continue to file for unemployment benefits every week or 2 to let the unemployment office know that you are still eligible for benefits. You are also required to report any wages earned, or the job offers received. If you exhaust your benefits, you may be eligible for extension of benefits
Claiming unemployment benefits from more than one state
You are required to file your claims in the state where you have worked, even though you are not living in that state now. If you have worked in more than one state or you are currently not living in the state where you worked during the year, you can still contact local unemployment insurance office close to you. They may be able to assist you with the claims
Once you file for unemployment benefits, you should continue your job search. Then there is this brave new world of work from home jobs that you can do online. People are making a leaving and some are able to make a fortune out of such jobs that can work from the comfort of your home. Making money online is real and it takes virtually no investment.
Tired of looking for jobs? Explore ways to make money online.
Unemployment benefits are monetary payments made by the state or other certified bodies to laid-off people. These benefits are provided depending on the status of the unemployed person, and to those who get themselves listed as unemployed, and who are seeking a job. The state offers unemployment benefits through insurance programs within rules set by Federal Law, to its nationals who apply for it. The state law also decides the ability for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and duration for which benefits are obtainable.
How Much can you Receive as Unemployment Compensation?
Unemployment benefits are planned to partially restore lost wages, so the exact amount you receive will be based on what you used to earn. States employ special formulae to compute benefit payments, but all states take earlier earnings into account in some way. Some states think the employee’s previous annual earnings while others look at the employee’s earnings during the highest paid quarter or two quarter of the base period.
All states also place an upper limit on the weekly benefit amount. A common formula is to pay half of what of what the employee used to earn, up to a cap that’s tied to the average earnings in that state. This means that employees with higher wages may collect a larger overall benefits check, but a lesser percentage of what they used to earn. The highest amount an employee can obtain each week differs widely from state to state.
Some states offer an additional benefit amount to employees with dependents but these tend to be small.
State Unemployment Benefits Comparison
The top states which pay highest unemploymentcompensation are Massachusetts ($939) followed by Rhode Island ($688), then Connecticut ($630), New Jersey ($611) and Pennsylvania ($581).
The top states that pay the lowest unemployment compensation are Mississippi ($235), Arizona ($240), Louisiana ($247), Alabama ($265) and Florida – $275 respectively.
This following table provides a complete list of unemployment benefits and duration for all states.
If you would like to understand how benefits amount is calculated, here are the steps involved:
Assess your state’s unemployment insurance rules. Get in touch with the workforce division and inquire what formula is currently being used to compute weekly benefit rates (WBRs). States may vary a little on how unemployment benefits are figured. In addition to the formula, request the state for the maximum and the minimum WBRs. For purposes of this example, assume the maximum WBR is $600 and the minimum is $25.
Find out your base period. The base period is a set of months used to compute your WBR. It is generally the last four out of five calendar quarters.
Average your earnings during the base period. You can do this by summing up the wages earned in each month and dividing it by the applicable number of months. Some states may only use the average of the highest two months during your base period, such as Colorado. Other states such as New Jersey, multiply the average by a exact percentage (60% in New Jersey). For purposes of this article, average the complete the base period and multiply it by 60. Presume the average wages you received all through your period is $12,000. Multiply $12,000 by 60; the end result is $7,200
Divide the averaged wages by 26 (which represent the number of weeks you can stay on unemployment). The result must be equivalent to or more than the minimum WBR and it cannot go beyond the maximum WBR i.e. $600 here. In this example, you would be entitled to approximately $276 per week in benefits ($7,200 divided by 26).
Every state sets an upper limit on the total weekly benefit amount. A common formula is to give half of what the employee used to receive. This means that employees with higher wages may obtain larger overall benefits check, but a lesser percentage of what they used to earn. The highest amount an employee can obtain each week differs extensively from state to state.
Some states offer an additional benefit amount to employees with dependents. These amounts tend to be less; most states that provide this benefit offer $25 per dependent per week in added benefits. Unemployment benefits are chargeable. You may opt to have up to 10% of your benefit amount withheld to pay federal income taxes.
What if you work part-time during unemployment?
If you receive other income while receiving unemployment, that may lessen the amount of benefits obtainable to you. Certainly, if you find a new job, you will no longer be entitled for unemployment. But if, for instance you pick up temporary work for a day or two while you are otherwise without a job, you must report your earnings to the state unemployment agency, which will decide whether your unemployment benefits must be reduced to reflect those earnings.
How Do You Get Unemployment Benefits?
Before you learn more about unemployment benefits, check unemployment eligibility article to make sure you are qualified to receive unemployment benefits. You ought to qualify for gaining these compensation benefits, people who fail short to earn wages during one year, or are jobless through no fault of their own come under the general eligibility criteria.
Ineligibility from gaining unemployment benefits can occur if you quit a job without good reason, have resigned due to illness, are fired for misconduct, have become self-unemployed, have left the job for getting married, have been a part of a labor argument or have left due to educational engagements.
Usual benefits are paid for a maximum of 26 weeks in most of the welfare states. In numerous states the repayment in monetary terms is half of the earning of an average working person, for instance in New York, $405 is provided to the unemployed mass which is half of the state’s average weekly wage of a working person.
Apply For Benefits
In case you fall under the qualifying criteria for unemployment benefits you can apply online or via telephone or you can visit your state unemployment office for claiming them. In order to claim the benefits you require; social security number, alien registration card (if not a US citizen), telephone numbers, Names, postal mailing address including zip code, addresses and dates of employment of all your past employers for the last two years. It hardly takes two weeks for getting the pay check of compensation after you have claimed for these benefits, direct deposit or debit card. If your claim is accepted once, you can file for these benefits very easily, by just a single call of email. You have the right to request the denial of your unemployment claim, if your claim is refused by your employer.
Additional Eligibility Criteria
The states that offer such benefits to the masses normally require that the person obtaining these benefits must continue his/her hunt for finding a job. They want an assurance that the recipients of unemployment benefits must be ready, willing, available, and able to work whenever he/she finds a job. Furthermore the states may also require unemployed people to enthusiastically apply for jobs, submit resumes, and not refuse if it seems appropriate for them.
Unemployment Insurance – Other Benefits
Financial assistance is just one part of unemployment insurance benefits. There are numerous other benefits such as Job Search Assistance, Career Coaching, and Extension of Unemployment Benefits beyond standard 26 weeks during times of high unemployment.
The idea of unemployment insurance program is not only to give temporary living assistance, but able to guarantee that the job market is stable and sustainable. For this reason, most of the State Unemployment Insurance Programs offer quite a few benefits other than the monetary assistance.
Job Search Assistance
State Unemployment Agencies assist you get an appropriate job by providing job aid tools. Such tools will help you look for job openings, build resume, research current wage information etc. In addition, you can obtain industry and job-related trends, and recognize career opportunities in new fields.
The Employment Interviewer will review your education/work history and help match your skills to jobs obtainable in our area. They are in close contact with local employees and in tune with the local labor market. They can hunt their databank for jobs that interest you and, if you meet the employer’s qualifications refer you to job openings. If possible, they may even plan an interview for you!
Numerous states offer career coaching services. Workshops and training sessions are available for workers who have become unemployed so that they can develop their current skills or learn new ones. Continually expanding skills helps to increase the chances of finding new jobs and probably achieve success all through the career.
Please realize that not all programs are provided free, however states negotiate fees with training institutions just for you. Get in touch with state unemployment offices to ask about the expenses and make the best use of these programs.
Extension of Unemployment Benefits
In a normal economic climate, nearly all states offer unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks, or half a year, though a handful of states now provide benefits for fewer weeks. However, the total period for which a former employee can obtain benefits has been extended several times, through two separate programs. Based on when and where the employee began collecting unemployment, an employee might be qualified to collect benefits for up to 73 additional weeks. The cost of the “extended benefits” is paid regularly from state and federal funds.
Eligibility for unemployment insurance is determined by state law. More than half of jobless workers do not claim unemployment benefits because either they do not qualify or feel the filing process to be very complex. Contrary to this, numerous people meet the criteria for benefits and state unemployment offices have also reduced the amount of necessary paperwork over a period of time. This article will make eligibility criteria clear for filing unemployment benefits.
Based on your state there may be eligibility requirements for unemployment coverage including having worked for a definite period of time. The Job Service may need job seekers to apply for jobs, submit resumes, and not turn down a position if it meets certain standards.
Other Eligibility Factors to determine benefits are:
Must be monetary eligible
Past earnings activity (labor force attachment)
Conditions of job separation
Be totally or partially unemployed
If you are identified as likely to tire out unemployment benefits and are registered in the worker profiling and reemployment services program, you have to fully participate in all assessment interviews, orientation, and referred reemployment services.
The State Job Service Offices are brilliant resources to aid with a job search. Many free services are provided including career counseling, job listings, resume and cover letter writing help, and training. Take benefit of the assistance state job service offices can give you –it will make your job easier.
After filing an initial application for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you will obtain a Determination of Unemployment Compensation with facts about your monetary eligibility. The monetary determination is not an assurance of payment. It is to give advice to you and your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed, if qualified, what the weekly benefit rate will be and upon which earnings that rate is based.
Let’s take an example from the state of California. Anyone may file a claim for jobless benefits in California. However, not all those who file will be entitled. In order to be qualified you must first have adequate work and earnings to set up a claim (what’s recognized as Monetary Eligibility). The wages may be from work in California only, in California and another state(s), or from work with the federal government or U.S. military service in any state.
If in doubt, file the claim and allow the Employment Development Department (EDD) make the conclusion. If you cannot establish a valid California claim the EDD will tell you what your options are for getting a valid claim.
California glances at earnings grouped by calendar quarter. A quarter consists of three precise months; January, February, and March from the 1st quarter of the year, and so on. By law, the Employment Development Department can only employ the four quarters that ended before the last quarter to assess earnings. These four earnings are called the Base period of the claim; it is the only period of earnings that can be used to decide present eligibility.
How the Base Period is Determined?
Wages are drawn from a one-year period (four calendar quarters) to compute eligibility. This one-year period is called the Base Period.
If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: January, February, or March – The Base Period will be the first nine months (Jan-Sept) of last year and the last three months (Oct-Dec) of the year before last;
If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: April, May, or June – The Base Period will be all twelve months (Jan-Dec) of last year;
If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: July, August, or September – The Base Period will be the first three months of the current year (Jan-Mar) and the last nine months (Apr-Dec) of the last year;
If your claim is effective with any Sunday in: October, November, or December – The Base Period will be the first six months (Jan-June) of the current year and last six months (Jul- Dec) of the last year.
The quarter you file and the previous quarter (the months in red and white) do NOT count at all toward the Base Period, regardless of how much you earned. Neither does any time before the Base Period, even if you worked for fifty years. Benefits are only depending on the Base Period, which is, in turn, decided by the date you file for benefits.
Example 2: Let’s consider the earnings requirements in California for example
You can establish a legal claim in two ways in the state of California:
Earn no less than $1300 in any one quarter of the Base Period, or
Earn no less than $900 in your uppermost quarter of earnings during the Base Period plus in the rest of the Base Period earn no less than 25% of the highest quarter earnings.
For instance, if you received $1000 in your highest quarter, the claim would only be legal if your total earnings all through the other three quarters amounted to $250, for a Base Period total of $1,250:
$1000 + (25% x $1000) = $1250 in total Base Period earnings.
So even though you earned $100,000 in your highest quarter, but did not earn as a minimum $25,000 all through the rest of the Base Period, you would not be qualified! Or if you only earned $899.99 in each quarter, you will fail by one penny. That is the rule.
When you file a claim the EDD will send back you a printed copy of the determination of monetary eligibility. Test out cautiously to settle on if your employer(s) reported your earnings properly. You can constantly request a recomputation if the data appears wrong.
EDD will also offer the following information:
The beginning and ending date of the claim
Weekly Benefit Amount
Maximum Benefit Amount
Weekly Benefit Amount
The sum of money to which a claimant may be entitled each week, based on the claimant’s covered wages paid during the base period.
Let’s consider an example from the state Mississippi:
The maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) allowed in Mississippi at this time is $235.00. Your WBA for unemployment insurance benefits depends on the total wages in the highest quarter of your Base Period and by dividing that amount by 26. The minimum WBA in Mississippi is $30.00. To estimate your WBA you must first determine what your wages are for the highest quarter during your Base Period.
To be eligible for benefits, you:
Must have worked in no less than two quarters of your base period,
Must have earned no less than $780.00 in the highest quarter of your base period, and
Must have earned 40 times your WBA in your base period.
The highest amount of benefits that can be paid to you during your Benefit Year is 26 times your WBA, or one-third of your total Base Period wages, whichever is the lesser.
If you file a claim for benefits and it is determined that you do not have enough wages in your base period to be eligible, you may reapply again after the quarter changes, if you are still jobless. The quarters used to decide the base period change every three months, on the first Sunday of January, April, July, and October.
Who can be claimed as a dependent?
If you do not meet the criteria for the maximum weekly benefit rate, you may be entitled to a dependency allowance. Dependant’s allowance is additional money added to a claimant’s weekly benefit amount if the claimant supports a dependent.
If you would like to claim a dependency allowance when you file your claim, you will be inquired to give the social security numbers of your dependent children.
Your dependent child or children must fall into one of the following categories:
Under 18 years of age.
Under 21 years of age and a full-time student.
A mentally or physically handicapped child of any age
You are required to give proof of dependency.
While you are receiving benefits, you must inform DUA (Department of Unemployment Assistance) if there is any change in the number of your dependent children or in your status of providing support. In total, 12 states pay dependency allowance.
Total dependency allowance for Connecticut cannot be paid for more than five dependents ($75).California does not pay dependency allowances.
When to File for Unemployment?
Filing for unemployment must be the initial item on your plan when you have been laid-off. It might take a few weeks to collect a check, so the quicker you file, the faster you’ll get paid. A delay in filing will mean a wait in collecting unemployment benefits.
How to Claim Your Benefits?
In order to obtain unemployment compensation, workers must meet the unemployment eligibility requirements for wages earned or duration worked during an established (one year) period of time. Besides, workers must be firm to be unemployed through no fault of their own, so if you were fired or quit you may not be qualified for unemployment compensation.
Confirm with your State Unemployment Office for briefing on what benefits you are entitled to. You may be able to file over the phone. In various states, you can file online for unemployment.
In general, to file a claim you will need:
Social Security Number
Alien Registration Card if you’re not a US citizen
Mailing address including zip code
Names, addresses and dates of employment of all your past employers for the last two years
Disqualification from Unemployment
The following conditions may disqualify you from collecting unemployment benefits depending on state law:
Quit without good cause
Fired for misconduct
Resigned because of illness (check on disability benefits)
Left to get married
Caught up in a labor dispute
Check with the Unemployment Office if you have the above or any other special circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions For Eligibility Criteria
Can I collect for voluntary termination of a job?
Yes, if the reason for leaving is justifiable and related to work or, in some circumstances, to domestic issues. Check with your state’s employment security office for clarification.
Will I qualify for unemployment if I was allowed to resign but received a severance package?
If you quit or get fired, then you are not eligible. Only hope is that you explain the situation to unemployment office (after you lose the job) and they consider your case under “good cause” provision.
If I start collecting social security does this stop my unemployment?
Unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. However, the unemployment benefit amount of an individual may be reduced by the receipt of a pension or other retirement income, including Social Security and Retirement benefits.
You should contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.
Are elected officials eligible for unemployment compensation when terminated by a different employer?
The law does not allow using some types of wages to establish claims which include working as an elected official. Hence, may not be eligible to claim the benefit.
Can I file a claim if I already lost a week’s pay from my job?
Yes, because most states pay unemployment compensation benefits based on the amount of earnings for a particular week. However, it all depends upon your weekly benefit amount and, possibly, other factors. File the claim and see.
If I was contracted to work through a company and was let go due to loss of work can I file for unemployment?
Periods of self-employment don’t generally qualify for unemployment insurance claiming, as you’re not paying into the system. The other question likely is, do you qualify based upon your earnings from ex-employment other than the self-employment income? Depending on these factors it will be decided whether you are eligible or not.
Estimate Your Base Period Using this Tool:
Select your filing month and year:
Your Base Period is:
The base period in a broader sense is the period of employment prior to losing the job. It is also referred to as base year. The base period is generally the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of the claim/unemployment. So what is a calendar quarter? Every calendar year is divided into four parts, known as “quarters”. Here are the 4 calendar quarters –
Coming to the Base Period, if the unemployment claim is filed in January, February or March of 2013, then the base period is October 2011 through September 2012.
Although the base period is defined by state unemployment agencies, the following chart explains a definition adopted by many states.
For the base period to be considered valid, the employment should be covered or insured. Covered / Insured Employment is when the employer would have contributed unemployment insurance taxes to the government. These taxes aid a worker while unemployed.
Base period helps determine the monetary eligibility, where the recipient should have earned a minimum amount in the base period to qualify for unemployment benefits. It also determines the amount of benefits a person is entitled to.
What happens if you have not worked for more than a year? You may qualify for the alternate base period. An alternate base period is the last four calendar quarters prior to unemployment. The alternate base period is not something you can choose to use. It can be used only if you cannot establish monetary entitlement using your wages in the traditional base period. This means, if you have not earned sufficient wages during your traditional base period, the state government will apply the alternate base period to the claim to determine monetary eligibility. Additional information like most recent quarter earning, proof of wages earned in the form of pay stubs and verification of wages earned during the quarter from your employer may be asked for in case of the alternate base period. Here’s a chart explaining alternate base period –
Contact your local state unemployment office to find out the exact criteria used for base period calculations before filing for unemployment. Some states are flexible with base period requirements and allow you to “borrow” from quarters outside of base period if you do not have enough credits.
If you are looking to file for unemployment benefits, please refer to the guides on the side menu or state-specific pages.