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Georgia Unemployment Benefit Questions

Georgia Unemployment

How much is unemployment in Georgia?

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is calculated by dividing the wages from the two highest quarters in your base period by 42. In Georgia, the minimum benefit amount is $55, while the maximum weekly benefit is $365. The amount you receive depends on the total wages earned during your base period. Use the Georgia unemployment calculator to see how much you can receive.

How to apply for unemployment in Georgia?

You can apply for Georgia unemployment benefits in person at any GDOL Career Center or online using a computer with internet access. In order to file an unemployment claim online, you must have a valid email address. This email should be your personal account that only you can access. Learn more about the application process.

What disqualifies you from unemployment in Georgia?

In Georgia, you can be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if you voluntarily quit your job without a good work-related cause, or if you are terminated for misconduct or violation of company rules. 

You will also be denied benefits if you fail to meet work search requirements, refuse a suitable job offer, or become unable to work. You must answer questions honestly when filing your weekly claim. If you intentionally omit or misrepresent your eligibility, it can result in an overpayment that you are required to pay back. Committing unemployment fraud will result in a denial of benefits and possible criminal charges. 

Learn more about Georgia UI eligibility requirements.

How long can you collect unemployment in Georgia?

You can receive UI benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. In certain situations, such as a high unemployment rate, State Extended Benefits (SEB) may become available. Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance may be provided in the event of a natural disaster. Please note that assistance programs introduced during the COVID pandemic, such as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), expired in 2021 and are no longer available.

How will I receive my payments?

Payments can be made by direct deposit or debit card. The preferred method is direct deposit into your personal checking or savings account. If you do not enroll in direct deposit, payments will be deposited to your Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard which works just like a standard debit card. Payments by paper checks are no longer issued.

What is an overpayment?

The GDOL may determine that you’ve received unemployment benefits you weren’t eligible for, resulting in an overpayment. Overpayments can be classified as non-fraud or fraud. Non-fraud overpayments occur when you unintentionally receive benefits you weren’t entitled to. 

Fraud overpayments occur when you knowingly make false statements or withhold information to obtain or increase benefits. Penalties for fraud overpayments include repaying the overpaid amount, paying a penalty of up to 15% plus monthly interest, being disqualified for unemployment benefits, and other penalties. 

What are the work search requirements for Georgia unemployment?

To remain eligible for Georgia unemployment benefits, you are required to complete 3 approved work search activities each week. Keep detailed work search records in case you are audited by the GDOL.

Approved work search activities include job interviews, attending job fairs and networking events, uploading your resume to professional networking websites, and utilizing reemployment services at your local Georgia Career Center. Learn more about work requirements.

What is a base period?

In Georgia, the base period consists of the first four out of the previous five completed calendar quarters at the time of filing your claim. It is used to determine your eligibility and weekly benefit amount. If a claim cannot be established using the regular base period, an alternative base period comprising the four most recently completed calendar quarters will be used instead.

Am I eligible for benefits if I quit my job?

You may be eligible for benefits if you can demonstrate that you quit due to a valid work-related reason. However, you won’t be eligible for UI benefits if your reason for quitting was personal, even if it was a valid or compelling one. To determine your eligibility, you must file a claim, as the department cannot make a predetermination before a claim is filed.

Can I receive benefits if I was fired from my job?

If you were fired from your job, you won’t be eligible for benefits if your former employer can prove that you were fired due to failing to follow rules or due to misconduct. To confirm your eligibility after being fired, you must apply for unemployment benefits, as the GDOL can’t make a predetermination until a claim is filed.

  1. I filed for unemployment & was approved. I got my papers in the mail, and I just received the physical card in the mail. I called and activated the card, there are no funds on the card after activating it. My question is how long will it take for the funds to be uploaded and available?

    • Hi, there – the state of Georgia advises that you should expect to wait at least 21 days or more to access your weekly benefit payment once you are found eligible for UI benefits. If you’ve been filing weekly claims while your application was under review, that could move a bit faster. If you haven’t been filing weekly claims, you should begin doing so immediately.

  2. They released the hold on my funds on Tuesday and i have a GA UI debit card, when do you think my funds will be posted?

      • Hi do you work for unemployment? I have been trying for months to. Get through on phone my unemployment t just stopped 11/6 no reason they will not respond there is money sitting there I am so frustrated no $$$ for almost 5 months

  3. I quit my job due to domestic violence. I applied a month ago and was denied because Georgia didnt recognize Macys law yet. Van I reapply now that the laws have recently changed?

    • Vicky,

      UI benefits are extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

    • If its involuntary shutdown, you may be eligible.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office by calling them.

  4. I filed for unemployment on 10/29/16, my deadline was 11\15\16 for a decision but I have not heard anything, when should I know something?

  5. I am currently awaiting a decision for long-term disability. Its been over a month now since the case has been under review. will I be eligible for UI.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. If you’re able and available for work, you may speak to the Unemployment Office and apply accordingly.

  6. I have been receiving UI benefits for 3 weeks. I received a letter last week stating that my previous employer has appealed the decision. When I certified for this past week it says it wasn’t paid. Is that due to the appeal hearing coming up? I was never told that I wouldn’t receive my benefits when I found out about the appeal.

    • That is correct. Your benefits will be on hold until they pass a decision during the appeals process. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy as you will be contacted multiple times during the process. You will be required to continue filing for weekly benefits though.

  7. I applied for unemployment almost two weeks ago. I got the first letter determining my allotted weekly benefits and claimed my first week. How long does it take for the deposits to show up for direct deposit? Tomorrow will make 3rd business day since weekly claim was filed, and I am trying to figure out when I can expect to see the money in my account.

    • Well, the initial claim amount will credit the account after the waiting week. Please wait for a day or two and contact the claims center if you do not receive the monies into the account.

  8. I am returning from medical leave and my former position was filled and at this time Home Depot does not have anything for me. I have been released to full duty without restrictions. Can I get benefits while trying to find employment with Home Depot or outside of Home Depot. They just don’t have an position for me right now.

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  9. My boss gave me a separation notice that says working hours are from 7:45am to 5 pm and they have no hours after 5. Do I still qualify for unemployment?

    • If you refused to work in this shift, you will not qualify.

      Otherwise, if you were simply terminated without any reasons, you can be eligible for UI benefits.

  10. If I am receiving Military Retirement and I loose my current job after the military, am I entitle to the full unemployment benefits?

    • You should be eligible for partial benefits due to retirement income. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  11. When my job ends on 04/30/16 and I am being paid A LUMP SUM SEVERENCE, will I be able to start drawing unemployment as soon as my job ends

    • Please wait until the severance pay period is over and file after that.

      Call the Unemployment Office in your state for more information.

    • Some states do allow you to claim on the basis of dependents such as children. Not sure how it works in GA.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for precise information.

  12. My 16 weeks of unemployment just ended, what can I do now? Is there another benefit I can apply for. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • You can consider applying for Unemployment after expiry of the severance pay period. No penalty is involved.

      Please speak the labor authorities in your state for further information.

  13. I will reach mandatory retirement age for my agency next year. Will I be able to draw unemployment, while I look for other employment?

    • Please check with the labor authorities in your state.

      I guess you should be able to draw benefits as long as you’re looking for work.

  14. I recently did my application on online at the Georgia DOL but didn’t get my date to certifie.How do i find out my date to certifie if i dont get my email

  15. I was laid off in June by no fault of my own. I thought I would find a job much sooner, but I’m having trouble and was wanting to file for unemployment. Will the unemployment be “backpaid” to the date of loss?
    Thank you.

    • It will only be paid for future weeks from the time of approval.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  16. I have been unemployed since March of 2014.I received benefits 16 wks.When if ever would I Be eligible for benefits again?

  17. I am moving to Georgia and will be unemployed until I find a job-can I get unemployment benefits? How long must I have worked until in my current state to collect benefits if I am eligible.

  18. My job fired me for unsatisfactory work performance,I was getting unemployment,infill they appealed,after the hearing they reversed the decision,and now I have no income,I am appealing the decision,but what can I do,for income,I am looking for employment every day,my question is why do I have to pay anything back when I was approved by you to receive it?

    • There must be some disconnect somewhere. I agree with you on the argument that they should have not given UI and taken it back.You must be on top on the appeal and follow up for an update.

  19. I am currently pregnant due to deliver soon. I have been on my new job going on 4 months. I don’t have enough accrued time to cover leave. I must be with the company for 6 months to qualify for ST disability. Am I able to apply for unemployment benefits since I will be out of work on leave to have my baby?

    • This is a tricky situation considering your tenure in current job.You may please contact Georgia department of labor’s customer service center on (877) 709-8185 for more details on how pregnancy will affect UI compensation.

  20. I am on unemployment. If I take a short term assignment, do I have to go back to the office and re-file when the assignment ends? Also, will there be a gap in my unemployment pay after the assignment ends?


  22. If you take a week of unemployment because your job’s work is slow and that particular week happens to fall on a holiday, does my employer have to pay me for that holiday?

  23. What’s the best way to cancel your claim? I’ve filled out the online application on 10/15/13 and I’m back at work now so I don’t need it now?

  24. I am working right now and also getting Social Security. If I get laid off can I file for unemployment?
    Thank You,

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