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Georgia Unemployment Eligibility

Georgia Unemployment

Georgia Unemployment Eligibility Calculator

eligibility_img Unemployment Eligibility Calculator Previous

Georgia unemployment benefits provide essential financial assistance for many unemployed workers. The program is available to eligible workers who have experienced job loss through no fault of their own.

To determine eligibility, factors such as wages, work search requirements, and suitable work are considered. Georgia unemployment insurance provides a weekly benefit amount to support unemployed workers as they navigate the job market. By understanding the eligibility requirements, unemployed Georgia workers can get support during times of financial hardship.

How to qualify for Georgia unemployment benefits

Under Georgia law, individuals must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

  • You’ve earned sufficient insured wages
  • You’re unemployed due to no fault of your own
  • You are able to work
  • You are available to work
  • You are actively searching for suitable work
  • You are a United States citizen or authorized to work in the state of Georgia

Wage Requirements

To qualify for benefits, you must have earned enough insured wages during the base period. The regular base period includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters when you file your claim.

Base Period

Base Period

If your claim can’t be established with the regular base period, the alternative base period will be used, which consists of the last four completed calendar quarters when you file your claim.

To meet the wage requirements, you must:

  • Have insured wages in at least two quarters of the base period
  • Earn at least $1,134 in the two highest quarters in the base period
  • Have total insured wages during the base period equal to at least one and one-half times your highest quarter of earnings

Alternate Calculation

If the only reason you don’t qualify for benefits is that your total wages aren’t equal to one and one-half times the highest quarter of wages, an Alternate Calculation will be used. With the Alternate Calculation, your weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing the highest quarter of wages by 21. You must have wages earned in at least two quarters of the base period, and your total wages must be at least 40 times the weekly benefit amount.

At present, the minimum WBA is $55, and the maximum WBA is $365. You can estimate your weekly benefit amount using the Georgia unemployment calculator.

Work Requirements

To receive benefits, you must be able, available, and actively looking for work. You’ll need to provide proof that you’re searching for work when you file your weekly claim. You are required to seek and accept all suitable work.

To meet work availability and work search requirements, you must:

  • Register for Employment Services through Employ Georgia.
  • Be physically able to perform work, even if it’s not in your regular field.
  • Be available to work.
  • Actively search for suitable work each week
  • Complete verifiable job search activities on three or more days each week.
  • Keep detailed records of your work search activities.
  • Accept all referrals from the GDOL for suitable work.
  • Accept all offers of suitable work from employers.
  • When filing your weekly claim, report any job offer refusals – even if you believe the work was not suitable.
  • Report to your local Career Center when instructed by the GDOL.

To receive benefits, you must meet all availability and work search requirements each week. Your work search record may be subject to random audits by the GDOL at any time.

You will be denied benefits for any week when you don’t meet these requirements. It’s important to be completely honest and provide full information. If you make false statements or misrepresent facts, that is considered Georgia unemployment fraud. You’ll be responsible for repaying benefits and may be subject to fines and criminal charges.

Employ Georgia

Registering with Employ Georgia is necessary for all individuals requesting unemployment benefits. The registration process includes setting up an account, which must include your Social Security number. You will be asked to upload a resume and make it searchable by employers.

Your Employ Georgia account will become inactive after 6 months. If your account becomes inactive, you can reactivate it and renew your employment services registration by simply logging in at

Job Separation

Your eligibility to receive benefits is based on the reason you separated from your most recent employer. Your former employer will be contacted to verify the reason for your job separation.

You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. This means that you are disqualified if you were fired for misconduct or if you quit without good cause.

Can I quit my job and still qualify for UI benefits?

If you quit your job, you might still be eligible for benefits if you can demonstrate that you left due to a valid work-related reason. “Good cause” reasons may include significant changes in working conditions, alterations in the work agreement, nonpayment for work, a hostile work environment, and similar issues. However, if your reason for quitting was personal, even if it was a strong or compelling reason, you won’t be able to draw benefits.

The only way to determine your eligibility is to apply for Georgia unemployment benefits. The department cannot predetermine your eligibility before a claim is filed.

What if I got fired?

If you were fired from your job, you may not be able to receive benefits. Your former employer must demonstrate that you were dismissed for failing to follow rules, orders, or instructions, or due to misconduct at work. You should apply for UI benefits so the GDOL can make an official determination.

Suitable Work

You must be willing to accept work that is similar to your last job, as long as there is a reasonable expectation of obtaining that type of work.

The suitability of a job depends on the duration of your unemployment. As your unemployment period increases, you are expected to adjust your employment expectations regarding earnings, working conditions, job duties, and prior training or experience.

After 10 weeks of collecting benefits, you must be willing to accept an hourly wage that is at least 66% of the average hourly wage you earned during the highest quarter of your base period.

However, the new hourly wage must be at least the minimum wage established by state and federal law. Failure to apply for suitable work could result in a loss of benefits and/or repayment of benefits you’ve already received.

Refusing a job offer

When the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) refers you to suitable work or an employer offers you suitable work, you must apply for the job as instructed or accept the job offer.

If you refuse to accept suitable work, you must report your refusal to the GDOL when requesting your weekly payment. GDOL will determine if there was good cause to refuse the work.

Here are some examples of when you are allowed to refuse a job offer:

  • The position became available due to a strike.
  • The job paid less than minimum wage.
  • The wages were substantially lower than prevailing wages for similar work in the area.
  • You would be required to join a union or resign from a union as a condition of hire.

The GDOL will determine whether the reason for your job separation meets the requirements for unemployment insurance benefits.

Eligibility Determination

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will assess your application for benefits and make two determinations regarding your claim:

  • Unemployment Insurance Benefit Determination
  • Claims Examiner’s Determination

The first determination informs you whether you have enough insured wages to establish a valid claim. The letter will include information about your base period wages, potential weekly benefit amount, and the number of weeks you can potentially receive benefits.

How long will benefits last?

Currently, you can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks. Sometimes, State Extended Benefits (SEB) are available when the unemployment rate is too high. When there is a natural disaster, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Expired programs that were helpful during the COVID pandemic include Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). These benefit programs ended in 2021.

If you think the wages shown on your determination letter are incorrect or incomplete, you can request that your claim be reconsidered. A request for reconsideration of wages must be submitted in writing to your career center within 15 days of the date on the Unemployment Insurance Benefit Determination.

Currently, the minimum benefit amount is $55, and the maximum benefit amount is $365.

For claims filed between July 1 and December 31, Georgia uses the seasonally adjusted Unemployment Insurance (UI) rate from the previous April. For claims filed between January 1 and June 30, Georgia uses the seasonally adjusted UI rate from the previous October. Check the Maximum Unemployment Benefits chart for additional details.

Determination of the Maximum Benefit Period
Unemployment Rate Adjusted seasonallyMaximum Number of Weeks
Less than or equal to 4.5%14 weeks
Greater than 4.5%, up to 5.0%15 weeks
Greater than 5.0%, up to 5.5%16 weeks
Greater than 5.5%, up to 6.0%17 weeks
Greater than 6.0%, up to 6.5%18 weeks
Greater than 6.5%, up to 7.00%19 weeks
Greater than 7.0%, up to 7.5%20 weeks
Greater than 7.5%, up to 8.0%21 weeks
Greater than 8.0%, up to 8.5%22 weeks
Greater than 8.5%, up to 9.0%23 weeks
Greater than 9.0%, up to 9.5%24 weeks
Greater than 9.5%, up to 10.0%25 weeks
10% or above26 weeks

Claims Examiner’s Determination

You will receive a determination notifying you if you qualify for unemployment benefits based on your reason for job separation, your availability for work, and other eligibility requirements under Georgia law.

It can take up to 21 days to receive the Claims Examiner’s Determination.

If you are disqualified

If you are deemed ineligible for benefits, you can file an appeal. You have 15 days from the notification date to request an appeal. Be sure to keep filing weekly claims during the appeal process. This way you can collect back pay if you win your appeal. Read our Georgia UI Appeals Guide to learn more.

  1. I’ve worked for a restaurant for 9 months working over 40 hrs a week with no disaplenary issues or write up, then all of of sudden he starts hiring more ppl, a lot of ppl and weeding thru them, then all of a sudden my hrs were cut down to 15-25 hrs, I asked if I had done anything wrong he replied with no you are 1 of the hardest workers here and said hang with him that we was trying to figure some things out, and each week for the past 8 weeks has said it would get better, and then out of no where said that I had been late , and that I’m basically not doing a good Job, which is absolutely not true,and also during this time I have been paid cash for 4-5 weeks that he said he took taxes out but refused to tell me how that was done and will not give me a read out on what I’ve been paying out in taxes,and then the last 2 weeks I’ve been paid by check and still no read out on taxes paid out of check, also I have been threatened and harassed by one of the new girls I’ve gone to both him and our HR person and nothing has been done about this situation and continue to have to work with this girl, in which is now working 40 hrs plus, I will not quit, and he has yet to fire me, he’s just keeping my hrs ridiculously low, can I receive UI benefits,

  2. My fiance lost his job through no fault of his and qualified for unemployment. He immediately took another job and was laid off after two months through no fault of his own. Did taking the additional job that ended disqualify him for unemployment?

    • Hi, James – your fiance should still be eligible for UI benefits for the job he recently lost, as long as he meets all eligibility criteria. He should be able to reopen his claim for benefits and adjust the details to incorporate his most recent employment.

  3. Company is eliminating retirement healthcare benefits if not retiring by end of the year which is valued at a substantial benefit (~$1400/mo). Will I qualify for unemployment if I retire early to keep this benefit?

  4. I am on vacation this week and found out today I have a job offer that I decided to take. Turning in notice tomorrow but planning on working 2 weeks when I return back to work. If they terminate me will I be eligible for unemployment?

      • Hi, Julie – a lot depends on the specific circumstances of your move. Typically, you must have lost employment through no fault of your own in order to draw benefits; however, there are some rare cases where you can be eligible for benefits, even if you quit your job. For example, if you quit to move in order to care for a sick relative or to follow a military spouse, you may be eligible for benefits. Your best bet is to contact someone directly with the Georgia unemployment office, who can walk through the specifics of your claim with you.

  5. I broke my leg in a car accident and have now been out of work for nearly 6 weeks. My doctor recommended not returning to work in November which will be almost six more weeks I didn’t get any documents to verify this with my employer. I have been on the job for almost 2 years now and they have been supportive. Will I qualify for UI benefits?

    • Shanna,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as medical conditions are not considered. Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. I worked at my job for about 11 months. I became homeless and had to move from Atlanta to another city (in GA) I told my supervisor that I had to quit because I have no where to live. Will I get benefits

    • Joe,

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

  7. Received separation letter today stating Associate was terminated at employment at will,have 2 week notice,will I qualify for UI

    • Tammy,

      If the reason for separation was involuntary (such as layoffs), you can claim UI benefits until you find employment.

  8. So I was on a vacation and when I returned I had a meeting with my employers and they didn’t allow me to return to work because “they didn’t want to create an unhealthy work environment” because a person voiced personal issues with me (non work related things) while I was away. I was then attempted to be convinced that me returning at this time would possible cause issues. I texted the gm today wanting clarification on if I was returning or not, she then told me it was indefinitely until the situation changed. I did nothing work related to cause this and I was a manager that had been there a year and a half.

    How should I word this when I call?
    And am I likely to receive compensation.

    • I work an hour and half from home because we were consistently getting 55-60 hours. About a month ago it dropped to only 40. I kept this job because of the extended hours available but now they are gone. eEven at 40 with a 3 hour drive it’s tough to find anything else. Would I qualify for partial?

    • Zac,

      You can word the situation just the way you did here. It looks like you have been asked to leave without proper justification which is not voluntary. You should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  9. Was using my GI bill, then sent for 17 week training by National Guard. Do I qualify for benefits until I can get back in school?

  10. edit – When I said I wasn’t suspended for the next 3 days, I should’ve added they said they would’ve let me know when those 3 days were. So, apparently I was still suspended, it was just whenever they took a notion to do so.

  11. I was late to work twice due to my son’s father having committed suicide. The 2nd time I was late I was told I was suspended for 3 days. So I went home. Then I was told I wasn’t suspended for the next 3 days, due to being short on help at the time. But then I was fired because they said I left my job, when I left because I thought I was suspended. Can I still claim benefits?

    • Donna,

      I am sorry to hear about the loss. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Unfortunately, personal issues are not considered.

  12. I was terminated from my job, for so they claim. breaking a rule. which I feel as tho. I should have just gotten a write up. they gave me separation notice to take to unemploymemt office. will I be able to claim. I sure hope so. I have bills piling up and a 4 year old. I’ve been claiming for last two weeks. it seems as tho I have the funds. I got my unemployment card and set it up. no payment yet. waiting for final determination. how much longerwill I have to wait. I first applied 7/25/17. any answers please let me know. thanks much

  13. Been working for the same company for four years. Company now under new ownership. They recently announced a reduction in pay and benefits. If I quit am I eligible for unemployment

    • 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 for further details.

  14. Details: eligible for UI after being laid off after 7 yrs. Got an 8 week severance in which I couldn’t claim UI for those 2 mo. Started another job for a couple of weeks but the job isn’t as it was described to me prior and may need to resign. Will I be able to go back and claim UI from first employer since I started and collected pay from the second?

    • If you resign voluntarily, you will not qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  15. I was in the Army, due to downsizing I was forced out. I’m in the process of moving back to Georgia, would I qualify for unemployment once I get situated there?

  16. I have certified for 3 weeks, then I call and said a decision has been made. Now when I check the status all the weeks I’ve claimed are gone? Any ideas.

  17. I was partners in an llc. my partner decided to close the business. I was not able to by the portion. Can I collect because I drew a paycheck every month.
    Also if I quit a job after 4 hrs of work because I would not preform the job due to an injury can I collect unemployment.

    • Well, voluntary reasons are not generally considered.

      Since this is state specific, you may want to call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm and apply accordingly.

    • Well, as long as it’s not voluntary and you continue seeking employment, you should be able to qualify for UI benefits.

      You may call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  18. My wife has just started Workinng for a hotel she is also currently pregnant…. She hasnt worked 3 months an is being told she cant collect unemployment. The hotel is about to under new management and they will be giving her a seperation notice. Will she be able too collect unemployment .

  19. Can I get unemployment benefits if I am not able to work because of medical issues, even though its temporary, like 4 to 6 weeks?

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

  20. I was currently in the middle of an intermediate leave claim when I was fired for my absence due to my child’s disabilities. Can I still get unemployment

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

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may further check with the Unemployment Office.

  21. My boss found out that I am a homosexual. I have was fired and the reason was because I am a homosexual. Do I qualify for unemployment?

    • This is discriminatory. I don’t think they can fire you for personal reasons.

      Please consider filing for Unemployment Benefits and keep supporting evidence handy if your employer disputes.

  22. I am separating from the military through a medical discharge. I have a job set up for when I get out but I would not be starting it for a month after I ETS. Would I be eligible for unemployment for that month?

  23. My husband are partners in an LLC doing business as an S Corp. He does the physical work, heavy equipment, and I take care of the office. If he becomes unable to work due to sickness or injury, or if he retires, will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Not sure if the employer can themselves claim.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state for further information in this regard.

  24. As of March 1st, two of my part time jobs will be ending. The third one will be my only source of income, and its only $400 a month. Am I eligible for unemployment claims if I am underemployed?

    • Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this site to determine eligibility.

      Also call the Unemployment Office in your state to check if you are eligible with various part time jobs.

  25. I recently moved from Florida to GA because I was offered a job here and since I had accommodation in GA and no longer have accommodation in FL, I took the job offer. After moving here and ready to start job, I am now told that they had to freeze the position and the job is no longer available after I resigned my job in Florida. I also work at the previous job for 10 months for 29 hours a week which might be part time.

    Could I be eligible for draw unemployment and if so what documents do I need to show.

    • You should be able to apply without any hassles.

      Please call the claims center for further information on the documentation front.

  26. My company recently sold out to another company and the new company completely changed my job. I am in sales and they sent me to a week of training and my pay in now completely based on sales. The company has given me nothing to be able to do my job ie. no testing kits needed to test product, no brochures, no uniforms that are supposed to be supplied etc. If I quit because of these reasons and cannot make sales due to these can I receive unemployment? Also, I have gone to my boss numerous times inquiring about supplies and it has been weeks and still have not received any.

    • Unfortunately, quitting voluntarily will go against you. You may not qualify.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  27. I just want to know about something. I recently last Friday lost my job, it was nothing of my fault my manager got mad at me, it wasn’t my fault or misconduct. Am I still able to receive unemployment. I wasn’t offered my job back but I honestly don’t think I would go back I didn’t quit though.

    • If it was not your fault and the exit was as per company policy, please consider applying for Unemployment Insurance until the time you find a job.

  28. I have worked from april 2015 – September 2015, and my contract willnot be renewed, do I qualify for unemp benefits. Total taxable wages paid – 18,888

    • Contract employees are generally not eligible. Please check further with the Unemployment Division of the labor dept in your state.

  29. I moved to Georgia from Mississippi. I was offered a job as a teacher with a high school. When I got here, I was told that I was not able to take the position through no fault of my own. I signed up as a Substitute teacher but was only able to work one day during the last pay period because I was entered late into the system. My check for August 31st was 85.00. I worked as a teacher in Jackson. MS for eight years before moving here. Am I eligible for unemployment from MS?

    • Please call the labor authorities in GA to check if you can apply from there.

      Generally, claimants apply from the state of last employment.

  30. I have worked part time for the same company for over three years. In May it was purchased by another company and after 3 months my hours were cut, now they are going to be cut again – from my original 24 to 10 hours, can I collect unemployment?

    • Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

      Part time employment is generally not considered.

  31. I worked for 5-6 years for the same company with no raises, loss of benefits, company struggling, so I found a new job. Almost 90 days into the job they decided this newly created position was working the way they wanted, and so terminated me yesterday with a letter saying it was no fault of mine. Can I apply for unemployment?

    • I worked with this company for four years the last two I worked in a separate warehouse in Patterson ga corporate office was in Conyers ga I was a team leader for two years without supervision they installed cameras with audio and eavesdrop on my conversation with another employee and continue to do it and I was frustrated about the lies they me for 2 years I was never verbally or written reprimanded all my evaluations we’re really good then one with no reason they called me in and told me if I didn’t step down and move to the other warehouse and be janitor which I stepped down out of fear of being fired but my mind couldn’t handle it I went to management several times about it they didn’t listen so I told them I was going to corporate to file a complaint against them soon as I left I got a message that they accepted my resignation and I was prohibited from going to corporate property I filed unemployment they haven’t responded in ten days I recorded the meeting and I recorded the conversation when I told them I wasn’t quitting but I was going to file a complaint I called the manager over hr and asked him what was the reason for separation and he said he couldn’t find it

      • John,

        It must be quite an ordeal! Please note UI benefits are generally provided to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of theirs (involuntary separation). I suggest you call the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  32. Hello, I was wondering if you qualify for unemployment if you worked for a company for almost 11 months full time plus many weeks of overtime,to find out that you are not able to file taxes with that company? There are no check stubs or anything but the person has all hours recorded on paper.
    Thanks, Paige

    • if person you worked for payed you CASH with no cheack stub tells me the put you down as tax write off at end of year sounds like you up the creek …. unless they willing to give you statement of your wages earned every quarter

    • Please provide more details on the application.The best thing you can do is to contact the claims center of the Labor department in your state for an accurate update on status.

  33. I am working part time 4-8 hours A week……earned less then $1000 (971$) since august 2013
    should i qualify for unemployement benefits or other kind of benefits?

  34. As a practice my employer submits claims for employees whenever we qualfy for benifits. A claim has bee filed but I have not received any benifits or explaination for not being awarded the benifit.

    • Please check with your employer first.They would have access to “status” of your claim.If they have not received any update from the state labor department,you may with the consent of the employer, speak to the claims center directly for an update.

  35. I received the max 99 weeks unemployment benefits during 2009 thru 2011. I have been employed continuously since May 2011, but fear a lay off. Will I be eligible for benefits in 2014? I only make $27,500 per year. What wuold my benefits be?

  36. I recently quit my job because of co worker cussing and yelling at me. I had a prior situation with same co worker and went before manager and
    supervisor. They both drilled me with issues. I was unable to express my side of story. I id not want to go thru that again so I quit. Might I receive benefits.

  37. Hello, I was recently released from my job due to the fmla procedure not being followed. I was told by my supervisor that my information was fine and there were no issues. 6 months later she advised me that the information was not correct and could not be used, thus leading to attendance impacts. Will I be eligible for unemployment? Also, I am going to start a Mary Kay Cosmetics business, would that be considered self employment from the date I sign up or until I get things started?

  38. Hello, I am a Georgia resident, but have been working overseas for about13 years as a contractor with department of state. I have just been informed that my contract will not be renewed when it expires in December. Can you tell me if I would be eligible for unemployment insurance? Thank you, bob olson

    • I have been medically excused by a doctor to stay home for 2 weeks, and was fired after 10 days. Also, my employer has been approved for the small business loan. So salaries have dropped along with the desintegration of monthly-comission checks. Will I qualify for unemployment?

    • Often when someone is a contractor, they are self employed and probably not covered for unemployment insurance. However, the term contractor is sometimes used “incorrectly” – the ‘department of state’ should be able to tell you if any unemployment taxes were paid on your behalf.

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