Georgia Department of Labor Employer Update
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act
Tips for Filing Successfully
- You must file your claims each week for benefits to be paid to your employees. Your employees do not request their weekly payments. Do not file subsequent claims less than 7 days after the week ending date (WED) of the previous week’s claims. Claims submitted for a WED that is less than 7 days after the previous week’s WED will not be paid.
- You must use the GDOL Excel template for multi-claim upload. Do NOT alter the template.
- You cannot submit claims for a future WED. The earliest you can file is the 8th day after the previous WED.
- Verify employees’ earnings for other employment and report combined gross earnings for each WED submitted, if applicable. Failure to do so could result in an overpayment.
- Enter the employees’ names as First Name Last Name. The first name must be entered first to match their GDOL wage record.
- Try to limit the Mailing Street Address to 25 characters. Do not use periods when abbreviating. Use # instead of “Apt.”
- If you answer “Yes” to the question “Did the employee earn at least $7,300 in your employ?”, do NOT enter an amount in Question 15 on Single Entry or Column R on the Excel spreadsheet.
- If you answer “No” to the question “Did the employee earn at least $7,300 in your employ?” enter the amount as four (4) characters, disregarding cents.
- Enter the employee’s gross weekly earnings in Question 16 on Single Entry or Column S on the Excel spreadsheet as five (5) characters with the last two (2) characters representing cents. Example: earnings are $125.75, enter as 12575. If the employee earned $1,000 or more during the week, enter 99999 ($999.99).
- Report all gross earnings, including any earned from another employer. Earnings over $50 will be deducted dollar for dollar from your employee’s benefit payment for weeks ending on or before March 28, 2020. Earnings over $300 will be deducted from the benefit payment for weeks ending April 4, 2020 or later.
- if you make an error on a claim, resubmit the claim for the individual as soon as possible with the corrected information.
What to Tell Your Employees
- Email the link to the COVID-19 Individual FAQs to your employees and review it yourself to help answer their questions.
- When you file the first week of claims, they will receive a Georgia Way2Go Debit MasterCard® within 7-10 days loaded with their first payment, unless they have direct deposit information on file with GDOL from a previous claim within the last 18 months.
- After the first week of claims, they can expect payment within 24-48 hours of you submitting their weekly claims.
- Do NOT tell your employees to claim their weekly benefits with GDOL. You are claiming their weekly benefits for them by filing each week.
- They can create a PIN online using UI Benefit Payment Methods after their claim is processed by GDOL.
- They can check the status of their claim and payments using My UI (Check My UI Claim Status). Their PIN is required.
- They can enroll in direct deposit using Benefit Payment Methods.
- They cannot enroll in direct deposit until AFTER the first claim is processed by GDOL.
- They can reset their PINs using Reset Your PIN
- They are exempt from work search requirements.
- eliminating mail delivery.
- ensuring complete information is provided the first time.
- reducing the need for phone calls.
- reducing paper handling, staff time, and postage costs.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, or FPUC, provides an additional $600 weekly payment to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs – State and Federal. The GDOL will begin sending this additional payment to those currently receiving state unemployment benefits beginning this week. This supplement will be an additional payment to regular weekly state unemployment benefits and will include all eligible weeks beginning with the week ending 4/4/2020. Your payment may not be $600 weekly if you have elected to have state and federal taxes deducted. Federal taxes are deducted at 10% and state taxes at 6%. Unemployment benefits are taxable income. Other deductions may include court-ordered or voluntary child support or repayment of an UI overpayment (one-half of your $600 FPUC payment will be deducted and applied to your outstanding overpayment).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them.
This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits 501C3s, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits. The GDOL has modified its current online unemployment application adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA. These individuals must be determined not to be eligible to receive state benefits before being evaluated for federal PUA benefits.
The first step is for the individual to file a regular state unemployment claim application, where you will be asked questions about your employment and wages for the last 18 months. The application for regular state unemployment benefits will be reviewed by GDOL and a written determination of eligibility will be released within 21 days.
The new federal PUA program is still under development and must be built from scratch to allow verification of wages. Once the programming is completed, individuals determined to not be eligible to be paid regular state benefits will receive an email with instructions for filing a PUA application. The GDOL has partnered with the Georgia Department of Revenue to help verify wages, subject to approval from the applicant. Emails should begin to go out to applicants potentially eligible for PUA on April 22, 2020.
Once the PUA application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility and a written determination will be released with appeal rights. See detailed instructions on PUA.
Individuals who have already filed a claim with the GDOL and determined not eligible for state unemployment benefits and may be potentially eligible to receive benefits under this program, do NOT have to refile a regular state claim. Once development of the new federal PUA program is completed, these individuals will be identified and will receive notification by email with a link to the application or mail containing information regarding the PUA application process.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, or PEUC, allows for up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances. The GDOL recently received the guidelines on PEUC from the USDOL and is working quickly to develop and implement the new PEUC system. Individuals potentially eligible for this program will be identified and sent notification with PEUC claim filing instructions.
Read about the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) ACT
Source: Georgia Department of Labor.