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The current COVID-19 pandemic had led states to implement rules increasing worker access to unemployment benefits. The State of Georgia has followed suit to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs with the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) temporarily suspending in-person requirements and issuing specific guidelines for businesses. This blog will walk you through these requirements, how to file for partial unemployment claims on behalf of your employees and what to do if you need help.
Overview of the Unemployment Emergency Rule
Emergency Rules effective on March 16, 2020, and adopted on March 19, 2020, state that Georgia employers are responsible for filing partial claims online on behalf of their employees if they have found it necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or if they have no work available for a short period of time.
If an employer fails to follow the rules, their Unemployment Insurance (UI) Account will be charged for any related partial unemployment claims. If an employee files an unemployment claim (i.e., they have been let go with no expectation of coming back), the employer’s UI account is also charged for benefits paid.
This Emergency Rule issued by GDOL has been adopted to facilitate timely payments of unemployment benefits for weeks beginning on March 15, 2020, and will remain in effect for a period of 120 days unless stated otherwise.
How employers and workers can file claims
The process is relatively straightforward, and claims may be uploaded via the Employer Portals on the GA Department of Labor Website or via the links listed below.
Claims may be filed as a Multi-Claim Upload or a Single Claim Entry, depending on the number of employees you have. The DOL provides a template that may be accessed on your Employer Portal after you have logged into your employer account.
The links below provide further instructions and answer many of the questions you may have regarding this process:
- Employer Filed (Partial) Claims Filing Instructions
- Employer Filed Claims Desk Aid
- Contact Points for Reemployment Services
In the event you do not have to submit claims for employees – see Employer Filed (Partial) Claims Filing Instructions above for eligibility – the links below will assist your employees on filing on their own:
- Step-by-Step Instructions for Employees on How to File an Unemployment Claim
- Unemployment Claim Application Form for Employees
What if my business needs help filing claims?
This is a difficult time for businesses. Most are focused on developing a short-term cash flow plan and staying afloat. Moore Colson is available to assist companies with filing partial unemployment claims and will continue to provide you with practical advice and insights on how to minimize the impact of this crisis and better position your business for a quick rebound. Please click here to contact us or call us at 770-989-0028 if you need help.
Heidi Harris is a Manager in Moore Colson’s Corporate Accounting Practice. Heidi provides over 20 years of operational and accounting experience in the hospitality industry and works with clients who need assistance with their month-end close activities, account reconciliations, and financial reporting.