GDOL COVID-19 Information
January 16, 2021
Timeline for Continued Assistance Act (CAA)
The GDOL continues to update its system to implement the newest extensions for the Continued Assistance Act. These updates are being implemented in phases.
- Continued payments for those PUA and PEUC claimants who had NOT exhausted benefits on or before 12/26/2020 and continued to request a payment – PAYMENTS RELEASED, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Continued payments for those on SEB who had NOT exhausted benefits on or before 12/26/2020 and continued to request a payment – PAYMENTS RELEASED, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Continued payments for those who exhausted SEB on or after 12/27/2020 and were moved back to PEUC for the additional 11 weeks – PAYMENTS RELEASED, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for regular UI claimants who exhausted on or after 1/10/2021 and will move to PEUC and establish a claim for 24 weeks – Payments to release next week, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for PUA claimants who are moving to PEUC – Payments to release next week, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for SEB claimants who exhausted before 12/26/2020 and continued to request weekly payments will move to PEUC for an additional 11 weeks – Payments to release next week, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for PUA claimants who exhausted before 12/26/2020 and continued to request weekly payments – Payments to release within 14 days, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Claims for PEUC claimants who already filed an application will establish a claim for 24 weeks after their claim is processed. Eligible payments will be released after processing.
- Claims for PUA claimants who already filed an application will establish a claim for up to 50 weeks after their claim is processed. Eligible payments will be released after processing.
- Payments for PEUC claimants that have reapplied for UI due to their benefit year ending – Payments to release by mid to late February, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for SEB claimants that exhausted and have two PEUC claims from different benefit years and continued to request a weekly payment – Payments to release by mid to late February, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for SEB claimants that have exhausted and did not continue to request weekly payments. Additional application may be required. – Payments to release by mid to late February, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
- Payments for PUA claimants that have exhausted before 12/26/2020 and did not continue to request weekly payments. Additional application may be required. – Payments to release by mid to late February, including the $300 FPUC weekly supplement
Please continue to check your My UI portal for individual updates on your claim. Based on the regulations of the new legislation, your claim may be moved from one program to another, your weeks of eligibility may be extended, or your weekly benefit amount may be adjusted if you are moving from PUA to PEUC. If additional information is needed, you will be given instructions in your My UI portal. Thank you for being patient as we implement these very complicated guidelines and issue payments as quickly as possible.
PUA - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
PEUC - Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
FPUC - Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
SEB - State Extended Benefits
SEB and PEUC Update
According to federal regulations, if you set up an State Extended Benefits (SEB) claim on or before December 26th, you will receive all eligible weeks of SEB before converting to a Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC) claim. If you set up an SEB claim on December 27th or after, your claim will convert to a PEUC claim to receive the extension of 11 weeks of benefits provided in the Continued Assistance Act (CAA). If you later exhaust PEUC and SEB benefits are still available, you will be potentially eligible to receive additional benefits under the SEB program. If you received a payment for week ending 1/2/21, that payment will now show up under your PEUC claim. Please monitor your MyUI portal for additional updates.
Update on Federal Stimulus Bill
The GDOL began issuing payments for claimants for week ending January 2, 2021, as part of the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Claimants should not file a new claim if they have exhausted benefits, but should continue to request weekly payments. Claimants should also continue to request weekly payments if they are waiting on determinations on eligibility. Determinations are continuing to be issued for claimants awaiting eligibility decisions when a job separation is other than lack of work or includes other potential issues that can affect eligibility, such as receipt of severance or retirement pay, refusal to accept suitable job offers, or failure to return to work. All eligible payments will be issued when a decision on eligibility is released, including any additional weeks of benefits a claimant could potentially be eligible for with the implementation of the new program extensions.
The CAA extends the PUA program created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides UI benefits to gig workers and others not traditionally eligible for them. CAA increased the maximum amount of benefits available under the PUA program from 39 weeks to 50 weeks. The PUA program expires on March 14, 2021. This means that the last payable week for PUA is week-ending March 13, 2021. Individuals who receive a PUA payment for week-ending March 13, 2021 and have a remaining balance on their claim, may be eligible to participate in a phaseout period and may continue to collect PUA through week-ending April 10, 2021. The law also strengthens documentation requirements to ensure PUA program integrity.
Individuals determined ineligible to be paid traditional state benefits will receive an email with instructions for filing a PUA application or will find a link to the application in their My UI portal. Once the PUA application is submitted, it will be reviewed for eligibility and a written determination will be released with appeal rights. Applicants need to request payment for all eligible weeks since the closing of their business due to COVID-19. See detailed instructions on PUA.
The PEUC provides an extension to regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This extension adds 24 weeks of benefits to the end of regular unemployment benefits for those who are eligible. Claimants are potentially eligible if they have been unemployed between March 29, 2020 through March 13, 2021 and have exhausted regular state benefits after July 1, 2019. Individuals must be ineligible for state or federal benefits and able and available to work. Individuals who receive a PEUC payment for week-ending March 13, 2021 and have a remaining balance on their claim, may be eligible to participate in a phaseout period and may continue to collect PEUC through week-ending April 10, 2021. Additionally, the eligibility requirements for this program requires individuals to be able and available to work.
Additionally, the FPUC program, which initially expired July 31, 2020, is reauthorized and modified to provide $300 payment per week to supplement benefits for weeks ending Jan. 2, 2021 through March 13, 2021. FPUC is payable for each week ending date in which an individual receives at least $1 in state or federal benefits. There is no phaseout period for this program.
Your payment may not be $300 weekly if you have elected to have state/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 $300 FPUC payment will be deducted and applied to your outstanding overpayment).
The GDOL is still receiving program-specific guidelines for the following programs that will provide, in further detail, legal and programmatic guidance on certain provisions of the law, including:
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
- Funding to address fraud
The Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA), is part of President Trump's executive order to extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits.
Claimants who qualify for the LWA program are issued supplemental payments for all eligible weeks. The program period includes six weeks, which are weeks ending Aug. 1 though Sept. 5. LWA is a program that receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund. LWA allowed for the distribution of an additional $300 weekly supplement to any eligible individuals who received UI benefits from state/federal unemployment insurance programs.
State Extended Benefits (SEB), is an extension of benefits that occurs when a state meets the unemployment rate threshold for a designated period. Georgia became eligible to pay SEB May 10, 2020. However, the first payable week ending date (WED) was July 4, 2020 based on the first payable WED of PEUC was April 4, 2020 for 13 weeks. As of July 5, 2020, Georgia began a high unemployment period in the Extended Benefits program increasing the maximum potential entitlement for claimants to 20 weeks. On Oct. 11, 2020, due to a decrease in the unemployment rate, we began a low unemployment period and decreased the maximum potential entitlement for claimants back to 13 weeks.
To qualify for SEB, individuals must have:
- Exhausted all rights to regular UI under state law;
- Ineligibility for regular UI in another state or Canada;
- Established a qualifying UI claim (with respect to the regular UI claim that exhausted);
- Exhausted PEUC;
- No disqualifications preventing SEB eligibility;
- At least one week in the benefit year that begins on or after May 10, 2020, beginning of the SEB eligibility period.
The requirements for SEB are the same as regular UI benefits. The individual's eligibility is determined by the separation from the most recent employer. Employers submitting employer filed claims are automatically the most recent employer. Additionally, the eligibility requirements for this program requires individuals to be able and available to work.
Individuals meeting the SEB requirements, as shown above, will be notified in writing of the program availability and an SEB Statement of Potential Benefit Amounts will be posted to the My UI page.
Employer Filed Claims
PEUC (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation)
PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance)
This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who will not qualify for state unemployment benefits.