Although businesses are starting to return to full capacity as more individuals receive vaccinations, many Georgians are still out of work due to the pandemic. Last year at this time, almost 400,000 individuals filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims and those claimants are now reaching the end of their benefit year.
Those who filed an individual claim and have reached the end of the 52-week period allowed for benefits will need to refile a claim to reopen his/her benefit year reporting any additional work history, including temporary, part-time, self-employment, or W-2 work. Once the new regular UI claim is processed, claimants who are unable to establish a valid regular UI claim will be placed back into the appropriate federal CARES Act program for benefits to continue.
If a claimant’s employer is filing an employer filed claim on his/her behalf and he/she reaches the end of the 52-week period, the benefit year will renew the following week when the employer requests a weekly payment for the employee. Information on benefit year ending dates can be found on the GDOL website at https://dol.georgia.gov/blog-post/benefit-year-end-bye-dates.
“This was the week last year where we saw the biggest spike in UI claims,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “The increase in claims this year is not as severe as we encountered in 2020, but the numbers are still substantially elevated from claims numbers prior to the pandemic. The good news for those still unemployed after a year is there are a record number of job listings on Employ Georgia in many different markets across the entire state.”
Today, more than 226,000 job listings are online at https://employgeorgia.com/ for Georgians to access. These listings could include multiple positions for each job indicating a much higher number of jobs available. The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs. Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at https://dol.georgia.gov/.
Last week, the GDOL dispersed over $239 million UI benefits including regular UI, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), State Extended Benefits (SEB), and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements. Since March 21, 2020, the GDOL has issued payments totaling $20,457,482,180.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year, the GDOL has processed 4,620,598 regular UI initial claims, more than the combined last nine years prior to the pandemic (4.0 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 33,623, down 5,659 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 275,481 active PUA claims.
The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 12,202, Administrative and Support Services, 3,428, Manufacturing, 2,691, Health Care, 2,143, and Retail Trade, 2,158.
The number of initial claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending April 3 was 744,000, anincrease of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 728,000.
UI benefits are taxable income and 1099-G tax forms are issued in accordance with federal law to report payments and all taxes withheld during each tax year. If you received a 1099-G tax form and did not file a UI claim yourself or your employer did not file one on your behalf, you may be the victim of UI fraud and should report the incident on the GDOL websiteat https://www.dol.state.ga.us/public/uiben/fraud/reportType. Select Report 1099 ID Theft at the bottom and follow the instructions.
If you received a 1099-G tax form and returned the benefits or wish to return the benefits, please see detailed instructions on next steps at https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/form-1099-g-tax-information.