ATLANTA - Unemployment figures are still rising in the state, but it’s expected to level off soon.
On May 14rth, the Georgia Department of Labor had issued $2.4 billion in state and federal benefits in the last eight weeks. But, if you are feeling left out because you aren’t getting money, this is probably why.
The bulk of the benefit requests right now are from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, PUA. That is for 1099, gig, and contract workers. These are folks who are not traditionally covered by unemployment insurance. That’s good. But there’s the problem.
Please read this: 50 percent of the people who apply for PUA don’t finish the process. Yes, again, 50 percent of people who apply for PUA don’t request payment. That’s why your checks are not in the mail.
This is on my Facebook page in a few places and clearly written out on the Georgia DOL page. There are two places to file for unemployment. There is a page for traditional unemployment, and a separate page for certifying payment requests for PUA.
FPUC, the Federal Unemployment Pandemic Compensation, is a $600 gift from the feds. It’s an automatic payment if you received at least $1 from state or federal benefits. Don’t call in and ask about it. You don’t have to do anything to get it. Again, it’s automatic.
Ok, here’s an advancement in software. Pre pandemic, when you were laid off that didn’t usually turn into permanent release. But now it often is. The computer system wasn’t designed for that.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler explains.
“In the past, there wasn’t a tool because there was such a small number. They would just have to do an individual claim and start that all over. One of the things we are doing now is the ability to automatically switch those individuals over.”
The software will automatically switch you from an employer-led claim to an individual claim. They are working with a few companies now to test out the software.