Unemployment Benefits FAQs
All unemployment claims should be filed in the state where the individual was set to be employed, so all Summer Staff and Summer Support Staff who wish to file for unemployment should submit their claim through the Georgia Department of Labor. If you have already filed an unemployment claim through a different state, that state’s DOL will contact the GDOL to obtain the necessary information in order to complete the claim. The information below is a brief overview of Unemployment Insurance Benefits and the process for how to file a claim. While individuals are not guaranteed to be eligible to claim said benefits, there is no penalty for applying. For more information, please refer to this GDOL Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook downloadable PDF.
What are Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits?
Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed through no fault of their own while seeking a new job. Unemployment Benefits help bridge the gap between jobs by replacing part of the worker’s lost income. Therefore receiving Unemployment Benefits does not replace your summer employment, rather it is built to serve as financial assistance while you are seeking a new employment opportunity for the summer (and beyond). To receive Unemployment Benefits, you must be able, available and actively searching for employment. While receiving Unemployment payments, you will be required to submit Weekly Work Search reports showing proof that you are actively looking for work on a weekly basis. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; p. 9]
Will WinShape file for UI Benefits on my behalf?
As your employer, we (WinShape Camps) are only mandated to file for Unemployment Insurance Benefits on behalf of any employees that (1) have either had their work hours reduced but are still currently working with us or (2) would continue working for us in the near future after not having work available for a short period of time.
Unfortunately, since the summer employment dates on your At-Will Agreements have not yet begun, Summer Staff and Summer Support Staff do not fall into either of the two categories above, and we will therefore not be filing on your behalf. We encourage anyone who desires to receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits to file for an Unemployment Claim via the GDOL to determine their eligibility.
Can WinShape instruct me on how to complete an Unemployment Claim?
While we as your employer will not personally be filing for an UI Benefit claim on your behalf, we hope this FAQ Page can be a resource to you as you seek to learn more about the UI Claims process. If you have any specific questions about your WinShape Camps employment status or employment dates, please feel free to reach out to us at any time via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if I’m eligible to receive UI Benefits?
Georgia law requires individuals seeking UI Benefits to meet all of the following requirements to be paid benefits:
- Sufficient Insured Wages (see below)
- Job separation from your last employer (due to no fault of your own)
- Proof of your lawful presence in the United States
- Able, available and actively searching for new employment
To meet the Insured Wage requirement, you must have earned enough insured wages during the regular base period to qualify for benefits. The regular base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters at the time you file your Unemployment Claim. Refer to the Weekly Benefit Amount Calculation in the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook to determine if you meet the wage requirement. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; pgs. 4-7; 52]
How much will I receive from UI Benefits?
An individual’s Unemployment Insurance Benefit amount is determined by the Georgia Department of Labor. Currently, the minimum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is $55/Week and the maximum WBA is $365/Week. Anyone is welcome to apply for UI Benefits, but know that you may not be found eligible to receive said benefits. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; p. 7]
How are UI Benefit payments taxed?
UI Benefits are subject to Federal & State Taxes; however, individuals who apply for an Unemployment Claim have the option to decide whether or not they would like to have the Federal & State Taxes withheld from the weekly benefit.
Unemployment Insurance payments are considered taxable income and therefore must be reported on your Federal and State Income Tax Returns. Federal Taxes are deducted at 10% and State Taxes are deducted at 6%. You can have both or either deducted from your UI benefit payments. You have two options for handling your taxes on your UI benefit payments:
- Request that the GDOL withhold Federal and/or State Taxes from your UI Benefit payments.
- If your taxable income withholding status meets the estimated payment requirements, you may make tax payments directly to the IRS.
At the end of January 2021, you will be mailed an IRS Form 1099-G which reports the UI benefits paid to you during the previous calendar year, even if you repaid your UI benefits to the GDOL. To ensure that you receive your IRS Form 1099-G, be sure to update any change of address on the GDOL website here as well as on your Employ Georgia Account here. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; p. 32-34]
How are UI Benefits paid?
Unemployment Benefits are paid by Direct Deposit or the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®. An individual can submit their direct deposit banking information on the Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payment Methods webpage here. You should also contact your bank to make sure that your bank accepts electronic fund transfers. Reference Link
How do I submit my Weekly Work Search information?
Individuals should submit their Weekly Work Search Record here. The record must show that individuals made a minimum of three new, verifiable job search contacts each week including those made in-person, online, by phone or email. These contacts generally must be made with three different employers each week. Individuals must submit a Weekly Work Search Record for every week you certify for or claim UI Benefits. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; p. 26-27]
Who should I notify when I find a new job while receiving UI Benefits?
Individuals receiving UI Benefits should contact your local career center by phone or email immediately after being hired for new employment. [Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook; p. 56]
How do I submit an Unemployment Claim?
Individuals should start their application process on the GDOL website by selecting the Apply for Unemployment Benefits. From there, select File a Claim. Only individuals who worked or earned wages in the state of Georgia in the past 2 years can file a Georgia Claim. If you reside in Georgia, you must also register for employment services at EmployGeorgia.com immediately upon filing your claim to avoid delay or denial of benefits. If you reside outside the state of Georgia and have earned Georgia wages in the past two years, contact the State Workforce Agency in your state of residence to register for employment services in the state of residence.
Information Needed to file a claim:
- Your Social Security Number.
- Your work history for the past 2 years (including the name, address, telephone number, employment dates, rate of pay, total earnings, and information about your job separation for each employer).
- WinShape Camps Employment Details
- Employer Name: WinShape Camps
- Address: 5200 Buffington Road, Atlanta, GA 30349
- Phone: Staff Development Phone Line, 844-972-2677
- Employment Dates:
- Start Date: The date you received your Onboarding Forms. If you cannot find your original Congrats! You’re Hired by WinShape Camps! email date to reference, please contact us and we can provide the date for you.
- End Date: Job Rescission Date (4/23/2020)
- Rate of Pay: If given the option to submit your rate of pay in ‘Weeks’, then submit your weekly pay rate. If you are only given the option to report your pay rate in hourly terms, divide your weekly pay rate by 40 hours to determine your hourly wage.
- Total Earnings: Your total earnings from WinShape Camps so far in 2020. If you have not received any payment from WinShape this year, your earnings would be $0.
- Job Separation Information: Job position rescinded due to COVID-19 because all in-person WinShape Camps have been cancelled for Summer 2020.
Does the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program apply to me since WinShape Camps is a non-profit?
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 nonprofits, 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.
All WinShape Camps staff who wish to apply for UI Benefits should apply to see if they are eligible to receive assistance under the PUA Program. Reference Link
How long is the Unemployment Claim application process?
The date of your claim will be based on the date and time in Georgia when the claim confirmation is issued. The final form will announce the completion of your claim filing and issue a confirmation number. Your claim will not be processed if you have not received a confirmation number. You should normally receive a written decision on whether you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits within 21 days from the date your claim is filed. If you have not received a written decision or phone call from a GDOL Claims Examiner by the 19th calendar day from the date your claim was filed, call the UI Customer Service at 404-232-3001 (Metro Atlanta) or 1-877-709-8185 (in all other areas). Reference Link
Individuals determined ineligible to be paid traditional state benefits will receive an email with instructions for filing a PUA application. Once the PUA application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility and a written determination will be released with appeal rights.
How do I check my UI Claims Status once I’ve submitted my claim?
Individuals can check the status of their claim and their UI payments at any time through the GDOL My UI website. The individual will need the following information in order to be able to login to the My UI page: Social Security Number & established 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).