You are more likely to be awarded unemployment benefits at your telephone hearing if you have an employment attorney representing you. Contact Rob and let him know the date of your hearing if you know when it is. Rob will contact you to schedule a preparation session before the hearing. The cost for Rob’s unemployment representation includes the telephone hearing and your preparation time.
Unemployment benefits provide temporary, partial income replacement to qualified individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Unemployment benefits are available if you meet the eligibility requirements.
You are generally eligible to receive benefits if you were let to through no fault of your own, such as a layoff, a reduction in hours not related to misconduct, or fired for reasons other than purposeful and egregious misconduct.
If you quit, you are not eligible for benefits, unless you can prove that you quit for a “good work-related reason,” such as not being paid.
To obtain unemployment benefits, you must be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work each week that you request payment of benefits.
You should apply for benefits as soon as you become unemployed.
You can apply by going to your local GDOL Career center to file an Applicant Status Affidavit. You can find the Career Center closest to you at https://dol.georgia.gov/locations/career-center
It takes about four weeks from the date you apply to know if you are eligible for benefits. The DOL uses this time to gather information on your past wages, job separation, and eligibility. They will contact your employer to get its side of the story and you need to be available when they call you for a response. Eventually, a Claims Examiner will decide whether you are eligible based on the information gathered from you and your employer. Watch your mail for the “Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits.”
If your benefits are denied, you may appeal the Claims Examiner’s determination within 15 days. You must give written notice that you disagree with the decision, and want your case decided through the appeal process. The first appeal is a telephone hearing. This is typically the point in the process where you need to get Rob involved. You and your employer may both present testimony, witnesses, and documents relevant to the case. After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will mail his or her decision on the appeal.
If you disagree with the results of the telephone hearing, further appeals are available.
Severance pay is a sum of money that an employee is eligible to receive upon separation. Employers may have a company policy to pay severance pay, or you may receive a severance payment as part of a settlement. You must report any severance pay to the Georgia DOL. Under Georgia law, you cannot receive unemployment benefits while you are receiving certain types of severance pay.