The national story that aired on ABC Nightly News on Wednesday does not reflect the state of Georgia’s handling of unemployment insurance claims for furloughed federal workers. The network did not contact the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) for information prior to releasing their story. If they had, they would have learned that Georgia has established a task force to process claims for federal employees. The volume of claims has not created a workload issue. The GDOL task force has processed over 2,400 claims.
“I understand the difficult position the shutdown has put these federal workers in,” said Commissioner Mark Butler. “We are making sure all claims are processed quickly and paid appropriately.”
It does not take 30 days for claimants to receive payments.
Since the federal government does not report quarterly wages to the state as is required of Georgia employers, federal agencies only provide wages upon request. Per federal statute, GDOL must notify federal agencies of each claim filed and allow 12 days for them to provide wages and separation information. In the absence of a response, the state can establish the claim on the thirteenth day based on the information provided by the claimant.
“We have more than 40 career centers all over the state and a dedicated Federal Claims Task Force,” said the commissioner. “My team is ready to serve.”