GDOL Continues Phased Implementation Of Continued Assistance Act

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Georgia Department of Labor issued over $223 million last week to Georgians as the agency continues to implement the multiple phases of the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 providing extended benefits for claimants on PEUC and PUA.  The payments included benefits for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), State Extended Benefits (SEB), and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments.  

The GDOL is continuing to develop and implement the system changes needed to reprogram our UI system to issue payments to those eligible for the 11-week extensions provided by the CAA based on US Department of Labor requirements.  The additional requirements must be integrated into the GDOL systems before eligible payments can be released.  These requirements include additional proof of employment and self employment verification for PUA claimants, increased identification verification requirements, job refusal and failure to return to work reporting capabilities, additional fraud detection tools, and additional changes to the PEUC & PUA programs. The GDOL has already issued payments without interruption for those who had not exhausted PUA and PEUC benefits and continued to request weekly payments.  The agency anticipates payments for claimants who exhausted benefits to begin within the next two weeks in a phased implementation as program changes are completed.  

“Our IT and UI teams are working around the clock to implement the new guidelines that include complex requirements and programming,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “The complexity of some of the additional specifications are challenging to program and will be an increased burden, not only on our UI staff, but to claimants, as well. They could’ve done this in a more simplified manner with more input from the states.”

The GDOL continues to update its website and social media platforms with up to date information on the implementation of the CAA and next steps for claimants.  This week, the agency posted updates on the extension of benefits showing in a claimant’s My UI portal and the conversion of some SEB claims back to PEUC claims. The GDOL encourages claimants to continue to request weekly payments for those who have exhausted benefits or are waiting on determinations on eligibility. Determinations are continuing to be issued for claimants awaiting eligibility decisions when a job separation is other than lack of work or includes other potential issues that can affect eligibility, such as receipt of severance or retirement pay, refusal to accept suitable job offers, or failure to return to work. All eligible payments will be issued when a decision on eligibility is released, including any additional weeks of benefits a claimant could potentially be eligible for with the implementation of the new program extensions.  

The GDOL continues to combat attempts of fraud and, this week, worked to have a fraudulent Facebook page removed that was targeting claimants asking for personal information.  The agency immediately posted a warning on its social media platforms about the fraudulent page and reminded claimants to always protect personal information. The agency will never ask claimants for full social security numbers or copies of personal documents through any social platform.  A claimant has the capability of uploading documentation directly into his/her My UI portal to avoid the risk of a personal information falling into the wrong hands. 

The GDOL has paid over $17 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year. Since week ending March 21, 2020, 4,269,330 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the nine years prior to the pandemic combined (4.0 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 37,039, up 5,581 over the week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 346,248 PUA claims have been processed. 

The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Manufacturing, 8,582, Accommodation and Food Services, 6,682, Administrative and Support Services, 4,595, Health Care and Social Assistance, 3,011, and Retail Trade, 2,206.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending Jan. 9, was 965,000, an increase of 181,000 from the previous week's revised level of 784,000.
Today, over 169,000 jobs are listed online at EmployGeorgia.com for Georgians to access.  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 dol.georgia.gov.  

For more information on jobs and current labor force date, visit the Georgia Labor Force Market Explorer at www.explorer.gdol.ga.gov to view a comprehensive report.


New And Used Vehicle Sales Rise In June

Jobs4TN.gov System Still Down; Officials Hope To Restore The System Before The July 4th Holiday

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events July 4-8


New vehicle sales in Hamilton County rose in June to 1,030, and used vehicle sales rose to 4,475, according to figures from the County Clerk's office. That compares to 1,336 new vehicles sold ... (click for more)

Since Sunday, June 25, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has been working with Geographic Solution, Inc., the vendor that operates Jobs4TN.gov, to navigate a system outage at ... (click for more)

July 5, Chamber Member Orientation 8:30-9:30 a.m. Chamber Board Room: 811 Broad St. Please join our team to learn more about Chamber Membership. This is an in-person informational ... (click for more)



Business

New And Used Vehicle Sales Rise In June

New vehicle sales in Hamilton County rose in June to 1,030, and used vehicle sales rose to 4,475, according to figures from the County Clerk's office. That compares to 1,336 new vehicles sold and 4,234 used vehicles sold in June, 2021. Totals for June included 197 new cars and 833 new trucks sold. They included 1,928 used cars and 2,547 used trucks sold. (click for more)

Jobs4TN.gov System Still Down; Officials Hope To Restore The System Before The July 4th Holiday

Since Sunday, June 25, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has been working with Geographic Solution, Inc., the vendor that operates Jobs4TN.gov, to navigate a system outage at the company’s network operations center that took Jobs4TN.gov offline. Officials said, "TDLWD notified unemployment claimants and stakeholders Sunday when it became apparent the system ... (click for more)

Breaking News

EPA Awarding Brownfield Grant At Site Of Planned Lookouts Stadium

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe on Wednesday is set to present the city of Chattanooga with Brownfield program cleanup and assessment grants at the site of a planned new $79.5 million stadium to be used by the Lookouts. The press conference will be at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland site. The grant is "to help spur economic revitalization ... (click for more)

$79.5 Million Stadium Touted As Catalyst For Major Project At Long-Blighted Wheland/U.S. Pipe Site; Lookouts To Pay $1 Million Annually To Lease "Community" Stadium

More than 100 acres of the long-neglected U.S. Pipe and Wheland Foundry sites "will begin transforming into a world-class live-work-play district that will generate more than $40 million for schools," Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly announced at a press conference at the site on Thursday. Flanked by nationally renowned master developer Jim ... (click for more)

Opinion

New Stadium Does Not Pass The Smell Test - And Response

I can't find any logical reasons that the new Lookout stadium is being placed where it is other than to think it's a combination of favoritism and eliminating an eyesore. All statistics point to an illogical decision coupled with questionable tax breaks/support. Lookouts average attendance in 2018 (all that I could quickly find) was 3,206 per game and ranked 74th among ... (click for more)

School Achievement Tied To Funding?

My career was in the public schools of several states. I never drew the connection to funding for schools and achievement until later. This is what I have found. The states of the deep south are run by Republicans. In all of them, educational achievement is poor. Is there a connection between funding for schools and achievement? The answer to that should be a resounding "yes." ... (click for more)