Unemployment FAQ's

In the U.S., each state has its own system for paying unemployment benefits to qualified individuals who are out of work.  While each state’s process can vary, there will be many similarities. Here are some common Unemployment FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) based on the policies and practices of the GA Department of Labor.


Unemployment FAQ’s #1 – What are an employer’s responsibilities?

Employers must register with the entity that handles unemployment in each state where the company has employees, even if the company does not have a physical location there. 

    • For example, a company only has an office in Georgia but also employs people who work remotely in Tennessee and Alabama. Under this scenario the business must register in all 3 states.  Georgia requires registration immediately after a company runs its first payroll.

Most states require companies to provide employees with some type of documentation at the time of termination.  In Georgia, employers must complete a “Separation Notice.”  The form is mandatory, regardless of the reason for the separation of employment (quit, terminated, etc.).

The appropriate state agency will notify a company once a former employee files an unemployment claim.  It is important to provide responsive information regarding the employee’s termination. An employer’s challenge to a request for unemployment will fail if the company does not provide necessary information to the unemployment tribunal in a timely fashion.

When a former employee receives unemployment, the State will charge the employer’s account for the benefits that are paid.

Employers must submit reports (quarterly and/or yearly) to determine how much unemployment tax is due.   The amount of tax is a percentage based on the wages the company has paid to its employees, up to a certain designated amount per person.


Unemployment FAQ’s #2 – What are the requirements to qualify for unemployment?

The Georgia Departmenplains that there are 3 critical requirements to receive unemployment benefits under its rules:

1. A person’s earnings must meet a certain threshold amount during the “base period” to set up a claim.

        • The “base period” is typically a certain number of calendar quarters that a person has worked prior to applying for benefits.
        • Your state has a formula for determining whether a person has worked enough during the base period to qualify for unemployment.

2.  The person must be unemployed through no fault of their own, such as:

          • Layoff
          • Business Closure
          • Lack of Work
          • Job performance IF the employer did not provide an opportunity to improve
          • Quitting because the employer “changed the terms and conditions of work in a manner that the employee, applying the judgment of a reasonable person, would not be expected to continue that employment.” See Comp. R. & Regs., r. 300-2-9-.05 (1)
          • When the workplace affects an employee’s medical issues, but the employer does not resolve the issue after receiving notice
          • Forced resignation

3.  The person must be able to work, be available for work, and be actively seeking work each week they claim benefits.


To continue receiving benefits, a person receiving unemployment typically will have to “certify” each week that they are searching for work and may have to submit proof of those efforts.


Unemployment FAQ’s #3 – What can disqualify a person from receiving unemployment benefits?

      • Quitting a job without “good cause” / an appropriate, work-related reason. For example, unlawful treatment by the employer or inability to work due for health reasons.
      • Failure to follow the employer’s rules, instructions, or orders.
      • Misconduct at work.


Unemployment FAQ’s #4 -What happens after a person applies for unemployment benefits?

 1.  The employer receives notice of the claim and is given the opportunity to submit information regarding the termination.

 2.  The state agency issues a claims determination regarding eligibility for benefits.

        • The determination informs the employer and former employee of the reasons for granting or denying the claim.


3.  The claims determination can be appealed by either the employer or employee.

        • In Georgia, when a party appeals a claim determination the Department of Labor assigns an administrative hearing officer (“AHO”).  The AHO conducts a hearing either in person or via telephone.  Typically, the AHO mails the decision on a subsequent date. 


4.  The “losing” party can appeal the hearing officer’s decision.

        • In Georgia, this appeal would go to the “Board of Review,” which is part of the Department of Labor.


5.  The State’s trial and appellate court systems handle further appeals of the Board of Review’s decision. 


If You Have a Business and Need Help 

Navigating Through the Unemployment Process in Georgia, 


This web site (including links, blogs or other content) is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice.  Any interaction through this web site, including but not limited to any comments or the submission of a consultation request, does not create an expressed or implied attorney-client relationship. 

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Skip to content