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These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on October 5, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in Georgia, we recommend that you visit the COVID-19: State Services in Georgia website, the Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Materials and Resources or the Department of Community Affairs' COVID-19 Resources.

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Description of Program and Relief

Expanded Unemployment Benefits

In light of the increase in unemployment due to COVID-19, Governor Brian Kemp has signed an executive order expanding unemployment benefits. The new rules extend the length of time an individual can collect benefits from 14 weeks to 26 weeks (for unemployment insurance claims filed on or after March 14, 2020), and provide that the first $300 earned in a week does not count against the maximum unemployment benefits to be paid (for unemployment insurance claims filed on or after March 29, 2020). For all claims filed on or after March 14, 2020, the Georgia Department of Labor has waived standard requirements for searching for work while receiving unemployment benefits.

These expanded benefits are in addition to the expanded unemployment insurance benefits granted under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed by the federal government. For more information about how the CARES Act affects unemployment benefits for Georgians, please see the Georgia Department of Labor page.

Government or Lead Agency

Georgia Office of the Governor; Georgia Department of Labor.

Dates Available

Effective immediately.

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Applies to individuals unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19. Workers seeking unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 must still meet all other general eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits. If an individual is not working because their employer has told them not to come into work or their hours have been reduced due to COVID-19, their employer should file a partial unemployment claim on their behalf. The individual does not need to file a claim on their own.

If an individual has quit their job or voluntarily chosen to stay out of work due to COVID-19, the individual should file their own claim.

For more information about unemployment insurance claims relating to COVID-19, please visit the Georgia Department of Labor’s FAQs page here.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)


Contact for More Information

Call the Georgia Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance service line at (404) 232-3515.

List of Additional Information

For general information on unemployment insurance in Georgia, see here.

For instructions on how to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, see here.

The Office of the Governor's COVID-19 information page can be found here.

For general information on the federal government’s expansion of unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, please see the Paul, Weiss COVID-19 Relief Center page or the Georgia Department of Labor page.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

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