Georgia unemployment benefits start with an initial claim but the catalyst for each payment is the weekly claims certification. This is how the Georgia Department of Labor knows whether you're eligible to receive an unemployment payment for each week and knows to release a payment. There are several convenient certification methods and you have up to 14 days after the week ends to do it.
Weekly claims certification helps the DOL review your eligibility for each unemployment benefit week. Through the process, you answer a series of questions about your job search, your income and your availability for each benefit week. This helps the state to determine whether you can collect unemployment for certain weeks. Each certification prompts the DOL to release a compensation payment. If you fail to certify, you will not receive any payment for that week.
Georgia allows its unemployment claimants to file their weekly claims certifications via the telephone, the Internet or in person at a career center. The Internet is the preferred method because of its efficiency but the other methods will yield the same results. If you use the telephone method, you must use a touch-tone, non-cellular or cordless phone to make your claim. If you use the Internet, you need Internet Explorer as your browser.
When to File
The weekly claims certification systems are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The only exception is at your local career center because you are limited to the hours of operation. You can only certify for a week after the last day of the week, Saturday. You have fourteen days to certify for that week. If you fail to certify during that window, you can't receive payment for that week. If you miss the certification window for three weeks, the DOL will close your claim.
Accuracy of Information
The information you provide while filing your weekly certification must be as accurate as possible to your knowledge. If you provide false information, whether knowingly or not, you will have to pay back any overpayment. If the inaccurate information was intentional, you will be assessed penalty fines and received a one-year ban from the program. If the fraud was blatant, the state of Georgia may prosecute you criminally for fraud.
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