Although receiving unemployment benefits can be very useful if you have no other income, it's not the pleasurable lifestyle that’s often depicted in many sitcoms and movies. Regular paperwork must be filed to document your ongoing job searches. Also, many states require claimants to obtain new job skills – or to refresh and update the ones they already have.

Furthermore, eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) or benefits is not automatic. You must be able to qualify for such benefits in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws. Many other factors operate to determine how much you will receive.

Types of Laws That Can Affect Your UI Benefits

A state’s time period for providing UI benefits is often determined by its current unemployment rate (number of people seeking benefits);

  • Some states will add money to your benefits based upon the number of dependents you are supporting. However, others do not do this – usually claiming they cannot afford to do so;

  • Possibility of federal subsidy. Both before and after the most recent recession, the federal government tried to provide UI benefits to residents of states who had already obtained their full state UI benefits for the maximum time period allowed. Frequent arguments develop in Congress over this issue – often between politicians who have never been personally laid off from any jobs and who have little understanding about the immediate, destructive effect it has on human lives;

  • Successful claimants must meet Georgia's minimum earnings level to qualify – state laws also sometimes set a minimum time period (or duration) for the work done;

  • Quitting a job almost always disqualifies you from receiving benefits. If this weren't a legal restriction, far too many people – especially those living with another wage earner   -- might just walk off their jobs to file for benefits;

  • An in-person interview or hearing may have to be scheduled. If there are questions surrounding the end of your employment and why you no longer have a specific job, you may have to go to the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) for an interview. If questions remain about your eligibility to receive benefits, a hearing may have to be scheduled;

  • Appeals are allowed. If your request to receive benefits is turned down, you can file an appeal – but it must be filed within the time period set forth by Georgia statutes. A hearing will normally be held in connection with your appeal.


To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

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