Process of applying for unemployment due to COVID-19

Process of applying for unemployment due to COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A record-shattering 10 million Americans are now without jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many seeking unemployment benefits.

According to the most recent statistics from Georgia Department of Labor, more than 22,000 claims were filed in the last two weeks ­– that in comparison with the average 5,000 claims before the pandemic.

Before filing a claim, here is what you need to know:

Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:

  • Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a "base period." (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)

How do I apply?

  • To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked which can be found by going to
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check if you file as an individual. The payments are typically deposited by direct deposit to your bank account.

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