The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) has provided additional information for guidance in complying with the Emergency Employment Security Law Rule regarding Partial Claims. This rule mandates that employers file partial claims online for all of their full and part-time employees who will work less than full-time due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by COVID-19. As a reminder, failure to comply with the new Emergency Rule could result in stiff financial penalties for employers.
It is important to note that the GDOL has affirmatively stated that employers accounts will NOT be charged for benefits paid on partial claims submitted because of COVID-19. If you employees file their own claims, your account will be charged AND you will be required to reimburse the GDOL for the total of all benefits paid. Similarly, your unemployment insurance (UI) tax rate will not be affected by the employer filed partial claims, but if your employees file on their own your UI tax rate will be affected.
The following are some additional frequently asked questions as answered by the GDOL:
Which employees can I file for?
You may submit partial claims for full and part-time employees who are temporarily laid off or whose hours have been temporarily reduced because of a lack of work due to COVID-19. Employees must be expected to return to work when the COVID-19 emergency ends. They must also be United States (U.S.) citizens or non-citizens who are authorized to work in the U.S.
Do NOT submit claims for employees who:
- are on scheduled/customary vacation or scheduled/customary plan closure (O.C.G.A. Section 34-8-195).
- employed by a temporary agency and are currently working at your place of business.
- were employed in another state in the last 18 months.
- were employed with the federal government or on active military service in the last 18 months.
- are 1099 employees.
- are voluntarily out of work, e.g., quits, requested leaves of absence, self-quarantined, etc.
- have been permanently separated from your company.
How do I file?
File on the GDOL website using the Employer Portal. You must be a registered user on the Employer Portal with administrator or user privileges permitting you to submit partial claims. If your company is not registered on the Employer Portal, you must first establish an administrator account. Download the Administrator Guide on the Employer Portal login page and follow the step-by-step instructions. If a third-party service provider is the administrator on your account, ask them to add you as a user and give you the ability to file partial claims. If you are already a registered user on the portal, but are not currently permitted to file partial claims, contact your Employer Portal administrator for assistance.
Follow these steps to file partial claims on the Employer Portal:
- Log into the Employer Portal.
- Select the employer account number under Registered Account.
- Select the File Employer Filed Claims link under Common Links.
- Select your method of filing—Multi-Claims Upload or Single Claim Entry. You must download and use the GDOL Excel template for Multi-Claims Upload. The Partial Claims application will not retain your employee information when using Single Claim Entry. You must re-enter it each week.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
NOTE: See the Employer Filed Claims Desk Aid for instructions.
The first thing I am asked is to enter my pay week ending date. How do I determine that?
UI benefits are paid on a weekly basis. You must establish a week ending date that GDOL will use for each week’s benefits. It is recommended that you choose a date that coincides with the normal end of your pay period. Once you establish the pay period for partial claims, you will file for each pay period. There must be seven (7) days between payment week ending dates. The week ending must be in the past.
When can I start filing claims?
You cannot file until after the payment week has ended. Begin filing after the pay week ending date of the first week your employees are off from work or work reduced.
Can I file partial claims for employees who have self-quarantined for fear of exposure to COVID-19?
No. Employees who voluntarily choose not to go to work must file their own claims.
Can I file for employees who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus?
If you directed the employee to not return to work because of their exposure to COVID-19, you may file a claim on their behalf. If the individual voluntarily chooses not to report to work, he/she must file their own claim. GDOL will determine eligibility of benefits for such claims on a case-by-case basis.
If I am the owner and a W-2 employee, can I file for myself?
Yes, if you are not working or your hours are reduced due to COVID-19.
How should I answer the question #21 “Is this claim being filed because of a federally declared disaster?”
Answer “No.” This question applies when Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available in a geographical area that has been declared a federal disaster area due to a natural disaster such as a tornado or hurricane.
As a reminder, your employees should NOT file for unemployment benefits directly if you are filing the partial claims on their behalf. If any of your employees have done so, please ask the employee to contact the local GDOL career center to update their claim.
website for more information regarding COVID-19 or follow the link listed below.