Georgia to add $300 a week to unemployment benefits

ATLANTA — New unemployment benefits are headed to hundreds of thousands of Georgians.

The state has opted into the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which is part of the executive orders the president signed earlier this month for financial relief.

This allows the state to add $300 a week to unemployment benefits.

“This news is truly life-changing for hardworking Georgians in every part of our state, and we deeply appreciate the Trump administration’s leadership to help us provide timely unemployment assistance to families weathering the economic impact of this pandemic,” said Governor Kemp. “I also commend Commissioner Butler for his hard work throughout this entire process. In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure economic stability in every region and protect the lives and livelihoods of Georgians.”

The $44 billion to pay for it is coming from the FEMA disaster relief fund.

“The Georgia Department of Labor will deliver a system meeting the new FEMA guidelines to process these weekly supplements as quickly as possible,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We will continue to work with the US Department of Labor, FEMA, and Governor Kemp’s office to provide financial support for Georgians during this pandemic.”

Eligibility for the LWA is based upon a person’s weekly benefit determination – an amount calculated by a claimant’s reported wages. Individuals must have received a weekly benefit amount determination of at least $100 to be eligible for LWA. The person must also be unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The Georgia Department of Labor says it anticipates to begin this week and implementation to be completed within three to four weeks.

People do not need to call or apply separately for this benefit. Information on LWA and other unemployment and reemployment programs can be found on the agency’s webpage at www.gdol.ga.gov.