Georgia Department of Labor
Press Release – April 2, 2020
Latest Update On CARES Act
Today, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) held a national call to discuss the implementation of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. As you know on March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES Act to expand unemployment insurance benefits and other economic relief measures aimed at reducing the economic impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and authorized $2.1 trillion in aid to various sectors of the economy. This economic relief package is in addition to the Family First Corona Virus Response Act.
CARES includes the following:
- Provides for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of $600 weekly in addition to regular state benefits;
- Extends state unemployment benefits by 13 weeks of federally funded benefits added to the end of regular state UI benefits; and
- Expands eligibility for those not eligible for regular, extended benefits, or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation including self-employed individuals, independent contractors, those with limited work histories, and those unable to work due to the enumerated COVID-19 related reasons.
The GDOL signed all of the necessary agreements last Saturday to access funding for this program. The USDOL directed states to wait for specific guidance on implementation procedures for this federal program before distributing funds on behalf of the federal government. Commissioner Butler was insistent on the call today that they complete this process as soon as possible that Georgians cannot wait a week or two for guidance on this bill and need to put food on the table today. The Labor Commissioner has asked Governor Kemp to call the White House to see if they can push the USDOL into action.
We will continue to process and release payments for regular state UI claims. We will act quickly to implement the new federal program and make these funds available to Georgians as soon as we are given the approval by the USDOL. We have been assured that we will be able to backdate any payments for all eligible weeks beginning March 29th. The GDOL is ready to act on these new provisions and has proactively programmed 95% of the platform in anticipation of the upcoming federal guidelines.