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Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 1:30am

Unemployment Program Goes Online

Updated: 2 years ago.
A new email- and web-based system allows the Georgia Department of Labor to quickly coordinate unemployment claims with the state’s employers in order to speed up processing the claims and eliminate errors. (GPB File Photo.)

A new email- and web-based system allows the Georgia Department of Labor to quickly coordinate unemployment claims with the state’s employers in order to speed up processing the claims and eliminate errors.

Workers will still file claims as they have been. But with the new system, the labor department will send an email to registered businesses when a worker files an unemployment claim. Then, companies can log in to a website to contest claims or explain why they let workers go.

The system launched about two weeks ago, but the labor department is now starting to recruit companies to enroll.

“They have 10 days still to provide us with a response, but usually within 2 to 3 days, the employers go ahead and respond,” said Brenda Brown, director of the department’s unemployment insurance program. “I think that’s because a lot of employers do a lot of things electronically. They’re always on their emails accounts, and so when they see that email pop up, they go ahead and fill out the portion that they need to fill out.”

Brown said the companies already using the system are also submitting better information.

“Not only does it save time, but also the quality of the information that we’re receiving back is a lot better because the system prompts you to give certain information based on things that you’ve said about the separation,” Brown said.

She said the system also should reduce overpayments to ineligible workers, which can happen when companies don’t respond to an unemployment claim but then appeal the benefits and show the worker shouldn’t have received them. In that scenario, a worker has to repay the benefits.

So far, two large payroll and human resources companies are using the system along with 80 smaller businesses. It’s voluntary, but Brown said she hopes most employers eventually will use it.

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