Can You Get Unemployment if You Accept a Severance in Georgia?

By Michael Marz
Accepting a severance package may delay your eligibility for Georgia unemployment insurance.

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It isn’t uncommon for Georgia employers to offer severance packages to employees laid off through no fault of their own. If your position is terminated and you accept severance pay, whether in a lump-sum or in payments over time, your eligibility for Georgia unemployment insurance benefits may be adversely impacted because of it.

Severance Must Be Reported

The Georgia Department of Labor requires you to report all severance payments received at the time you file an unemployment claim with the agency. In the event you don’t receive severance payments until after the claim is filed, you still have an obligation to report each one to your local GDOL career center. If you’re receiving severance payments over time, and your weekly payment is greater than the amount of weekly unemployment benefits you’re eligible for, you can’t claim any Georgia unemployment benefits until your severance package is paid in full. Severance packages paid out in a lump-sum are divided by your average weekly earnings at your former job to determine how many weeks you’ll need to wait before you can start collecting unemployment benefits. Ultimately, the GDOL will perform these calculations for you once it receives information regarding your severance.

About the Author

Michael Marz has worked in the financial sector since 2002, specializing in wealth and estate planning. After spending six years working for a large investment bank and an accounting firm, Marz is now self-employed as a consultant, focusing on complex estate and gift tax compliance and planning.

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