ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor made COVID-19-related job loss their headline of their website, but viewer after viewer wrote in to 11Alive to tell us they're getting buried in their unemployment claims.
Some people explaining that they’ve been waiting more than three weeks just to get an answer.
Financial expert Andrew Poulos said he hears from people all day whose claims have been delayed.
"Most people don't have that ability to float it for twenty-one days," he explained. "If you have savings, you might be okay. But the average person doesn't have twenty-one days to be out of work, pay their bills and put food on the table."
While Poulos acknowledged it can be scary, challenging and frustrating, he recommends contacting the department of labor by any means necessary: phone, email - even social media.
"We had a client the other day who called the department of labor very early - as soon as they opened - and they were able to get through. We have others who have been calling for days and haven't been able to get through," he said.
Regardless of how long it might take, Poulos said it's important to stay diligent, and people will end up getting all of the money they filed for.
"People will get paid retroactively, back to the time that the initial claim was submitted," he assured. "So, as bad as it sounds for folks to have to wait, they will be paid, but it's just all messy and it's a big backlog."