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Dept. of Labor commissioner explains why some may be experiencing unemployment check delays

Many people claim they've been waiting weeks and even months for a check. There are a few reasons why that might be happening.

ATLANTA — While there are high numbers of Georgians out of work right now, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said a record number of Georgians are also receiving unemployment.

"Roughly, there's about 1.5 million people currently on unemployment," Butler said.

However, many people claim they've been waiting weeks - and even months - for a check. Butler said there are a few reasons why that might be happening. One is eligibility.

"Unemployment, by law and rule, is meant to go to people who lose their job through no fault of their own. That's the key term: 'through no fault of their own'," Butler said. "But we're seeing a lot of people file right now, especially through this pandemic, who don't fall into that category."

Another reason he said some people aren't getting a check is because they filed for and received unemployment last year and need to file a new claim.

"The day after that claim expires they have to apply for a new claim. A lot of folks aren't catching that," Butler said.

RELATED: Georgia to give $300 weekly bonus for those receiving unemployment due to COVID-19

Another huge problem Butler said is delaying the process right now is fraud.

"Some of it is individuals, some is organized crime," he said. "Some is domestic, some international."

Butler admitted the call volume is high, but said overall, most are getting what they need.

"Out of all the people who have a valid claim and have asked for payment, 92 percent are getting payment," Butler said.

There are new tools to help answer questions, like new links on the GDOL site on the Cares Act and Lost Wages Assistance. And a new fraud prevention tool called ID.me. Butler says if you get an email from ID.me, pay attention- because that means your account has been flagged.