COVID 19 Concerned: Unemployment Town Hall with Georgia Labor Commissioner and Atlanta Artist Relief Fund

C4 Atlanta has recently shared some Pop-Up Classes for COVID-19 related issues. In an effort to make the content of these programs more accessible, we have recorded them so that artists may share the content with others or refer back to it.

On April 21, 2020, C4 Atlanta participated in a Town Hall presented by Atlanta Artist Relief Fund with Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. Moderated by Paul Glaze – Atlanta Artist Relief Fund. Find Atlanta Artist Relief Fund at www.atlartsrelief.org if you need to join our meal train or some other form of assistance.

Other Panelists include: Grace Kim – Another Helping – Nonprofit and Small Business Management Consultant

Jessyca Holland – Executive Director of C4 Atlanta, a resource for Atlanta-area artists that provides professional development

Glenn Pieson – Member of IATSE Local 479 who has organized within his local to help answer questions around the process.

This post contains the recording of this session. The original session was live-streamed via YouTube on April 21, 2020. All information was current as of April 21, 2020 to the best of knowledge of the Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, the moderator, and facilitators.

Please note: Content in this workshop is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an alternative to working with a social worker or other professional.

Click Here to Download a Written Transcript of the Town Hall with Mark Butler.

The purpose of this session was to provide clarity and information regarding the unemployment process in Georgia. The Labor Commissioner explained some of the difficulties that may be affecting folks applying for unemployment.

Some of the questions answered:

  • Can you apply for W-2 employment for regular state unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for 1099 work?
  • Why is the process so slow? What are some of the difficulties in implementing this program?
  • What do you do about work that is underdocumented or undocumented? Can you go back and retroactively document past work in order to show income?
  • What if you applied too early as a freelancer? Will it affect my eligibility?
  • Is there an appeals process?
  • Are weekly work searches still required? Will the “state of emergency” affect your need to do work search?
  • What do you do if your qualify for benefits but it shows that you only qualify for $0?
  • Is PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) adequately funded? Will the money run out?
  • And more!

Due to some technical difficulties with the Commissioner’s feed, some of our panelists couldn’t contribute as planned during the time we had the Commissioner for. Therefore, Paul took over the QnA session. They did stay to clarify some things we learned and answer some larger questions to the best of our abilities. Please note, we are not professionals. We had the opportunity to discuss some of these issues with the Commissioner, so we tried to do the best we could to get some authoritative answers on the record

Links Shared by Facilitators During this Session:

C4 Atlanta: 1-800-WOW-ARTS c4atlanta.org

C4 Atlanta Lost Gig Fund: c4atlanta.org/covid19apply

Atlanta Artist Relief Fund: atlartsrelief.org

Georgia Department of Labor Unemployment Information for Folks Affected by COVID-19: dol.georgia.gov/gdol-covid-19-information

Georgia Department of Labor Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information (for folks SPECIFICALLY able to receive unemployment because of the expansion of eligibility from the CARES Act): https://dol.georgia.gov/pua

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