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May 26, 2021

Bourdeaux Demands Answers On Unemployment Backlog

WASHINGTON — Today, United States Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Congressman David Scott (GA-13), Congressman Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06), and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) sent a letter to Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) Commissioner Mark Butler demanding that GDOL share its plan to address backlogged unemployment benefits for Georgians.

This letter follows ongoing and prolific complaints by Georgians across the state regarding the performance of the Department of Labor in processing unemployment claims and distributing benefits. Recent reports place the GDOL backlog at around 80,000 Georgians. For too many, getting enrolled for benefits has required extensive efforts, including multiple months of emails and phone calls to the Georgia Department of Labor, as well as intervention by federal, state, and local elected officials. 

“While factors such as initial understaffing and limited technology may have prevented GDOL from processing claims, after a year there still remains extensive questions on how the agency plans to identify solutions to address the serious backlog that currently exists,” said Congresswoman Bourdeaux. “Georgians are lawfully entitled to the benefits they applied for. They are also entitled to transparency and accountability from their government. It’s time for answers — and for solutions.”

This letter follows an earlier letter from the Members in March, asking United States Department of Labor Acting Inspector General Larry Turner to conduct a true audit of the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) Unemployment Insurance claims processing and payment system, following the widespread issues Georgians have faced in accessing their benefits. 

*See the letter here*

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, an economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford