ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Hundreds of people struggling to get their unemployment benefit questions answered are turning to Better Call Harry.

"I cannot get through to anyone."

"I am desperate for help."

"My claim is still at zero dollars."

Sally Harper is a hairdresser who still doesn't understand why her claim was denied. Only two of the nine stylists at her McDonough salon were approved for state benefits. Harper has filed an appeal.

Harper's saving grace could be the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. On Wednesday, the state Department of Labor sent out 257,000 emails to Georgians denied state benefits who may be eligible for the federal program.

The application requires employment information the state already has in addition to 2019 federal and state tax returns. GDOL says once you are processed and approved, you should have your payment within 72 hours.

Here's more information from the Department of Labor:

We are encouraging people to use our online resources found on our COVID-19 by clicking here.

We also have Individual Claim FAQs that can be found here

For Employer Filed Claims FAQs, click here

And a new Chat Bot on our home page that can answer questions.

We will begin sending emails on April 22 to those who have been denied state benefits. This email will contain a link for individuals to continue their application for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Applicants will need their Social Security Number, their GDOL PIN they created during their state unemployment claim, and information about their employment and wages for the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 (most recent tax year).

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

Yannah26

My employer laid me off after careful consideration few months shy of my 8y Anniversary and didn't even consider filing the UI claim himself. All of my friends and associates who Employer filed their claim received payment.

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