Georgia pays off federal unemployment loan, still owes millions

May 28, 2014

Georgia pays off federal unemployment loan, still owes millions

The state of Georgia has paid off the principle of a loan from the federal government to cover a surge in unemployment costs during the Great Recession, although it still has to make a final interest accrual remains to be paid.

The payment of approximately $62.5 million was sent from Georgia to the federal government on May 14, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. A payment of about $2 million in interest remains and will be sent in September. The payoff is good news for the state, as it no longer has the debt on its books. However, the early reimbursement was partially due to an increase in the  state unemployment insurance (SUI) tax rate that came into effect in 2013, because the total unemployment Trust Fund balance was below $1 billion. Employers were charged 50 percent more on their SUI payments at the beginning of that year. The fund was running a deficit of approximately $650 million at the start of 2013.

An alternative to the unpredictable SUI tax
While Georgia's state government has paid off its loan from the federal government, the SUI rate increase will not be removed until its fund reaches a positive balance of $1 billion. The amount in the fund currently stands at approximately $355 million. Employers will be dealing with high SUI tax payments for the foreseeable future.

Luckily, nonprofits have an alternative method of handling their unemployment obligation. By electing to become reimbursing employers – and paying any unemployment claims on a dollar-for-dollar basis – eligible entities can opt out of the state fund and reduce payments. However, nonprofit employers still need to be able to deal with spikes in unemployment claims. This is where savings programs such as the Bonded Service Program, the only first and last dollar coverage program in the country, can help. These programs allow nonprofits to save on SUI costs while still maintaining financial stability and reducing risk.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Group at or visit


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We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY