Georgia Survivor Financial Security Policy Scorecard

How well does Georgia support survivors’ financial security?

Georgia
[Ways I would feel supported] To have access to legal services to fight for my case with my old job. To receive a backpayment of unemployment that I can use to sustain myself as I seek counseling and healing for the emotional damage I have suffered. Being able to get quick rental assistance.
— Survivor from Georgia
Overall:
little accountability

This state does not prioritize survivors’ financial security or consider their unique circumstances or needs

We cannot begin to address economic abuse (which occurs in 99% of intimate partner violence cases) without properly defining it in state laws.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetThe state’s definition of intimate partner violence includes all or similar language to the following: Committing acts of economic abuse, including but not limited to: controlling, regulating, monitoring or depleting the other party’s movements, finances, economic resources, credit, access to services, basic necessities, ability to work and/or ability to pursue education or job training

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetA definition that explicitly excludes economic abuse or tactics

Related sources:

O.C.G.A. § 19-13-1

Survivors in the U.S. lose an estimated 8 million days of paid work each year dealing with the consequences of the intimate partner violence they’ve experienced. Paid and protected leave ensures survivors do not jeopardize their financial security or risk unemployment by taking time off.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are given leave from work to deal with the consequences of abuse

Criteria Not MetLeave is guaranteed paid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors who take leave are protected from job loss, discrimination and retaliation

Criteria Not MetSurvivors get at least 10 days of leave annually

Criteria Not MetLeave does not deplete accrued time off (i.e., sick leave, vacation)

Criteria Not MetLeave is available to all employees regardless of employer, sector or employee status (PT/FT)

Criteria Not MetLeave policy provides an exhaustive list of reasons to take time off for work to deal with the consequences of abuse

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access leave, or can access leave with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Criteria Not MetEmployers must keep employees’ reasoning for leave and related documentation confidential

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence has occurred in order to access leave

Related sources:

No Paid and Protective Leave resources found for Georgia.

A safe work environment for a survivor includes protection from discrimination, the ability to request reasonable accommodations without fear of job loss or retaliation, and guaranteed confidentiality of their status as a survivor.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetEmployers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against employees based on their status as a survivor

Criteria Not MetProtections against discrimination and retaliation are available to all employees regardless of employer type, sector, and employee status (PT/FT)

Criteria Not MetEmployers must make reasonable accommodations available for survivors

Criteria Not MetReasonable accommodation requirements apply to all employers regardless of employer type, sector, and employee status (PT/FT)

Criteria Not MetEmployers must keep employees’ survivor status confidential

Criteria Not MetConfidentiality requirements apply to all employers regardless of employer type, sector, and employee status (PT/FT)

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access protections, or can access protections with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence has occurred to access protections

Related sources:

No Safe Workplaces resources found for Georgia.

UI is a benefit to cover lost wages for authorized U.S. workers who have been laid off. Typically, those who leave or quit a job without a ‘just cause’ are ineligible to receive UI. However, survivors should remain eligible to receive UI if they need to leave or quit their job due to the harm they experience.

Positive policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors who must leave or quit work due to intimate partner violence remain eligible for benefits

Criteria MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access the program, or can access it with sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetState provides 100% wage replacement for survivors of intimate partner violence

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence has occurred to access the program

Litigation abuse occurs when a harm-doer misuses the legal and court system to further harm and control survivors. There are necessary protections needed in the court system to prevent harm-doers from committing litigation abuse against survivors.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetState protects survivors from litigation abuse by their harm-doer

Criteria Not MetThe policy includes a broad definition of litigation to include any kind of legal action or proceeding

Criteria Not MetThe policy requires harm-doers using litigation abuse tactics to pay all attorney’s fees and costs incurred by a survivor

Criteria Not MetThe policy permits the dismissal with prejudice of any action in which a harm-doer is found to have committed litigation abuse

Criteria Not MetThe policy requires attorneys that participate in litigation abuse to pay the survivor’s attorney’s fees

Adverse policies this state should avoid

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Related sources:

No Litigation Abuse Protections resources found for Georgia.

Survivors should not be held solely responsible for paying the expenses related to the harm they’ve experienced. Survivors should be afforded the right to bring a civil lawsuit against their harm-doer to recoup the costs of that harm.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors have the right to sue their harm-doers through a designated intimate partner violence gender-based violence tort

Criteria Not MetStatute of limitations applicable to designated tort or torts that arise out of intimate partner or gender-based violence is at least 5 years

Criteria Not MetStatute of limitations applicable to designated tort or torts that arise out of intimate partner or gender-based violence is at least 20 years in cases of brain injury and / or a disability

Criteria Not MetThe designated tort is structured as a continuing tort

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetDesignated tort excludes any gender identities and sexualities

Related sources:

No Designated Tort for Intimate Partner Violence resources found for Georgia.

Compensation is available in every state for victims of crime to help pay for their expenses. While there are federal limitations on how the program is operated, this category considers the areas in which states can improve the accessibility and impact of the compensation program for survivors.

Positive policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors can appeal eligibility determination

Criteria MetSurvivors can appeal amount awarded

Criteria MetCompensation is available to people who are undocumented

Adverse policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors are required to submit a police report as part of the application process

Criteria MetSurvivors are required to cooperate with law enforcement for the investigation and / or prosecution of the crime

Criteria MetCompensation is not available to survivors with a criminal record

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetThere is no deadline to apply for compensation

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to report the crime to police within a specific timeframe to be eligible for compensation

Criteria Not MetEmergency / expedited awards are available in cases of financial hardship

Criteria Not MetFunds are available to cover the cost of attorneys’ fees incurred in applying for compensation

Criteria Not MetCompensation is available to cover the cost of attorneys’ fees incurred in other legal proceedings related to intimate partner violence

Criteria Not MetCompensation awards are available to cover the cost of coerced and fraudulent debt

Adverse policies this state should avoid

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

SNAP is a federal food assistance program administered at the state-level. 80% of survivors rely on SNAP to meet their basic needs. States can take action to make SNAP more accessible to survivors through certain exemptions and/or special considerations.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are eligible for exemptions or deferments from work or job training requirements

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are eligible for expedited enrollment into the program

Criteria Not MetSurvivors can remove harm-doers from listed household members on SNAP applications or renewals

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are eligible for benefit replacement when applying for a separate household from their harm doer

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are eligible for specific exemptions or special considerations without having to apply through a shelter or other intimate partner violence service provider organization

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access exemptions or special considerations, or can access them with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence occurred to access exemptions and / or special considerations

Related sources:

No Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Accessibility resources found for Georgia.

TANF is a federal cash assistance program administered at the state-level. Two thirds of survivors rely on TANF to address their basic needs. States can take action to make the program more accessible to survivors through certain exemptions and / or special considerations.

Positive policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors are eligible for exemptions or deferments from work or job training requirements

Criteria MetSurvivors are eligible for time-limit exemptions or deferrals

Criteria MetSurvivors are eligible for specific exemptions and special considerations without having to apply through a shelter or other intimate partner violence service provider organization

Criteria MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access exemptions or special considerations, or can access them with a sworn statement by either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred required

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence has occurred to access exemptions or special considerations

There are approximately 28.4 million survivors that are currently banked and underserved in the U.S. In fact, only half of survivors report having access to a safe bank account that is protected from their harm-doer. Survivors must be afforded protections so their money and assets are kept safe and they can begin building the financial security necessary for long-term safety.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetFinancial institutions operating within the state are required to be trained in intimate partner violence or economic abuse

Criteria Not MetFinancial institutions operating in the state are required to designate internal team to handle survivor accounts

Criteria Not MetFinancial institutions operating in the state are required to implement procedures and policies that create protections against unintended disclosures of survivors’ contact information and addresses.

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access protections, or can access them with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence occurred to access protections

Related sources:

No Safe Banking Protections resources found for Georgia.

Coerced and fraudulent debt (which 52% of survivors experience) occurs when a harm-doer incurs debt in a survivors’ name without their knowledge or consent. Coerced and fraudulent debt financially devastates a survivor, damages their credit (42% of survivors report damage to their credit and an additional 14% haven’t checked their credit score) and causes additional hurdles to their financial freedom. State action must protect survivors from such debt and provide necessary relief.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors have the right to sue their harm-doers for coerced and fraudulent debt through a designated tort

Criteria Not MetCreditors and/or debt collectors operating within the state are required to be trained in intimate partner violence, coerced and fraudulent debt or economic abuse

Criteria Not MetState law provides survivors with relief from debt collection practices relating to coerced or fraudulent debt

Criteria Not MetState law provides survivors with relief from the obligation to pay for coerced or fraudulent debt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access protections, or can access them with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving that intimate partner violence occurred to access protections

Related sources:

No Coerced and Fraudulent Debt Protections resources found for Georgia.

Rental protections are essential to a survivor's housing security and an important part of their long-term safety. Rental protections include the ability to terminate a lease early without penalties and omit credit scores on rental applications.

Positive policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors are eligible to terminate a lease early

Criteria MetEarly lease termination does not result in any penalties including future rent, deduction of deposits or other costs

Adverse policies this state has

Criteria MetSurvivors are required to produce a protective order or police report proving intimate partner violence occurred to access protections

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetSurvivors can omit their credit scores on rental applications

Criteria Not MetLandlords are prohibited from evicting someone based on incidents of intimate partner violence

Criteria Not MetLandlords are prohibited from discriminating against survivors who are rental applicants or tenants

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not responsible for property damage as a result of intimate partner violence

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are not required to prove that they have experienced intimate partner violence to access protections, or can access them with a sworn statement from either the survivor or a qualified third party that intimate partner violence occurred

Adverse policies this state should avoid

This state does not have adverse policies in this category.

Related sources:

O.C.G.A. § 44-7-23

Survivor experiences and research shows that involving law enforcement in responses to intimate partner violence can cause more harm to survivors and their families. Survivors should be able to decide when and how they want to involve law enforcement.

Positive policies this state has

This state does not have model policies in this category.

Adverse policies this state has

Criteria MetMandatory reporting for suspected intimate partner violence

Criteria Met“No-drop” policies

Positive policies this state should adopt

Criteria Not MetState has a task force or something similar to study, design and/or implement non-law enforcement responses to intimate partner violence

Criteria Not MetState provides options for non-law enforcement first responders to intimate partner violence

Criteria Not MetSurvivors are able to drop criminal proceedings against their harm-doer with negatively impacting their ability to access resources

Adverse policies this state should avoid

Criteria Not MetMandatory arrest requirements for calls related to intimate partner violence

Understanding this report

Full methodology

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