Georgia Department of Labor to extend unemployment benefits for 13 weeks

Georgia Department of Labor to extend unemployment benefits for 13 weeks

ATLANTA — For the fourth time in five weeks, the number of people filing for unemployment in Georgia is down.

At the same time, the state announced Thursday that it’s offering more help to people who need it.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the state has handed out $2.5 billion in unemployment assistance and pandemic relief assistance.

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While the numbers of those filing for unemployment is going down there is still a lot of need across the state.

The Georgia Department of Labor has launched a brand-new program that extends benefits for those who have reached their limit but still need more help.

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The program is called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC. It’s part of the CARES Act.

“This gives you 13 weeks of monetary assistance that will help you receive those benefits,” said Kersha Cartwright with the Georgia Department of Labor.

The program is for those who have reached their 13-week eligibility and need more benefits. The program would allow filers to get another 13 weeks of benefits.

“(It will) extend those monetary benefits to allow people to receive those benefits for a little longer than they normally would. This is going to give those folks and allow people to get back on their feet, get back to work and to get people working again,” Cartwright said.

For those who are still having trouble filing, Cartwright said hundreds of Department of Labor employees are still working round the clock to help those who need it.

She said people filing for unemployment need to stay persistent.

“We are continuing to work those claims. Most of those claims have issues associated with them,” Cartwright said.

Cartwright says the fastest way to get through to the Department of Labor about your claim is to call.

She said they have employees at the various call centers around the state and they will answer voicemail messages.

The GDOL says that $5,440,822,786 in state and federal benefits have been paid to claimants across the state during the past 12 weeks.

Georgia unemployment claims reach record high in April