Georgia’s improving unemployment rate will “trigger” the end of federal emergency benefits for a number of Georgians, starting this weekend. It’s putting added pressure on the recently unemployed.
The 4-tiered federal benefits program – a total of 53 weeks of help -- kicks in after state benefits run out. The fourth tier was added in 2008 when unemployment was at an all-time low. It adds an extra six weeks of federal benefits.
But tier 4 will end on Saturday because Georgia’s unemployment rate fell below 9% in April and May. The cut-off affects more than A thousand unemployed Georgians.
Kenny Adams is a recently unemployed butcher from College Park. He says cutting six weeks from his $184-A-week of benefits is going to hurt:
“I don’t want to put all the strain on the 2 people who live with me, it’s not right. We all made a pact when we got this house that we’d split everything 3 ways, no strings attached, but it looks like my string broke.”
Brenda Brown, Director of the Unemployment Insurance Division says there is an exception to the Tier 4 cut off:
“If you exhausted Tier 3 by Saturday, you could roll over into Tier 4. And when I say “exhaust,” you’d have to receive your last payment in Tier 3 in order to set up Tier 4.”
Last week’s, state and local program issued just over 130,000 unemployment checks. That compares to 180,000 sent out a year ago.