Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in Georgia who have exhausted their jobless benefits may be eligible for additional emergency unemployment.
The Georgia Department of Labor said that it is notifying by mail about 13,000 workers in the state to tell them they may be able to claim benefits under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tier 4 program.
The program provides extended benefits for individuals who have exhausted the first three tiers of emergency unemployment and are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance. Each tier of emergency unemployment provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits. Tier 4 provides up to 10 more weeks.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a federally funded program that was created in 2008 and has been modified several times. This year, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 extended the expiration date of the program to January 2, 2013.
Georgia workers are once again eligible for benefits under the program because the state’s average unemployment rate rose above 9.0 percent for the June, July and August period. Federal law mandates that a state have a three-month seasonally adjusted unemployment average over 9.0 percent to qualify.
Unemployment in Georgia was 9.0 in June, 9.2 in July, and 9.2 in August.
The three-month unemployment average in Georgia for the March, April and May period was below 9.0 percent. It was 9.0 percent in March, but 8.9 percent in April and in May, so payments under the program were stopped.