How Long Will My Unemployment Benefits Last in Georgia?
In Georgia, the duration of benefits depends on the state's unemployment rate when you apply. The maximum period for which you can receive benefits ranges from 14 to 20 weeks.
Each state sets its own rules for how long unemployment benefits last. Until quite recently, virtually all states offered a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits. In the last five or six years, however, some states have changed their rules on duration of benefits (in most cases, to offer benefits for a shorter period of time).
There are two programs that provide additional weeks of benefits in times of high unemployment: extended benefits (EB) and emergency unemployment compensation (EUC).
The extended benefits (EB) program is a joint undertaking between the federal government and each state. The EB program kicks in automatically when a state’s unemployment rate exceeds a certain level. Currently, extended benefits aren’t payable in any state because unemployment rates have declined.
When the EB program is in effect, it pays 13 additional weeks of benefits. Some states add their own seven-week extension, for a total of 20 weeks of benefits. Check the website of the Georgia Department of Labor to find out whether extended benefits are available when you apply for unemployment and, if so, how long they will last.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
The emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) program was a one-time legislative effort to assist those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession that began in 2008. The EUC program provided up to four additional periods of benefits (called “tiers”), on top of the benefits available under state law. Until the program expired, everyone who was still unemployed after their state benefits ran out was eligible for 14 additional weeks of benefits under Tier 1 on the EUC program. Eligibility for Tiers 2, 3, and 4 depended on the state’s unemployment rate.
The EUC program expired at the end of 2013, and Congress has neither renewed nor extended the program. Therefore, EUC benefits are no longer available in any state.
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