Long-term unemployment ends Dec. 28

by Wes Mayer

On Dec. 28, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will come to an end, and thousands of long-term unemployed Americans will no longer receive extended benefits.

The program will come to an end because of sequestration budget cuts enacted through the Budget Control Act of 2011, according to the Georgia Department of Labor's website. Beginning in March of this year, weekly EUC payments to beneficiaries were cut by 10.7 percent. Payments were additionally cut by 7.2 percent beginning in September, and the payments will come to an end after Dec. 28.

The payments will end even if beneficiaries have not received the maximum benefit amount in their EUC claim, the GDOL posted on its website. The extension program was first enacted by the U.S. Congress, not the Department of Labor, and if legislation is passed to further extend benefits, the GDOL will contact those affected.

Media sources estimate 1.3 million Americans - 43,000 Georgians - will lose benefits by the termination of the EUC program.

According to a Nov. 28 press release from the GDOL, the unemployment rate in Metro Atlanta rose to 7.7 percent in October - an increase from 7.4 percent in September. At the end of October, 210,017 people were unemployed in Atlanta, according to the release.

According to another release from the GDOL, 329 Coweta County citizens made initial claims for unemployment insurance in October, and 309 made claims in September. However, the total number of Cowetans on the long-term benefit plan, who will no longer receive payments on Dec. 28, was unavailable.

For more information, you may visit the GDOL website's page about the end of the EUC, http://www.dol.state.ga.us/ spotlight/sp_end_extended_ benefits.htm.

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