ATLANTA—State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said Monday that the Georgia Department of Labor is processing extended benefit claims for unemployed Georgians who will qualify under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 enacted Friday.
The new legislation expands the extended benefits claim filing period for jobless Americans through Dec. 31, 2011. The bill does not, however, provide additional benefits beyond 99 weeks.
“These additional resources will help qualified jobseekers provide food, clothing, and shelter while they seek employment, and I’m especially pleased that the approval came in time for Christmas,” Commissioner Thurmond said. “More than 53 percent of jobless Georgians have been out of work 27 weeks or longer in a very difficult economic situation.”
In November, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 10.1 percent. For 38 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national rate, which was 9.8 percent in November.
The Georgia Department of Labor is identifying individuals who potentially meet the eligibility requirements, as outlined in the legislation.
Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements are being notified by mail.
Individuals who may be eligible will be those who had remaining weeks of eligibility when the previous benefit extension law expired on Nov. 30. Claimants who have exhausted all weeks of eligibility will not benefit from the new legislation.
Thurmond urges those who may be eligible to monitor the department’s Web site, www.dol.state.ga.us, for up-to-date information.