Ga. introduces Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 12:50 PM CDT
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Many people are still without work or are recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic as Georgia begins to slowly reopen.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) recently introduced a brand-new program that extends unemployment benefits. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (PEUC) is for those who have maxed out their initial benefits but still need more.

The program would allow filers to get another 13 weeks of benefits, but Tracy Shipp, who has been waiting on her money for months, said the state should reconsider its priorities.

“I think they don’t need to start a new program," Shipp said. "They need to get this situation settled before they start a new program.”

Claimants who are eligible for PEUC have received all of the unemployment benefits in their regular unemployment claim.

Melanie Comer is a Harris County school teacher and was laid off until the beginning of the next school term. She said she was excited to hear of the program, but there needs to be more information about it.

“The website needs to be updated for the PEUC," Comer said. "There is absolutely nothing on there.”

While the numbers of those filing for unemployment are going down, there are still a lot of people waiting on their first unemployment check, like Sonal Singh.

“Georgia is pretty much open for the most part," Singh said. "I don’t understand why the Department of Labor is not opening.”

The local GDOL office on Veteran’s Parkway in Columbus continues to remain closed. According to the state department, the staff is continuing to serve benefit seekers behind closed doors.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the state has handed out $2.5 billion in unemployment assistance and pandemic relief assistance.

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