Valdosta, GA - Some benefits for long-time unemployed Georgians are going away.
The federal government is reducing the amount of aid extended to jobseekers in additon to that offered by the state.
Here's how it works, when job seekers exhaust their benefits from the state they might be eligible for an extension through Federal benefits called "Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation". There are four levels of federal compensation that a jobseeker moves through one at a time. But now the last one is going away.
That 4th tier of extended benefits is only avaible as long as the state's unemployment rate stays above 9.0. But it hasn't been that high since September and is now down to 8.5, which is a good thing. The idea being as the rate improves so does a job seekers chance of finding a job.
Job seekers on the 3rd tier have until Saturday to qualify for the 4th tier. There's nothing they can do to speed up their claim. Folks who have already qualified for tier 4 will not lose their benefits.
There are currently 64,000 Georgians on these extended Federal Benefits. An estimated 5,000 are on Tier 4 right now.