Georgia Slashes Unemployment Benefits

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- Valdosta, Ga. - May 05, 2012 -

Georgia's Governor signed a law Thursday slashing unemployment benefits.

40,000 Georgians rely on unemployment benefits to make it through the day.

"We need help in this time, you know, we just need help," said Avon Denson, an unemployed job seeker who depends on unemployment benefits while searching for work.

Beginning July 1st, unemployment benefits will drop from 26 weeks to between 14 and 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate.

Georgia's unemployment rate remains high at 9%. That's higher than the national average of 8.2%.

State leaders say they had to cut benefits because the state has to pay back more than $760 million dollars. That's money borrowed from the federal government to cover the state's Unemployment Insurance trust fund that was depleted in the recession.

"Life isn't fair, I mean, no it's not fair but what can you do," said Denson.