Sequestration Cuts Short Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the current federal government sequestration will begin adversely affecting federal extended unemployment benefits for unemployed workers in Georgia and across the United States. Regular state unemployment benefits will not be affected by the sequestration, but extended benefits funded by the federal government will be cut by 10.7%. Due to the financial impact that this cut may have, the Atlanta employment lawyers at Parks, Chesin & Walbert want to ensure that you are aware of this potential decrease in unemployment benefits before it begins to affect you and your family.

The average unemployed individual in Georgia receives $260 per week in unemployment benefits. However, eligible claimants can receive up to a maximum of $330 per week. Currently, over 61,000 people receive extended unemployment benefits through the state of Georgia, and will see a decrease in their payments by the end of the month.

Our employment lawyers in Atlanta have become aware that the sequestration will cut a $3 million grant to the state of Georgia to administer the unemployment compensation program. To date, the Georgia Department of Labor is unsure how that cut will impact their agency operations and unemployed workers.

Workers who are laid off, downsized, or otherwise lose their jobs due to no fault of their own can be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. The amount of unemployment benefits that an unemployed worker is receives is based on the amount of wages that a worker earned during a specific period of time. To remain eligible for benefits, a person is required to actively seek work and be physically able and available to work during the time that he/she is receiving unemployment benefits.

An unemployed person might be not eligible for unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons. For instance, a person who was fired for good cause typically would not be entitled to unemployment benefits. Furthermore, a person who did not work long enough or earn enough wages from an insured employer under state unemployment laws would not be eligible for benefits.

In certain cases, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits even if you voluntarily resigned from your job. However, as your Atlanta employment lawyer can advise, the claim must reveal that you quit your job due to a significant work-related reason such as non-payment for work completed or a material change in your working agreement. You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you resigned for personal reasons.

If you believe you are eligible for unemployment benefits, or feel that you are not receiving the correct amount of unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal the Department of Labor’s decision. Our team of experienced Atlanta employment lawyers can provide advice and assistance with an unemployment appeal and other issues related to your employment, such as wrongful termination or discrimination. Contact us today for an evaluation of your claim.

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