All federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs signed into law with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are slated to end Dec. 26 for hundreds of thousands of Georgians.

The law signed on March 27 included additional unemployment insurance for many workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including workers who are not ordinarily eligible for unemployment benefits. After the end of the program, the Georgia Department of Labor will not be able to continue to pay benefits for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or State Extended Benefits. The last week payable for PUA, PEUC, and SEB is the week ending Dec. 26 for individual-filed claims and week ending date Dec. 30 for employer-filed claims.

“We will continue to process and adjudicate all of the claims we receive paying all eligible benefits as quickly as possible,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Congress will decide if a new program will be implemented or extensions will be put in place.”

Claimants receiving regular state UI will continue to receive benefits for weeks they are found eligible up to 26 weeks. Claimants who have yet to exhaust all benefits provided by the CARES Act will not receive the balance of their funds for any weeks after Dec. 26. Claimants are encouraged to continue to request benefits after the programs end in the event Congress passes new legislation or extends these programs. If additional federal legislation is passed, the new programs will be implemented or current programs extended and updates will be made on the GDOL website and social platforms.

The Georgia Department of Labor has paid over $16 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. Last week, the GDOL issued $120 million in benefits, which include regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 344,929 PUA claims have been processed. Due to federal guidelines, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is limited to 39 weeks of benefits. Claimants who began receiving benefits at the beginning of the program Feb. 2 are now exhausting those benefits with no extension currently in place.

From week ending Nov. 28, the sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 5,716, Administrative and Support Services, 2,059, Manufacturing, 1,853, Retail Trade, 1,411, and Health Care and Social Assistance, 1,315.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending November 28 was 712,000, a decrease of 75,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 787,000.

Of the more than 164,000 jobs currently listed on EmployGeorgia, over half advertise annual salaries that exceed $40,000. The GDOL offers online resources for finding career opportunities, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs.

Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency's webpage at


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