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'Will I receive my funds?': Central Georgians upset with Department of Labor about overdue unemployment benefits

Some Central Georgians say they haven't received unemployment benefits in months

MACON, Ga. — Some Central Georgians say they haven't received unemployment benefits in months and they haven't received any answers from the Georgia Department of Labor. 

Mornisha Williams and Andrea Fleming both say they're frustrated. 

"It has been the worst experience ever," said Fleming.

"Will I receive my funds, or will I not?" said Williams.

Williams has been laid-off since May, and Fleming has been laid-off since September. Both say their biggest concern is the lack of communication from the unemployment office.

Fleming says her benefits don't exhaust until March 2021, but she hasn't received any money since September.

"It's been six months. I've called, I emailed. They did contact me one time, and that was to tell me that I had to file a new claim, after they had stopped my funds because they said I had to file a new claim. They said they were going to call me back to help me with it... they never did call back," said Fleming.

Both also say they're confused by the Department of Labor's new guidance that was released on social media regarding exhausting your benefits and their benefit year ending.

One post says, "When you file a new claim, you start a benefit year. Each claim is valid for one year. When you reach the end of your benefit year, you must file a new claim to update any additional work history, regardless if you have money still available in your claim," @GeorgiaDOL via Twitter.

The other says, "When you exhaust your benefits, you have used all of the money allotted in your claim leaving you with a zero balance. If you have exhausted and still have not received your eligible extension for CAA, please continue to request payments each week," @GeorgiaDOL via Twitter. 

"At first, they were telling people not to go back and refile, they said if you refile that it might hold up your case, hold up your process, then it might take longer, but then just last week, they came back and said that you are to refile... If your benefits were exhausted, or your BYE (benefit year ends) date was gone," said Williams.

Both Fleming and Williams say paying bills and taking care of their children has been a challenge.

WMAZ reached out to Kersha Cartwright with the Georgia Department of Labor. She says they're doing the best they can. 

Cartwright says 1,500 new appointments are released online, statewide, every Monday at 8 a.m. People can keep an eye out for availability. 

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