If all payments will be during the same tax year - the will be added to your gross income - and it would not matter if paid in lum sum or in three payments.
However if payments will be spread over several years - your income tax rate might be lower.
However your wages below $106,800 are subject of 7.65% FICA taxes, but above that amount - only 1.45%.
You may negotiate as part of a severance package - a contribution to retirement fund - that will reduce your taxable income and defer the tax liability.
To get unemployment you should disclose the severance package - the state authorities will then determine the period covered by severance pay.
Please see for reference - http://www.dol.state.ga.us/js/faq_js.htm#faq_06_14
Does severance pay have an effect on my benefits? You are usually not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits during a period covered by severance pay paid to you by your employer. The only way to know for sure whether severance pay is disqualifying is to file a claim.
Let me know if you need any help.