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Federal Unemployment Cuts Leads to Unrest in North Carolina

 The miseries of high unemployment rate in North Carolinians gets worse with severe cuts in federally sponsored Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). The state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.8 percent as per the reports released for the month of June by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it one of the top five states in the country.

EUC is a federal extension that provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits after you have run out of regular unemployment benefits provided by the state.

Apparently, NC happens to be the only state to cut off access to the federal EUC. A major slash in state unemployment benefits comes across as an additional blow to the unemployed. The state government has reduced the maximum amount of money that unemployed people can get each week from $535 to $350.

It is this change that cuts off  NC from the federal unemployment funds. States that change the average weekly benefit can’t get this money and this does not end here.

Until recently, the standard limit for state unemployment benefits was 26 weeks. But five states have lowered that number to either 19 or 20, and Georgia has reduced it to 18. Arkansas and Illinois have lowered their limits to 25.

With the new state law, North Carolina’s benefits end after 20 weeks. About 70,000 North Carolinians have already felt the impact of the change, effective from July 1, and an estimated 100,000 more are expected to face cuts in the next few months. These cuts will eventually leave an estimated 170,000 people with no source of income to live on.

These measures have been taken as an attempt to eliminate debt to the federal government of more than $2 billion.

“They are literally hurting people, and it is wrong,” said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. “It’s about violating people’s deepest moral values. Even when you have a majority, you’re not allowed to violate moral values.”

These cuts have led to unrest and protests in the state. On July 22, more than 70 protesters were taken to jail during the weekly “Moral Monday” protests at General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the legislative session to 925.

“The unemployment benefit cuts are the first real-world impact of the radical, regressive agenda that this legislature has adopted. The pain is starting to be real,” said Penda Hair, a co-director of the Washington-based Advancement Project, a civil rights group that has provided assistance to Moral Monday organizers. “The momentum has built every week. I would expect to see large numbers of people turning out.”

The benefit cuts have some North Carolina legislators arguing that the decision to eliminate the federal benefits starting in July was rushed, especially given the fact that the EUC wasn’t set to expire until January.

“It’s not a time for us to turn our backs on the people who need help the most,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-North Carolina.

But Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said “Delaying the law until then could have burdened businesses and increased debt. The benefits cuts will encourage people to find work faster and then move to a better job as the economy improves,” she said.

“It may not be the job that you want or your career for the rest of your life. But to take a job, get back into the job market,” Howard added.

    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) fileunemployment.org has been around for more than 10 years and we’re one of the leading forums for unemployment insurance and unemployment in general. Our daily visitor and patron base is of considerable size and we truly believe in being a center for jobless workers to access resources and share their queries.

  1. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  2. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  3. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  4. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  5. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  6. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  7. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  8. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  9. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  10. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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