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ICYMI Cooper Admin Lags Behind Other States in Making Unemployment Payments

After ranking last in the nation for getting payments out in 2019, Division of Employment Security continues to come in near the bottom

"I ended up using every last penny of my savings. I went a total of six weeks not even getting paid," a waitress told a Charlotte TV station

RALEIGH, N.C. – New rankings from the U.S. Department of Labor has found that Gov. Roy Cooper's Division of Employment Security lags behind most of the nation in getting out timely unemployment payments. According to WCNC, through June "just under 63% of first payments arrived within 14 to 21 days."

For the more than 1 million North Carolinians that lost jobs due to Gov. Cooper's COVID-19 shutdowns, waiting more than two weeks can mean having to go hungry or make late payments on bills.

In 2019, Cooper's DES was ranked LAST in the nation, making about 58% of payments within 14 to 21 days, compared to the national average of 88%.

From the WCNC report:

"Through June, federal records show just under 63% of first payments arrived within 14 to 21 days. That's not nearly as good as the 77% success rate in South Carolina.

"Although the North Carolina Division of Employment Security has hired five times more employees since March to handle unemployment claims, other states continue to see more success. The national average for timely unemployment benefits sits right around 70%. North Carolina's goal is to pay people within 14 days of filing. ...

"While many experienced problems at the beginning of the process, in recent weeks we've learned once you collect unemployment, your trouble with benefits doesn't necessarily disappear.

"Waitress Allison McAuliffe lost her job in March and quickly collected unemployment benefits, but she said her benefits stopped in July. She said DES put a hold on her account and didn't give a clear reason why. ...

"As she waited, McAuliffe said the money in her bank account dried up.

"'I ended up using every last penny of my savings,'" she said, "'I went a total of six weeks not even getting paid.'

"With nowhere else to turn, she reached out to WCNC Charlotte.

"Within hours of WCNC Charlotte emailing DES about her benefits, the state removed the hold and deposited almost $1,000 in backpay."

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