RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– Frustration over unemployment benefits continues in North Carolina, especially with the looming cutoff of the Federal Cares Act payments.
For some people, their benefits ended abruptly and they can’t find out why.
CBS 17 spoke to a college student who experienced that issue after she lost her job when the pandemic began to explode.
The college student asked us not to identify her because she is embarrassed about having to go public with her story.
“When I first filed for my claim, it was around March and I didn’t receive my payment till June,” she said. “It took a couple of months to get that.”
Here’s how her benefits situation has evolved:
- March 28: She applied for benefits
- June 8: She started receiving benefits – including $8,000 in back payments for March, April and May
- June 29: Her benefit payments stopped without explanation
She said it was very frustrating to go from getting money and all of a sudden have it stop.
On Thursday, CBS 17 revealed that between March 1 and July, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES) flagged what it said were “thousands of suspicious claims” and placed them on hold for review.
Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia asked the woman if DES ever told her that claim was being investigated or that her benefits were denied.
“They never denied it,” she said. “My claims were never denied.”
At one point, she says she was told the holdup was due to changes in the federal benefits.
“They were trying to get rid of the $600 COVID-19 benefits and transfer them back to $100 a week,” she said.
She said she was told to wait for her payments to resume. But lately she claims the state has been non-responsive.
“We’ve called them numerous times every day and been on the phone for two weeks and they won’t tell us anything,” she said.
To try to get a clarification, CBS 17 sent an email to DES asking if it’s common to just stop benefits without an explanation. The agency has yet to reply.
It should be noted, the state says more than a million people have applied for unemployment benefits and there is still a considerable backlog in claims that have yet to be processed.
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