NC Unemployment Benefits Are Even Harder to Obtain Under COVID-19

Jul 1, 2020

Credit NC Department of Commerce

In 2013, North Carolina’s legislature voted to cut unemployment benefits, shortening the number of eligibility weeks and capping the amount of funds workers could draw. 

Seven years later, unemployment is reaching unprecedented heights during the COVID-19 crisis. Before the pandemic, North Carolina was ranked lowest in the country for delivering unemployment benefits, with fewer than one in 10 applicants receiving payment in a timely manner.

How are the state’s workers faring in this crisis? Host Anita Rao talks to ProPublica’s Ava Kofman about her reporting on the issue, as well as what will happen when federal unemployment provisions under the CARES Act end after July 31.