North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would slash unemployment benefits and cause the state to lose roughly $600 million worth of extended jobless compensation paid entirely by the federal government.
The measure would reduce the maximum weekly benefit from $530 to $350 per person. If it passes, North Carolina workers will no longer receive long-term compensation starting in July, since states cannot remain eligible for federal unemployment insurance if local lawmakers cut weekly benefit amounts. An estimated 80,000 people would miss out on federal extended benefits, according to the North Carolina Justice Center, a worker advocacy nonprofit. At $25 million per week, the total loss over time amounts to more than $600 million.
Policy experts said the move would be unprecedented. “It is pretty amazing,” the center’s Alexandra Sirota said in an interview. “As far as we know, no other state has rejected federal dollars to push that level of benefit cuts.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
US / Unemployment Insurance: Extended benefits have added more than 125 percent over the past two years
“Unemployment insurance programs insure workers against the risk of lost income if they lose their job through no fault of their own. In the U.S., the program is run at the state level. Each state sets its benefit level and eligibility criteria, and finances these benefits through payroll taxes.2 ” write David L. Fuller, B. Ravikumar and … Continue reading »
“I am getting frantic emails and comments on my blog posts from people who are running out of unemployment benefits and aren’t sure why” writes Alison Doyle. “The reason is that what is provided for unemployed workers changed dramatically in January.” “Federal extended unemployment benefits have been gradually reduced this year and more reductions are …Continue reading »
Based on notification from the U.S. Department of Labor, North Carolina is no longer eligible for the Extended Benefits program. The last payable week of the Extended Benefits program will be the week ending May 12, 2012. Workers who file their claim through the Extended Benefits program will no longer be eligible to receive extended … Continue reading »