On June 30th, over 70,000 long-term unemployed workers were abruptly cut off from their unemployment benefits and North Carolina became the only state to lose out on 100% federally-funded emergency benefits.
This “unemployment cliff” was created due to the June 30th implementation date of massive and unprecedented cuts to the state-funded unemployment benefits. These cuts ran afoul of federal rules for emergency benefits, which require that states maintain existing benefit levels as long as the emergency federal benefits are available. States that flout these rules are no longer eligible for the federally-funded benefits.
And so, on June 30th, 70,000 jobless workers in North Carolina lost the benefits on which they relied to pay their bills and feed their families. Another 100,000 or so will not receive the emergency benefits the federal government has offered through the end of the year.
There is a rumor floating about that there is no point in further discussing the effective date of the UI benefit cuts since HB4 has been passed and signed by the governor. In truth, there is still time for the legislature to act. There is time to delay the cuts in HB4 and enter into a new agreement with the US DOL. There is time for North Carolina to pass on the federally-funded benefits to those jobless workers who need them.
It’s up to our lawmakers. But if they don’t act before the waning days of the session, it will be too late and North Carolina will have made history for pushing its jobless workers off the cliff and then refusing to make things right. Sign this petition calling on lawmakers to act.