GREENSBORO, NC – More than 71,000 North Carolinians will lose a source of income after June 30.
That’s the date on which the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation ends, meaning no one in North Carolina will receive a dollar in federal compensation after that date.
The jobless become eligible for the FEUC after exhausting state unemployment, which lasts a maximum of 26 weeks.
The benefits end regardless of how long the beneficiary has been receiving emergency compensation.
The end of the compensation is a result in a change in state law. Governor McCrory signed House Bill 4 earlier this year, changing unemployment compensation in the state. That activated a clause in Federal unemployment policy that cuts off compensation to a state if the state changes its own compensation.
According to Josh Ellis, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the move was intentional. Those that favor it would like to pay back the $2.1billion the state currently owes the federal government for unemployment benefits three years earlier than anticipated.
Until that debt it paid, the federal government will charge North Carolina’s employers higher taxes for unemployment insurance to cover the debt.
“We hope it will ultimately put North Carolina in a more competitive position to grow business,” Ellis said.
Meanwhile, those losing the compensation, like Patrick Cobb of Whitsett, say they’ve got nowhere to turn with a dried-up job market and soon, no federal money.
“I’m really panicking right now,” Cobb said.