Guilford County woman shares struggle after supplemental unemployment benefits expire

North Carolina News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Some people in the Piedmont Triad have started to feel the pinch after federal supplemental unemployment benefits because the COVID-19 pandemic expired.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 222,000 people are unemployed in North Carolina. Around 155,000 or roughly 70% of people receiving the supplemental benefits will find their unemployment checks cut by $300.

“I wish there was more I could do,” said Yolanda Matthews, who is unemployed and searching for a job. “I feel like I’m at a standstill right now.”

Matthews lost her job at a Greensboro call center at the start of the pandemic. It was a job she loved.

“I was very disappointed because I really enjoyed the job,” she said. “It was something I could do because I am a disabled person.”

Matthews has searched for a job that’s accommodating to her needs where she doesn’t have to stand for long periods of time.

“It’s difficult to be able to find a job you can do with your disability,” Matthews said. “I’m very limited on what I can do as far as a job goes.”

Her unemployment check was cut in September. She said the extra $300 from the federal supplemental unemployment benefits helped her make ends meet, until now.

“That’s what I lived off of, so now it’s stopped,” she said. “I don’t know where I’m going to be able to get a job if I can get a job or where my next paycheck’s going to come. It’s very upsetting not knowing how you’re going to live from day to day.”

Matthews told FOX8 she has applied and is waited to hear back from employers. So far, she has applied to at least three jobs each week with no response.

“It’s been very, very difficult to get an employer to respond,” Matthews said. “I’m just willing to do whatever it takes to get a job. I’m willing to do that because like I said I don’t know when my next paychecks going to come in.”

Matthews is one of about 15,000 people receiving unemployment benefits in Guilford County.

“I’m just hoping and praying that I can find something that will be able to help me from this point forward,” she said.

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