Thousands in North Carolina still waiting on unemployment benefits

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Tiffany Holcomb is one of thousands in North Carolina still waiting on unemployment benefits.

Holcomb filed a claim at the beginning of May after losing her job in the medical field due to COVID-19.

Last Monday, she learned her unemployment claim was finally approved. A call center agent told her she would see her benefits in her bank account the same week. Seven days later she still has nothing.

“How did we go Monday from approved and getting paid to now we have no clue what’s going on,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb hasn’t seen a penny of the $6.5 billion in paid state and federal unemployment insurance benefits.

She’s also had a difficult time getting help through North Carolina’s customer call center.

“Now when I call back I’m getting the same excuses, and I don’t knows, that I was getting beforehand, and it’s kind of like you want to throw your hands up and give up, but that’s not fair either,” Holcomb said.

She talked to two different call center agents today, hoping for an answer.

After a 23 minute conversation, working through the holds on her account, the call disconnected and she had to start over.

“It’s not fair and I don’t think people should be having to chase down money and calling, and on the other end your local and state, no one seems to know any answers nor do they seem to want to help and that is very frustrating for me,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb lost her job at the height of the pandemic. She was working for a contractor through Novant Health.

Since then, the state has surpassed 2 million unemployment benefit claims.

According to the Division of Employment Security in North Carolina, over 9,000 people are still waiting for their claims to be resolved.

“All of those people have no clue what they are going to do for their future and that bothers me because I understand what it feels like to not know what you are going to do or to be in that mental state of an uncertain future,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb says her patience is running thin and waiting any longer isn’t a realistic option.

“I can’t call the Governor himself, not yet, and say help, help us, this is people’s livelihoods and I’m ready to get our bills and our debt back on track the best way that I can. I feel like I’m not bringing what I can to the table and it’s creating anxiety in my household,” Holcomb said.

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