Thousands in the state could lose their emergency unemployment compensation benefits without an extension by the federal government.
In February 2012, Congress extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through the week ending Dec. 29, 2012. The end of the EUC program will affect approximately 75-87,000 North Carolina claimants. Claimants currently on regular unemployment insurance benefits will not experience an interruption in their claim. Only those in the federal EUC extension program will be affected.
Prior authorizations of the EUC program provided for a graduated phase-out of eligibility for claimants receiving benefits on the scheduled expiration date. In this case however, there will be no phase out and their EUC benefits will stop.
“Our focus is on assisting these claimants and working with DES workforce partners to ensure resources are available when these benefits end,” said DES Assistant Secretary Dempsey Benton in a news release. “ DES plans to work with other state and local resources such as county Departments of Social Services (DSS) and the community college system to help those who are affected transition back into the workforce.”
DES is currently paying about $25 million a week in EUC benefits. For the week ending Oct. 27, EUC was paid to 376 people in Stokes County.
For immediate assistance with services available to help unemployed individuals and job seekers, claimants are encouraged to visit their local Employment Service office. Available at 90 locations statewide, these offices offer a wide range of reemployment services, as well as connections to other community resources.
A directory of NC Employment Service offices is available at www.ncesc1.com/locator/locatormain.asp. Once the EUC program ends, the maximum eligibility available to claimants will be 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. There will be no other extension programs in place.