First COVID-19 unemployment benefits will be paid this week, NC Governor Cooper says


RALEIGH, NC (WBTW) – The first payments for North Carolina unemployment claims related to COVID-19 will begin going out this week, Governor Roy Cooper announced Sunday.

The governor’s office says around 270,000 claims have been filed in the past two weeks, most of them relating to COVID-19. Governor Cooper put an executive order into effect March 17 that prohibited dine-in services in restaurants and bars, and expanded unemployment insurance.

During the first two weeks of March, the state received about 7,500 claims.

“Thousands of workers have lost jobs, but their bills don’t stop,” Governor Cooper said. “My administration is working overtime to get unemployment checks out now. We’ll keep pushing every day for more state and federal help to save our workers and their families.”

Cooper directed the Division of Employment Security to begin implementing the unemployment insurance provisions of the federal CARES Act Saturday. The Division of Employment Security expects guidance from the federal government this week on how to implement changes. That includes a change that would allow for an additional $600 in unemployment benefits, the governor’s office said in its release Sunday.

North Carolina expects those payments to begin around two weeks after the guidance is provided.

Sunday’s release from the governor also noted that workers applying for benefits must complete their weekly certifications in order to receive benefits.

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