North Carolina becomes first state to disqualify itself for federal jobless benefits

By David Edwards
Friday, June 28, 2013 10:23 EDT
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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R)
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A new law taking effect in North Carolina over the weekend will cut unemployment benefits for new claims and disqualify the state from receiving federal funds for the long-term jobless.

According the The Associated Press, lawmakers passed the bill in February to accelerate the repayment of $2.5 billion federal debt by cutting jobless benefits and increasing taxes on businesses. Because the bill cuts benefits to those who are newly unemployed, the state also disqualified itself from receiving federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).

The U.S. Labor Department has estimated that about 170,000 out-of-work North Carolinians stand to lose $700 million in EUC payments.

Under the law passed by North Carolina Republicans, qualifying for state benefits will become more difficult and the payments will be cut from a maximum weekly benefit of $535 to $350. The benefit period will be shortened from six months to no more than five months, and in some cases only three months.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) have refused to entertain a suggestion by the NAACP and Democratic lawmakers to delay benefit cuts until the federal jobless program expires next January.

Watch this video from WRAL, broadcast June 20, 2013.

[Photo: State of North Carolina]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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