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February 13, 2013

North Carolina lawmakers move to slash unemployment help

North Carolina lawmakers Tuesday moved to drastically slash jobless benefits, joining the ranks of states that have decided they can no longer sustain the growing financial burden of the unemployed.

Despite having one of the nation’s highest jobless rates, North Carolina’s government took steps to enact some of most severe benefit cuts in the country. The measure would shrink the maximum period of time someone could receive state jobless benefits to 20 weeks from 26 weeks and reduce the maximum weekly benefit to $350 from $535. The state Senate gave preliminary approval to the proposal on Tuesday, and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has promised to sign it into law, which would take effect July 1.

The reduction in benefits has another dire consequence for North Carolina’s unemployed. Unless they collect at least 26 weeks of unemployment checks from the state, they are disqualified from getting jobless benefits from the federal government, which add up to an additional 47 weeks of aid.

An estimated 170,000 people would be thrown off federal jobless benefits in the state, according to the federal Labor Department.”

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Read full Washington Post article here

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