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If you’re one of the more than 71,000 long-term unemployed in North Carolina, there’s no doubt June 30 is circled on your calendar. That last day of June is a looming dark cloud for many, as it’s the final day anyone will receive funds from North Carolina’s Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The emergency unemployment benefit program is not being put on hold; it’s not awaiting another political vote…it is terminated. With an unemployment rate still looming above 8 percent, what will the state’s long-term unemployed do?
After North Carolina’s unemployed exhaust their state benefits, they usually transitioned into receiving federal unemployment benefits. The extended unemployment benefits provided jobless citizens with an additional 47 weeks of funds. The government originally approved this package to assist the long-term unemployed across the nation, as jobless rates soared to record levels. Although North Carolina still has a large share of citizens depending on this emergency unemployment package, the funds will become a thing of the past on July 1.
Why is the Emergency Unemployment Ending?
Due to a change in NC state law, known as House Bill 4, the state’s access to federal funds were cut off. Thanks to a clause within the federal unemployment policies, if a state makes changes to its own unemployment compensation plan, federal unemployment funding is no longer accessible. While that may seem harsh, it’s a technicality state lawmakers were completely aware of, leading most people to believe the move was intentional. In fact, many politicians favored the idea of ending federal emergency unemployment. They believed this tactic was a smart way to pay back $2.1 billion (several years ahead of schedule) that the state currently owes for federal unemployment benefits. Lawmakers said that until the debt is paid back, the federal government will keep charging employers a higher amount of tax for unemployment insurance.
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What Will North Carolina's Jobless Do Now?
Many people are afraid that the immediate elimination of federal benefits will have a totally negative effect on the state of North Carolina. With the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country, what options are available to the jobless once the funds are cut off? Most believe that the lack of funds will only put a strain on social services.
Making the problem even worse is the fact that the people who are losing federal benefits have all been out of work for a minimum of six months. Studies have proven that the longer people are without a job, the harder it is for them to find another one. Many employers won’t even consider interviewing an applicant who has been unemployed for half a year. It’s North Carolinians like these that will end up suffering the most. They are losing the only amount of income that was keeping them afloat, plus they’re struggling to get a foot in the door with a potential employer.
Much of North Carolina’s current employment opportunities, especially in the new job growth sector, are within the technological industry. Unless you’ve got a degree in engineering or computer technology, your skills likely don’t match what these employers are seeking. The effect after June 30th will be felt even harder in the rural areas of the state, where unemployment rates are much higher than in urban areas like Raleigh.
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No matter where you live within North Carolina, if you’ve been depending on federal benefits to make ends meet, things are about to get even tighter for you. With no weekly income coming to you and no way to pay the bills, it might be time to consider bankruptcy as an option. In fact, many experts agree that the termination of federal benefits will lead to a large increase of bankruptcy filings across the state.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy would allow you to discharge all unsecured debts, prevent collection agencies from harassing you and provide a clean financial slate. An experienced North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer can explain current bankruptcy laws and provide you with detailed information about the bankruptcy process.
Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call 1-888-234-4181 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.