News: Quick Takes

As N.C. honors new unemployment claims, how much can workers collect?

North Carolinians laid off as a result of the coronavirus outbreak could receive benefits as early as Monday, March 30.

A spokesman for the Division of Employment Security told Carolina Journal that moves by the Cooper administration streamlining the benefit process will speed those checks. But the benefits are capped as incomes rise.

A worker’s weekly unemployment benefit in North Carolina is generally half his weekly pay before he became unemployed. The maximum eligible weekly wage is $700. To get the maximum weekly benefit of $350, a worker must have earned at least $18,200 over the previous two quarters. That’s the period used to set the benefit amount.

Anyone making $36,400 or more a year should qualify for the $350 maximum.

The state lets workers collect benefits for 12 weeks, making the most you could receive $4,200.

If Congress passes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act now before the Senate, the federal government will boost weekly benefits by as much as $600 and for as long as four months.

The Senate may vote on the bill Wednesday. The House is set to convene Thursday at 9 a.m. President Trump has said he would sign the bill.