Gov. Cooper Calls For Increased Unemployment Benefits In New Budget

Gov. Cooper Calls For Increased Unemployment Benefits In New Budget

3:48pm Aug 27, 2020
Gov. Cooper's “Support For A Determined North Carolina” budget includes recommendations on spending remaining CARES funds, school personnel benefits, Medicaid expansion, and enhanced unemployment benefits. Screen capture courtesy of NC.GOV.

The proposal is part of Governor Roy Cooper’s new “Support For A Determined North Carolina” budget, which he unveiled on Wednesday.  

Governor Cooper is recommending upping unemployment benefits from $350 a week for 12 weeks, to $500 for 24 weeks. The state currently offers one of the lowest payment amounts and ties with Florida for the shortest benefit period in the country.

During a press conference, Cooper said that this increase would only deplete the $3 billion state unemployment trust fund by about a third, and the money would go right back into local economies.

“People are hurting right now. This pandemic has knocked them out of work, and left them with few options,” Cooper said. “Helping the unemployed is what this trust fund is for, so let it do some work.”  

North Carolinians could see an additional $300 from federal sources as early as next week, but that won’t last, as Congress has yet to offer a more permanent solution. As of now, only a few weeks of these payments have been approved, and they will be paid retroactively.

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