Overwhelming Demand for Unemployment Benefits in North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Overwhelming demand for unemployment benefits is making it hard for some people to sign up.
Nearly 5,000 people filed claims in the first 19 hours after North Carolina eased benefit restrictions.
“The website actually kept crashing down, every time you go forward, it sends you back out or it won’t log in, log you back in,” said a woman outside an East Charlotte unemployment office.
She showed up to find the office closed, after having trouble signing up online and over the phone.
She didn’t want to show her face on camera, but says she works at a high-end hotel in Uptown.
“Well, I’m not working right now. I’m getting like eight hours a week,” the woman explains. “It’s really affecting us hard, there’s no income coming in and, you know, bills don’t stop.”
Of the more than 4,700 people who listed Coronavirus as the reason for filing, about 3,800 say they were laid off, while just over 950 said they needed help because of reduced hours.
“It’s just a mess, we’re all online right now, we’re all calling in, so think about it, we ain’t gonna get through, that’s it. Just be patient,” one man said outside the unemployment office on Wednesday.
The state has reduced restrictions in filing, eliminating the one-week waiting period to apply for benefits and waiving the requirement to look for work while on unemployment.
And, you don’t have to be laid off. You can also qualify for unemployment benefits if your hours have been cut.