Perdue signs order to extend jobless benefits

Posted January 11, 2012

— For the second time in less than a year, Gov. Beverly Perdue has signed an executive order to extend jobless benefits to North Carolina residents who have been out of work for months.

Some people logging on to the state Division of Employment Security in recent days have been greeted with a notice in red letters, announcing that benefits were anticipated to end on Jan. 28.

Congress in December approved a two-month extension of weekly benefits for people who have been unemployed long enough to have exhausted all regular benefits and additional benefits that the government put in place during the recession.

States set the bar for when extended benefits kick in, so North Carolina needed to change the calculations used to determine when the money could be paid out.

Last spring, a similar situation affecting 47,000 people led to a seven-week standoff between Republican leaders in the General Assembly and Perdue, who termed legislative efforts to link extending benefits to state budget cuts "extortion."

Perdue ended the stalemate by issuing an executive order approving the benefit payouts. The order expired on Dec. 31, however, prompting her to sign a new order so the weekly benefit checks could continue for those who need them.

"In addition to providing desperately needed financial help to the families that actually receive the benefits, these federal dollars will help all North Carolinians because the money will circulate throughout the economy and help support large and small businesses across the state," Perdue said in a statement.

ESC website Perdue order will keep NC jobless benefits flowing

"To be clear, we’re able to achieve these results with no impact on the state budget because all extended benefits resulting from this order will be paid with 100 percent federal money,” she said.

Republican lawmakers said they were ready to return to Raleigh for a special session to address the issue, if needed.

Officials said about 25,000 unemployed people faced losing their benefits if no action was taken.

Terrie Eaton, who has been out of work for more than a year, said she needs the extended benefits to take care of her two children and look for work every day.

"Many of us who are on extended benefits currently, we depend on that. We have families," Eaton said.


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  • Crumps Br0ther Jan 13, 2012

    Why the extension? Just last week there was a heated debate on thses boards that the unemployment numbers were down and the economy was stampeding back! Does Bev know something we don't?

  • chattycat Jan 13, 2012

    Part of Bev's re-election campaign. Bev - YOU LOSE! This is outrageous. NO MORE EXTENSIONS - make these people find a job. I lost my job a couple of yrs ago and had to collect unemployment for the first time in my life and I am no spring chicken. Ended up taking a job that started as part time. Pay is half of what I used to make and certainly not my dream job. But, its a job and no more claims for unemployment. Jobs are out there, people are just lazy, think they are too good or just dreaming that their perfect job will come along. Take what job you can get and be thankful for it.

  • ratherknot Jan 12, 2012

    Of course there are folks who take every advantage of a well intended program, but it is the state/feds that enable them to do so. Until they stop the fraud or are able to weed-out those that have no ambition to contribute, then it will always be this way. Unfortunately for those that strive to do the right thing, they are the ones who end up on the short end of the proverbial stick.
    Regardless of political party affiliation, our supposed leaders only look out for their own enrichment. The contributing citizens of this country are the ones being screwed...for the price of a vote

  • ratherknot Jan 12, 2012

    I agree that people who are capable of work but would rather sponge on long-term benefits shouldn't be enabled to do so. However those folks that are not and have never bilked or taken advantage of the system should have the benefit of help even if it is long-term.
    My wife and I have been in the work force for 29 and 31 years respectively, we are educated. All along our employer has paid unemployment taxes into the system to help fund it. It is no fault of my wifes that her job went to Mexico.
    We don't want to rely on hand-outs, we are proud people, we want to work and teach our kids the free enterprise system, we anticipate and look forward to the right opportunity to come along so she can get back into the workforce.
    I don't see her/us as free-loaders on the state or fed dime, we have contributed to society for 60 combined years and plan to keep contributing, but I really have no guilt about our family being able to utilize unemployment pay as assistance to aid us in getting through

  • beaupeep Jan 12, 2012

    I got a few weeks UE once. I actually waited a month or more before I went in. Having to take it was the biggest incentive to find a job, ANY job. Now it seems the reverse is true.

  • BringthePain Jan 12, 2012

    Having been laid off twice in the past 3 years, I can understand the pain and disgrace of collecting unemployment. However, each time I found another job within 2 months. While I realize that my story is more the exception than the norm, it shows there ARE jobs out there. Network, people, network! This is why I now support cutting off another extension of benefits. There is a point where people have to start owning up to their short-comings.

    If you've been unemployed for 99 weeks, something is wrong. I fully support unemployment, but 99 weeks (2 years) is getting ridiculous. You will probably have to take a pay cut and not get the ideal job (I didn't at the time), but it pays the bills.

  • aetius476 Jan 12, 2012

    "Tell me none of you have had to get unemployment? If not surely your day will come, Just wait awhile." - eissac

    I have collected it in the past (once), for 13 weeks. The problem is not UE as it was intended to be, a temporary support for workers displaced or between jobs. 26 weeks was plenty.

    The issue is paying people for 2 years not to work. That is welfare!

  • cantstandya Jan 12, 2012

    I want the economy to have a positive movement for,but would like to see some who have been so critical of those less fortunate to have to go through the expereince and see for themselves what many of these families have had to endure,one of our family members who has a degree and did work for over 12 years before being let go has made it but went many months and it was just hard to watch let alone be in her shoes ourselves,it can happen to anyone at anytime.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Jan 12, 2012

    I'v been on unemployment for a few weeks and had to pay taxes on it at the end of the year. I can't help but wonder if all these people who say "well I worked for it I'm gonna get it" blah blah blah realize that they will eventually have to pay taxes on this money?

  • stevee2 Jan 12, 2012

    You talk a good game Hag, bet your money isn't where your mouth is.