Tornado victim also caught in political storm over unemployment

Posted April 20, 2011

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— The Raleigh woman whose home provided the backdrop Wednesday for Gov. Beverly Perdue's update on tornado recovery efforts is dealing with a pending loss of unemployment benefits in addition to storm damage.

"I have other people's lives in my hands as well, and you know, it's just one thing after another, one thing after another," said Rose Morales, who cares for her grandchildren.

Several large trees fell on her apartment during Saturday's storms, and the building is now deemed unsafe, which will force her to move.

Morales lost her job late last year and has been receiving unemployment benefits since then. Because of political wrangling between Perdue and Republican lawmakers, those benefits will end about five months earlier than expected.

Perdue on Saturday vetoed legislation that would have kept benefit checks flowing because Republicans lawmakers tacked it on to a bill that would have forced a 13 percent budget cut. She called that "extortion."

North Carolina is among about three dozen states in which an extended benefits program of up to 20 weeks of compensation was created as a way to lessen the pain for the long-term unemployed caught in the recession's massive job losses.

The benefits kick in only after regular jobless benefits and all federal extensions – a total of 79 weeks – have been exhausted.

The U.S. Labor Department notified North Carolina officials two weeks ago that the extended benefits program had to stop paying out after Saturday because of a drop in the state's unemployment rate. About 37,000 people were immediately cut off.

Lawmakers revised the formula to keep the extended benefits going, but Republican leaders tied the move to passage of a budget bill.

Rose Morales Tornado victim also caught in political storm over unemployment

"Hopefully, the government can do something different to bring these benefits back," Morales said.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said the General Assembly tried to address the problem with jobless benefits and doesn't plan to craft another solution following the veto.

"We've sent a bill that fixes the problem. We've encouraged the governor to sign it," Berger said. "It appears that the governor's position constantly is you do it the way she wants to do it, or it doesn't get done."

Perdue said she wants "this distraction to combine issues" to be over. Morales said she just wants the political posturing to end.

"All we can do is just hope and pray that it'll get better because, if somebody doesn't help us, we'll be homeless for real," she said.


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  • socialjustice64 Apr 25, 2011

    Rose -

    I wish you and your family the best of luck and hope that you are receiving the help you need and deserve. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and setting the record straight here. I am sure you have so many more IMPORTANT things to do!

  • amedakahmorales Apr 22, 2011

    Something I forgot to say this is Rose Morales again. All the money I get is my money do you know how unemployment works.I do not need anything from anyone and I certaintly do not use people. My heart really hurts when I hear how people judge people and do noy even know them. I will conyinue to pray for all of you.

  • amedakahmorales Apr 22, 2011

    I am grateful to those who say they understand this is Rose Morales the lady in the video. I do actively look for work and unemployement dosent pay me half as much as I made when I was working. I do have a part-time job and I claim it when I file every week . My kids daycare was destroyed, across the street from my house ,that was damaged. I did not asked to be interviewed they asked me. For the last three and a half years I have worked 3 jobs all at the same time, and I only started getting unemployment Feruary 2011 after applying in November of last year. So I do not expect anyone to take care of me. God Bless you,and those who judge don't matter and those who matter don't judge.

  • WRALSUCKS Apr 21, 2011

    She should go get a job and stop waiting for someone else to take care of her.

  • lovethesouth1 Apr 21, 2011

    And socialjustice64, why don't you get that worked up over sending notes to your congresspeople about creating jobs rather than paying for people not to have one?

  • lovethesouth1 Apr 21, 2011

    chromelexus22, do you pay taxes?

    I do feel badly for the loss of her home and would want her to get assistance to rebuild. But if she doesn't have a job, is she in Section 8 housing? If so, why can't she move into another Section 8 apartment? If her grandkids are in school, she should be able to work at least part time, but something tells me unemployment pays her a lot more than a PT job. I don't appreciate her putting the responsibility of her situation on "someone else" to help her.

  • babedan Apr 21, 2011

    socialjustice64 - the problem is socialism doesn't work. When those that work get tired of supporting those that don't they either revolt, or they quit working and go on the government payroll too. what has this lady been doing for 79 weeks? How many jobs has she looked for? Did she go to the McDonald's workshop trying to find a job? Why is she caring for her Grandchildren? Almost a year and a half on unemployeement and she's whinning. As for Perdue, she had a chance to extend the benefits but she's not willing to give up her other social agendas. Cut off the illegals and guess what, she has her 13% and more to make up for extending the benefits.

  • NCSU2311 Apr 21, 2011

    I've read this article 3x now. The 2nd paragraph says she takes care of her grandchildren. I can't help but wonder, wait as sec. I do feel for her loss and think tornados suck. But I wonder if she is actively looking for work while drawing the benefit if she cares for grandchildren? How old are these kids? You do as a requirement have to be actively seeking employment.OR Is she sitting on her duff while the mom and dad don't pay her for the child care time? Maybe mom and dad slip her monies and she does not declare it.

    Maybe. Maybe they are dead. Maybe you should realize you dont know and dont judge people without ALL the facts.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Apr 21, 2011

    Sad reality is that if your finances do not allow you to buy insurance whether health or contents insurance and you get sick or loose your belongings in a catastrophe, well then that is unfortunate. Why do people think they are entitled to things that other people have when they aren't capable of providing them for themselves? I'd like a Mercedes but I can't pay for one on my salary, so should I expect someone else to provide it for me?

    I'm sorry she lost her job and in distress. If that was me, I'd have to make do and certainly wouldn't be whinning that I thought I deserved more. She should be thankful she doesn't have to come up with money to pay for a burial like the families that lost 4 children. It could be a lot worse lady.

  • RM24 Apr 21, 2011

    The REAL POINT HERE is the benefits are being held hostage in exchange for a 13% budget cutsocialjustice64

    THE REAL point here is our COUNTRY AND STATE is broke!!! AND the people are SICK AND TIRED of people using the system. Whether she is or not makes no difference on the post. WRAL used here and the "poor pitiful me" in the story. Someone wanted the attention. SO they should be prepaired to deal with the bad or the good. WE HAVE TO stop so many handouts. LIFE is not fair. TO ME or anyone.