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NC Unemployment Benefits Are Even Harder to Obtain Under COVID-19

Credit NC Department of Commerce

In 2013, North Carolina’s legislature voted to cut unemployment benefits, shortening the number of eligibility weeks and capping the amount of funds workers could draw. 

Host Anita Rao talks to ProPublica reporter Ava Kofman about North Carolina's abysmal record on providing unemployment benefits to applicants.

Seven years later, unemployment is reaching unprecedented heights during the COVID-19 crisis. Before the pandemic, North Carolina was ranked lowest in the country for delivering unemployment benefits, with fewer than one in 10 applicants receiving payment in a timely manner.

How are the state’s workers faring in this crisis? Host Anita Rao talks to ProPublica’s Ava Kofman about her reporting on the issue, as well as what will happen when federal unemployment provisions under the CARES Act end after July 31.

Copyright 2020 North Carolina Public Radio

Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.
Stacia Brown comes to WUNC from Washington, DC, where she was a producer for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A. She’s the creator and host of two podcasts, The Rise of Charm City and Hope Chest. Her audio projects have been featured on Scene on Radio, a podcast of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; BBC 4’s Short Cuts; and American Public Radio’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking.