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NEW ANALYSIS: NC'ians Face Financial Cliff if Tillis, Burr Allow Unemployment Insurance to Expire


July 8, 2020

NEW ANALYSIS: North Carolinians Face Financial Cliff if Tillis, Burr Allow Unemployment Insurance to Expire

State Payments Alone Would Leave North Carolinians $350 Short on Monthly Rent, Health Care Costs

Raleigh, N.C. - Today, Piedmont Rising released a new analysis showing that unemployed North Carolinians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic would face a financial cliff if Congress does not extend the expanded federal unemployment insurance beyond July 31. North Carolina’s state unemployment alone would leave an average person more than $350 short of covering their monthly housing and health insurance costs before factoring in any other expenses.

Despite North Carolina’s unemployment rate continuing to soar, Senator Thom Tillis suggested last week that extending federal unemployment insurance would “make the problem worse.” Senator Richard Burr has so far refused to comment on the extension. 

“If Senator Tillis and Senator Burr refuse to extend federal unemployment insurance, they’ll be pushing hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians off a financial cliff,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “North Carolina’s state unemployment alone wouldn’t even cover the monthly cost of rent and health insurance, let alone groceries, prescription drugs, transportation or any of the other basic expenses working families face. Tillis and Burr must recognize that hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are still struggling and extend unemployment insurance beyond July 31.”

Analysis on Unemployment Insurance in North Carolina:

The CARES Act passed by Congress in March 2020 has been providing an extra $600 a week in unemployment insurance to help struggling workers during this pandemic. This enhancement has been especially important for families in North Carolina -- a state which has some of the worst unemployment insurance of any state in the country, thanks to the sweeping cuts to unemployment insurance that Senator Tillis made in 2013 when he was Speaker of the North Carolina House.

Maximum NC UI Insurance Benefit - 4 Weeks: $1,400

Maximum NC UI Insurance Benefit - 4 Weeks + CARES Act: $3,800

Median Cost of Rent: $1,211

Average Marketplace Health Insurance Premium: $558

Money Leftover Without CARES Act: -$369

Money Leftover With CARES Act: $2,031

Despite the floundering economy and record unemployment numbers, the $600 unemployment insurance is set to expire on July 31 unless Congress intervenes.


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