• Piedmont Rising

North Carolinians: “I don’t know that I’ll be able to make my bills or buy enough food.”


July 14, 2020

North Carolinians: “I don’t know that I’ll be able to make my bills or buy enough food.”

Less Than Two Weeks Until Unemployment is Cut, But Senators Tillis and Burr Still Refuse to Help Struggling North Carolinians

Raleigh, N.C. - North Carolinians who have lost jobs because of the pandemic are facing the prospect of being unable to pay bills or afford food when expanded federal unemployment insurance expires less than two weeks from now. If federal unemployment insurance is cut, average weekly payments in North Carolina will drop from $877 to just $277. Thanks to cuts to North Carolina’s state unemployment system made in 2013 by then-House Speaker Thom Tillis, North Carolina is already “the worst state to be unemployed” with some of the lowest state unemployment payments in the nation.

Earlier this month, Senator Tillis said that extending federal $600 weekly payments beyond July 31 may “make the problem worse.” Senator Richard Burr has refused to comment.

“If Senator Tillis and Senator Burr do not act to extend federal unemployment insurance, they will be robbing struggling North Carolinians of their ability to pay for food, housing, health care, and other basic living expenses,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “Because of the on-going pandemic, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are still facing the worst economic circumstances of their lives, and forcing them to take another pay cut would be devastating. Tillis and Burr must commit to extending expanded federal unemployment insurance beyond July.”

More from Bloomberg News:

Raven Gilbert used to manage the bar at Hunter House & Gardens, a wedding and event venue in Huntersville, North Carolina, before she was laid off in March. She said she didn’t qualify for regular state jobless benefits but was able to get PUA.

Even with the $600 weekly bonus, the sum falls short of what she was making earlier this year. Though she hopes her job will become available again, she’s been looking for a new job but bars are still closed and restaurants are operating at reduced capacity. Without the extra unemployment benefit, she qualifies for just $134 a week in government aid.

“I don’t know what will happen,” Gilbert said. “I don’t know that I’ll be able to make my bills or buy enough food.”


9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Contact Us
Connect with us

© 2019 by Piedmont Rising. Read our privacy policy.


Paid for by Piedmont Rising, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Piedmont Rising is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation. All contributions received will be used to further the mission of Piedmont Rising, which is to educate and engage the public and advocate for public policy issues in order to promote social welfare, consistent with section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.​ Piedmont Rising intends to make communications expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates for federal office. Please note that Piedmont Rising may be required to disclose the name, address, employer, occupation, and amount contributed by its donors on reports filed with the Federal Election Commission required for such communications. 


Contributions or gifts to Piedmont Rising are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions or as business expenses under IRC Section 162(e). Financial and other information about Piedmont Rising’s purpose, programs, and activities can be obtained by writing to Piedmont Rising, 311 New Bern Ave, PO Box 26628, Raleigh, NC 27611, or by calling (919) 410-8415. For purposes of North Carolina, Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at (888) 830-4989 or (919) 807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon