Unemployment claims denied but updates in state and federal law could change that

Taking a deeper look at qualifying for unemployment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More than 630,000 people have filed for unemployment insurance in North Carolina since March 15 but it’s unclear how many of those people have been denied.

However, changes in federal and state rules might make many of the people who have been denied originally eligible.

In a press release Thursday, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security stated that it would be processing claims for independent contractors and self-employed people starting Friday.

The new policy is part of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

On April 28, the North Carolina General Assembly is convening and state legislators tell WBTV it is likely they will pass changes to unemployment insurance benefit eligibility.

The draft bill would make people eligible for the following reasons:

(1) An employer temporarily ceases operations due to the coronavirus, preventing the individual from going to work.

(2) An employer reduces the hours of employment due to the coronavirus.

(3) An individual has a current diagnosis of coronavirus.

(4) An individual is quarantined at the instruction of a health care provider or a local, state or federal official.

State Representative Chaz Beasley told WBTV that the North Carolina Department of Commerce informed the House Committee Economic Working Group that they’ve been working to start approving claims that were previously denied under existing rules.

People who have already been denied or have pending claims should check the status of their claims and paperwork to make sure they have provided all the needed information.

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