Nearly 1 million people now applying for unemployment benefits in North Carolina

Nearly 1 million people now applying for unemployment benefits in North Carolina

GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - The North Carolina Department of Commerce continues to update its statistics regarding unemployment claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to nccommerce.com, $2.81 billion in unemployment insurance has been paid out between March 15 and May 28. The website notes that 620,607 people have been paid benefits during that time period, and from March 15 to May 27, 962,390 people have applied for benefits.

As the state continues to process claims, some residents say that they continue to have trouble filing.

Cindy Davis, a hairstylist at Grayson Hunter Hair Designs in Gastonia, contacted WBTV after having trouble filing her claim. She said she was out of work for an eight-week period during the pandemic.

“I was sad because I’m a people person. I’m very social,” Davis told WBTV in an interview Thursday.

Like thousands of other people, Davis tried to apply for unemployment benefits with North Carolina’s Division of Employment Security. She said she attempted to make phone calls and send emails to connect with state employees. Davis said she then received a letter from the state agency last week that only created more confusion.

“Basically, what it was saying was that Cindy Harper Price was the business owner and Cindy Davis was working for her,” explained Davis.

She said the state agency seemed to be confused because her name had changed after she had gotten married.

“They wanted me to separate the two and I was like, ‘What the heck?’” said Davis.

The hairstylist said she has been frustrated by the situation, but understands the struggles that state employees are currently dealing with.

“I feel sorry for them. I know they’ve got just tons of people trying to get in and do stuff and they’re overworked and understaffed,” said Davis.

She said she is back to cutting hair again now that salons have been allowed to reopen in North Carolina. Davis said she will continue trying to file a claim to receive compensation for the eight weeks that she was out of work.

“Eight weeks without a paycheck is really rough,” said Davis.

Officials from the Division of Employment Security have previously told WBTV they will not speak about individual unemployment claims due to privacy concerns.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.