People filing for unemployment wonder why so many claims

People filing for unemployment wonder why so many claims
People asked to file multiple unemployment claims

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Months into the pandemic and some people are still having problems with North Carolina’s unemployment system.

The newest issue, according to people WBTV talked to, is they’ve been asked to file multiple claims even though other representatives of DES have told them they’re not supposed to.

Two different people reached out to WBTV saying they were asked to file multiple claims and then they were told by separate call support specialists or legal counsel that was the incorrect procedure.

“I was just following directions,” William Cunningham told WBTV.

Cunningham has been waiting for his unemployment claim to be processed for more than two months.

He’s filed these three claims for unemployment insurance, pandemic unemployment assistance and disaster unemployment assistance, all of which are open, pending or incomplete.

He said he was told to do that by a DES representative but then later told that’s not right.

“One of the consultant people they have on the call center told me I should only have one claim and the fact that I had three was probably holding up my initial claim,” Cunningham said.

“I think I’ve applied six or seven maybe eight times,” Chris Melton said.

The same thing happened to Chris Melton.

He said he was told to apply numerous times before a legal support system told him he shouldn’t apply anymore since DES wasn’t following their own procedures.

“That’s not protocol and they never heard of anyone having to go through that process,” Melton said.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Division of Employment Services said that having multiple claims was nothing unusual but did not answer why different agents would be saying different things about the number of claims.

“Claimants who indicate COVID-19 as their reason for separation from employment when filing are prompted to file a claim for state unemployment and a claim for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance,” DES spokesperson Larry Parker wrote in an email.

Parker also said if someone submitted multiple claims it should not slow down the processing of the claim.

After WBTV reached out to DES, they reached out to Cunningham and got his claim approved.

According to the most recent data from DES, out of 1.1 million people who have filed claims, just 121,000 still have them pending.

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