Man waits six months for unemployment determination

People struggling to collect unemployment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At WBTV, we’ve helped dozens of people get their unemployment benefits. But when we heard from one person who first filed their claim in May, we wondered why it took him so long to reach out.

“It was just frustrating, the money was owed to me. I’ve never drawn unemployment in my entire career,” George Cater said.

George Cater had hours eliminated earlier this year but used almost all of his vacation time to keep paying into his insurance and 401K. In the end he had to file for unemployment after his paid time off was nearly exhausted.

“It was only one week. One week I had zero wages,” Cater said.

Cater has waited for six months to receive a determination on one week of unemployment benefits. On the Division of Employment Security webpage it says his claim is still pending.

“They (DES call center representatives) weren’t sure what was holding it up. Be patient is what they kept telling me,” Cater said.

Similarly Jerry Stencil filed in July. He says he received a letter accepting his claim but his claimant home page on the DES website says it’s still pending.

“I’ve been sending in my weekly certifications, what seems to be the hold up,” Stencil said.

According to data released by DES on Friday only out of 1.3 million claims a little more than 9,000 are still pending.

A spokesperson for DES told us that there is funding for all of the unemployment programs and that he would help investigate the problems experienced by both Cater and Stencil.

“It seems crazy and given the circumstance with the pandemic in my mind this should be an easy decision for the department to make,” Cater said.

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