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'Over $9K' | North Carolina man finally receives his unemployment benefits

After a year-long wait, a WCNC Charlotte viewer is getting his long-overdue unemployment benefits.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Another victory for a WCNC viewer asking, “Where’s the Money." The North Carolina Department of Employment Securities was underpaying this viewer for almost a year.  With nowhere else to turn, Cheikh Dia emailed WCNC Consumer Reporter Bill McGinty for help.

The North Carolina system is good, but it’s not perfect, and with anything in government, there is a lot of red tape. That’s where WCNC comes in to help.

When you need your money, you need your money. In the last year, millions of people in North Carolina suddenly lost their jobs.

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“I filed in mid-April (2020), and they gave me the minimum benefit, which was $134 a week and it took me emailing you to get them to give me the correct amount,” said Dia who was struggling to get the Department of Employment Securities to understand he wasn’t being paid his full benefit. Pre-Covid, Dia was working as a contract truck driver, then, like millions, he wasn’t.

“It was a big surprise,” he said. 

Credit: Stuart Miles

Why these kinks in the system exist, or how they happen, is sometimes a mystery, but they are there nonetheless.  For a year the system has been stressed with increased demand.  From March 15 through April 1, NC DES paid benefits to 1,475,514 people. Of those claims, 66% were approved and 32% were deemed not eligible. 

After WCNC Consumer Investigative Reporter Bill McGinty emailed the state, that red tape was cut.

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“So you got a big retro check back, right?” McGinty asked. “Absolutely. Over $9,000” Dia said.

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If you are still having problems with your unemployment benefits, email Bill at bmcginty@wcnc.com