State-unemployment services punish those who are honestly trying to return to the workforce. I speak from experience. To make a long story short, I recently had my unemployment benefits cut because [last year] I worked a couple of temporary jobs, which did not pay that well. I had hoped they might turn into permanent positions but they did not. Yet I ended up working too much. When they recalculated my benefits for the new year, they cut my benefits by two thirds. Not only that but they say that they overpaid me for two weeks this year and now I must pay them back over $600 dollars.
They are forcing me to do this while I am unemployed by either taking half the benefits that I will now receive or making me pay $60 a month should I work any kind of jobs and file no unemployment during that time. I need all I can right now for food, housing and bills.
By doing this, the Employment Security Commission is punishing me (and, I am sure, many other honest people who are trying to return to the workforce). Their actions say to me that if you are on unemployment that you would be better off not finding any job until you are at the end of your benefits and extensions or till you find permanent work that you can live on. Do not take just any work to try and get off unemployment, because if the job does not work out and you go back to unemployment, you will be penalized. You will be worse off than before! This is the message that they send.
Honesty does not pay when it comes to dealing with the government. Instead honesty is punished, and because of their actions, my family and I could be homeless, if at the end of the temporary job that I am now on does not become permanent. Thank you North Carolina ESC for possibly making an honest family homeless for trying to do the right thing.
— Joseph Dortch