Weekly $600 gone, workers worry how they’ll survive without it

Coronavirus

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Ashley Dodge’s pay as a substitute teacher in Johnston County was $80 a day. State jobless benefits are $72 a week.

“It makes you struggle in a family to be able to provide because you’re used to that paychec0k,” said Dodge.

The extra $600 each week helps meet her family’s needs.

“For everyone in my family to make sure everyone still got paid and that there was food for everyone,” she said.

Dodge said others may be taking advantage of enhanced benefits but for her, they’re essential.

“A lot of people are making more with that $600 than they would working and there are a lot of people that would take advantage of that and not want to go back to work. I also know that there are a lot of people, who like me, their unemployment alone is an insult rather than help,” said Dodge.

She found a Facebook group, North Carolina Unemployment, full of people dealing with the same problems.

“I think it helps a lot because you learn from everyone’s trials with everything because we’re all new at this,” she said.

Republicans in Congress are proposing a short-term extension of the unemployment bonus, with a cut to $200 a week.

“The $200 a week supplement the Senate proposed is not enough and Congress and the President need to do more. I know that our state legislature needs to do better when it comes to unemployment during a pandemic. Payments are too low for too short of time,” said Governor Cooper.

Gov. Cooper is working to help people hurting because of the pandemic.

“My administration is putting in place an effort to help people with their rent and utility bills. We’re putting together a plan using funding from the CARES Act and we’ll be announcing this soon,” said Gov. Cooper.

Democrats in Congress are pushing for an extension of extra unemployment benefits through the end of the year.

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