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Governor Roy Cooper announces first coronavirus unemployment benefits soon to be paid

The Governor's office says the first payments for unemployment claims relating to the virus are set to begin this week.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the first payments for unemployment claims related to coronavirus will start this week in a press release, Sunday.

“Thousands of workers have lost jobs, but their bills don’t stop. My administration is working overtime to get unemployment checks out now," said Governor Cooper. "We’ll keep pushing every day for more state and federal help to save our workers and their families."

The release says the Division of Employment Security has received an unusual number of unemployment insurance claims since Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 118 on March 17.

Governor Roy Cooper’s office says approximately 270,000 claims have been filed in the past two weeks.

The office said the Governor directed the Division of Employment Security to begin implementing the unemployment insurance provisions of the federal CARES Act, this past Saturday.

The press release says the Division of Employment of Security expects to receive guidance from the federal government later this week about how to implement the changes, including the change that allows for an additional $600 in unemployment benefits.

And says the state expects those payments to begin approximately two weeks after that guidance is provided.

The press release says workers applying for benefits must complete their weekly certifications in order to receive unemployment insurance payments.

And says the weekly certification is a series of ‘yes or no’ questions that helps determine a person’s eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits each week.

The office says if a person does not complete a weekly certification, they will not receive a payment for that week.

The weekly certification must be completed through the individual’s online account at des.nc.gov.

If you have any questions about unemployment benefits in North Carolina during the coronavirus crisis, contact the Division of Employment Security.

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Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.

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