New WRAL Documentary Examines NC Unemployment Benefit Cuts

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“Cut Loose and Cut Off”
Airs Thursday Sept. 12 at 7pm

WRAL Documentary Imagine losing your job, then losing the unemployment check you depend on to pay your bills. That’s what happened to about 70,000 unemployed workers in our state on July 1, because of a new state law overhauling North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system. The new WRAL documentary “Cut Loose and Cut Off” profiles some of those people and looks at the debate over the controversial new law. The documentary, hosted by WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie, airs Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m.

During the Great Recession, North Carolina ran out of money to pay unemployment benefits for laid off workers. The state borrowed money from the federal government to pay the benefits and soon racked up a $2.5 billion debt. The debt is increasing unemployment taxes on employers.  In an effort to remedy the problem, Republican legislators crafted a bill to pay the debt off sooner.  The bill cut state unemployment benefits, which violates federal law. As a result, the US Department of Labor terminated its agreement with the state to fund extended benefits that kick in for unemployed workers when state benefits run out.  “Cut Loose and Cut Off” examines the legislation and its impact through interviews with people who lost their benefits, policymakers, experts and advocates. 

Statewide Broadcast Schedule
WRAL-TV, Raleigh, Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m.
WILM-TV, Wilmington, Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m.
WRAZ-TV, Durham, Saturday, October 5 at 3:30 p.m.

To watch a preview of the documentary, go to Search: WRAL doc.

The documentary will also be available for on-demand viewing any time after the premiere television broadcast on October 5.

The conversation about the program has already started on twitter. Search #cutoffcutloose and join the discussion while watching. Follow @WRALdoc for exclusive clips, and information on past and future documentaries.

WRAL Documentary is one of the only dedicated documentary units in local TV. Its mission is to provide in-depth coverage of topics and issues relevant to North Carolinians.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story & graphic.

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