More than 1,500 face last unemployment check in Hickory

by: Dave Faherty Updated:


HICKORY, N.C. - More than 1,500 people in the Hickory area are scheduled to get their last check this week.  

"I'm pretty worried I've got three kids and nothing," said Miranda Isenhour.

Isenhour has been out of a job for more than six months and isn't sure how she'll get by if she loses her unemployment check.   

She is a single mom and gets $162 a week. Her last check will be this Thursday if lawmakers fail to extend benefits for nearly 86,000 long-term unemployed in North Carolina.   

"I can go ahead and pay my electricity for this month and go and buy some diapers.  That would be probably all of gets me but that would be enough,” Isenhour said.

The loss of benefits could also have an impact on the local economy.   

Eyewitness News spoke by phone with Larry Parker with the Division of Employment Security who said the state sends out nearly $25 million in checks every week to those receiving federal extension of benefits. 

"It goes directly to bills, car payments, house payments, groceries, gas you name it.  You're talking about $25 million every week that is coming out of the state economy every week," Parker said.

Those visiting the Employment Security office in Hickory are hopeful Congress takes action Monday night to restore the benefits that ended over the weekend.   Ricky Reid learned Monday he will only get one more check.  He has a message for lawmakers.  

"Help.  Come to an agreement and help the Americans and everyone around the world," he said.

It is important to note that those who recently lost their jobs are still receiving their benefits and when this happened in the past and was later restored, people who went without a check did receive whatever was owed to them.