• Action 9: Woman told to repay benefits checks after mix-up

    By: Don Griffin


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lillian Fortis moved to Charlotte from New York in 2008 and landed a few temp jobs. Then the economy tanked, and she applied for North Carolina jobless benefits.

    “They said that for me to get unemployment, I have to apply with New York,” Fortis said.

    So that's what she did, and the New York Department of Labor began sending her monthly benefits checks.

    But after a year and a half, Fortis was shocked to get a letter from New York saying it had overpaid her. It demanded she repay $10,171.

    “How you said I owe you when I was doing everything I was supposed to do?” Fortis said.

    In their letter, New York said North Carolina should have been the one paying Fortis unemployment benefits. That's when she began calling the NC Division of Employment Security.

    “I wasn't getting anywhere,” she said.

    Action 9 stepped in and got the NC Division of Employment Security to investigate. A spokesperson said they approved 17 payments in 2008 totaling $3,850 but never sent them to her.

    Action 9 got no explanation why, but the spokesperson said they'd send her a check.

    She will use the money to repay New York.

    “It’s been too many years, and it took you to get the job done,” Fortis said.


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    Action 9: Woman told to repay benefits checks after mix-up