This audit found that the Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security (DES) did not issue first unemployment benefit payments timely during the period of January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. As a result, $438 million of financial assistance was not received by unemployed North Carolinians during a time of tremendous need. DES did not issue first unemployment benefit payments timely because (1) DES’ unemployment claim process is not designed to make payments timely, (2) DES management did not monitor payment timeliness, and (3) DES was not prepared for economic downturns that will inevitably occur. Details about each item are provided in the Finding, Recommendations, and Response section of the report. The Department of Commerce agreed with the results of the audit.
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