From unemployment to evictions to a lack of health insurance, the fallout of COVID-19 has been felt by many. In an effort to soften the blow from the continued COVID-19 aftermath within the community, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has extended its services to include a number of new resources aimed at helping those who have been adversely affected.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the welfare of countless Americans, resulting in the dire need for individuals to have access to public assistance. However, many of the agencies in North Carolina who provide this type of assistance are closed or operating at a lower capacity, making it significantly more challenging for individuals to receive the services they are in need of that are only provided by specific entities.
The Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has taken measures to help create a better outlet for acquiring the resources which have abruptly become needed. Serving the community for over 50 years, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has increased its staff in order to help provide individuals with the information they need, connect people with appropriate services and to advocate for eligible individuals who have been denied services they are, in fact, entitled to receive.
Kenneth Schorr, center executive director, said there are a number of reasons why an individual may experience issues during their application process for certain benefits, such as unemployment. He said people may experience delays in the process of applying for unemployment because of the recent increase in new staff members who may not be as efficient as employees with more experience.
“The North Carolina Division of Employment Security Commission has reported receiving 100x the volume of calls in recent weeks compared to the last two years,” Schorr said. “They’ve tripled their staff which means over half of the employees there have only been there for a number of weeks,” he added.
Resulting in an increase in the need for public assistance and other relief programs expanding amid the public health crisis, Schorr said many aspects of social services and other public assistance programs are dramatically changing to include resources for individuals who have suffered hardships endured by COVID-19.
The center understands how frustrating it is to stay on hold for hours on end just to be told that callers do not qualify for benefits for which they are confident they are eligible. That is exactly why they have implemented a system to help individuals navigate the complex processes to pursue the services they need, in addition to unemployment benefits and public assistance program.
For more information and to view an expanded list of services provided by the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, visit charlottelegaladvocacy.org.