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How Do You File For Unemployment In North Carolina

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How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits In North Carolina

Changes to filing for unemployment in North Carolina

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, some states have imposed restrictions on people gathering in public locations. This may affect your ability to access physical offices of the the North Carolina Department of Commerce: Division of Employment Security in person. Check North Carolina’s unemployment insurance agency website for more information. And, read on to find out how you can file for unemployment insurance benefits in North Carolina online or by phone.

Enhanced unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ended on September 6, 2021, and are no longer provided.

North Carolina’s unemployment insurance agency website gives you the information you need to apply for unemployment insurance in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Commerce: Division of Employment Securitys website tells you:

  • What information youll need on hand to apply for unemployment insurance benefits
  • How to apply online for unemployment insurance benefits

Learn The Unemployment Eligibility Rules Benefit Amounts And More For North Carolina

By Sachi Barreiro, Attorney

In North Carolinaas in every other stateemployees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own may qualify for unemployment benefits. The eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details vary from state to state. Here are the basic rules for collecting unemployment compensation in North Carolina.

Whos Eligible To File For Unemployment In New Carolina

As with all states, New Carolina has strict guidelines about who can file for unemployment and who cant. Typically, workers will need to meet the following requirements to be considered eligible:

  • Legally authorized to work in the US
  • Unemployed through no fault of their own
  • Able, willing and available to work

However, as notes, the Department of Labor has expanded the eligibility requirements in response to the crisis. Under the following circumstances, the work-search requirement will no longer apply:

  • An employer stops operations on a temporary basis due to novel coronavirus, preventing employees from coming to work.
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to their previous place of work once the quarantine is over.
  • An individual leaves their job due to a risk of exposure, infection or to care for a family member.

In a further expansion of the eligibility criteria, those who would not normally be considered eligible to apply namely, the self-employed, gig workers, and freelancers are now able to claim support. Regardless of why you became unemployed, its still expected that you meet minimum income requirements. To be eligible for UI, youll need to have earned wages in at least 2 quarters of the first 4 of the last 5 completed quarters and have earned at least $780 in 1 of the last 2 quarters of the same period.

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Your Work Search Responsibilities

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must seek work with at least three potential employers each week and maintain a detailed and verifiable record of your work search. If you cannot prove you looked for work, you may be considered overpaid and required to repay benefits.

Other Types Of Benefits And Programs For The Unemployed


Educational Help

Federal agencies offer many unemployment education and training programs. They are generally free or low cost to the unemployed.

Self-Employment Help

Self-employment assistance programs help unemployed workers start their own small businesses. Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon offer this program.

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Failing To Meet The Earnings Requirements

In North Carolina , you must have earned a minimum amount in wages from employers who are covered by the state’s unemployment laws , during a 12-month stretch called the “base period.” To qualify in North Carolina, you must have earned wages in at least two quarters of the base period, and you must have earned at least $780 in one of the last two quarters of the base period.

Attached Claims For Unemployment

When a claimant remains employed, but is temporarily laid off, the employer may file an attached claim on their behalf. The attached claim does not require the claimant to register for work or actively seek work. An employer usually files an attached claim when an employee worked less than 60 percent of their typical scheduled full-time hours. An employer is only allowed to file an attached claim for an employee once a year. The period that an attached claim lasts cannot be more than six consecutive weeks.


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How Can I Qualify For North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

Typically, to be eligible for North Carolina unemployment benefits you must meet these requirements.

  • Be out of work through no fault of your own the DES will decide if you meet this requirement based on information you and your former employer provide
  • Have earned sufficient wages to be considered eligible
  • Be physically able to work, available to work and actively looking for a job
  • Register for work with NCWorks Online, the states job service office

Once you begin receiving weekly payments, youll need to take steps to maintain your eligibility, including filing weekly claims and reporting on your job search.

In North Carolina, unemployment benefits are usually available for between 12 weeks and 20 weeks. But states may choose to revise their benefits in times of economic crisis.

What Are The Requirements To Qualify For Unemployment Benefits In North Carolina

A quarter of people who apply for unemployment benefits in North Carolina are denied

To be eligible to receive payments you must meet the requirements as set forth by the DES. The state has three basic criteria.

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. This means that you were laid off or let go due to lack of work. You will not be eligible for benefits if you were fired for misconduct or you voluntarily quit.
  • You must be monetarily eligible. To be able to receive benefits, you must meet certain minimum wage criteria. This means you have earned qualifying dollar amounts during your Base Period.

You must be able, available and actively seeking work. The state maintains that you must contact at least five employers each week you claim benefits as part of your requirements. In addition, it is mandatory that you must register with the states job search and training program

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Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available

As of mid-August 2021, more than 11 million people were collecting some form of unemployment. This figure included the millions of employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments have taken to contain it. It included millions of gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people who were collecting unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. And, it included millions who were receiving temporary federal benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program because they were still unemployed when their state benefits ran out.

North Carolina Unemployment Benefits And Eligibility

COVID-19 UPDATE: Because the coronavirus pandemic has left so many Americans jobless, the federal government has given states more flexibility in granting unemployment benefits. If you have questions about whether youre eligible for unemployment benefits read our COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits and Insurance FAQ and check out the NC Unemployment Benefits Due to COVID-19 Tip Sheet.

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How Unemployment Works In North Carolina

  • If you have lost your job, contact the North Carolina unemployment department as soon as possible to file for unemployment. You can do this online, by phone, or by visiting a North Carolina unemployment office.
  • After meeting North Carolina unemployment benefits eligibility, you may be approved to begin receiving unemployment benefits. If you denied based on North Carolina unemployment qualifications, you may file an appeal.
  • If approved, the North Carolina unemployment department will begin your compensation, either through a debit card or direct deposit. You may qualify for up to $350 per week.
  • In North Carolina, weekly claim filing is important to ensure you are looking for work. The state will use your reporting as proof that you are job hunting, and will not approve your benefits payments without this information.
  • In most cases, unemployed workers find new jobs before their benefits end at 20 weeks. If you do not find new work, you can file a North Carolina unemployment extension.
  • How Can I Apply

    North Carolina DES Unemployment Debit Card Guide ...

    The fastest way to file a claim for unemployment benefits in North Carolina is online at To file a claim online, you must create an online account with the DES. You can also file a claim by calling the DES customer call center at 888-737-0259.

    To expedite the filing process, make sure you have the following required information on hand:

    • Your Social Security number
    • Details about why you separated from your last job, along with any vacation, retirement or severance pay received or owed to you
    • Your bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit
    • Work history for all employers over the last two years, including employer name, address, phone number, dates of employment, rates of pay and reason for separation

    Non-citizens, former federal employees and former members of the military have additional documentation requirements.

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    S To Create An Online Account


    1. Click on Create an Online Account on the DES homepage,

    2. Enter your Social Security Number twice.

    3. Select Next. On the User Account Creation page:

    • Create a User Name .
    • Enter a valid email address twice.
    • Create a PIN number .
    • Enter your contact phone number.
    • Create a Password .

    4.Select Create Account.

    5.You can now Sign In at Use the User Name and Password you entered when creating your Online Account in Step 3.

    Creating an Online Account for Claimants

    What Is The Maximum And Minimum Benefit

    The Regular Unemployment Benefit maximum in North Carolina is $350 per week plus the maximum $600 from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for a total of $950.

    The minimum unemployment benefit varies based on the amount in your regular base period. In South Carolina, unemployment benefits range from $42 to $326 a week, before taxes.

    $350 plus the maximum $600 from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for a total of $950 weekly.

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    North Carolina Unemployment Benefits At A Glance

    North Carolina Benefits Eligibility

    You are eligible for unemployment benefits in North Carolina if you are out of work through no fault of your own and you have earned at least a minimum amount in the time before you lost your job.

    In North Carolina, you are eligible for benefits if:

    • you earned wages in at least two quarters of the base period
    • you earned at least six times the states average weekly insured wage during the base period, and
    • you earned at least $780 in the last two quarters of the base period.

    North Carolina Unemployment Benefit Amount

    In North Carolina, you can calculate your weekly benefit by adding up your wages in the last two quarters of the base period and dividing that amount by 52. If your weekly benefit amount is less than $15, you wont receive any benefits.

    How Long Your Unemployment Benefits Will Last in North Carolina

    In North Carolina, the duration of benefits depends on the states unemployment rate when you apply. The maximum period for which you may receive benefits is 12 to 20 weeks.

    If Youve Recently Become Unemployed In North Carolina You May Have Options To File For Unemployment

    NC adds several hundred staffers to help handle unemployment claims.

    If you need to apply for unemployment benefits in the Tarheel State, here are some things to know.

    The North Carolina Division of Employment Security, or DES, administers the states unemployment insurance benefits program.

    Unemployment insurance benefits programs are run jointly between the federal government and individual states like North Carolina. While each state has its own eligibility requirements, benefit amounts and maximum benefit periods, there are also federal guidelines for how state programs should work.

    Employers pay an unemployment insurance tax to fund North Carolinas unemployment program. If you qualify for unemployment, your benefits will come from funds that employers have paid into the program.

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    How To Apply For Unemployment In North Carolina

    by Maurie Backman | Updated July 17, 2021 – First published on March 30, 2020

    Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. Its how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts opinions arent influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

    Lost your job because of COVID-19? This is what you need to know about unemployment benefits in North Carolina.

    The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs. If your income has taken a hit during the crisis, you may get relief via unemployment benefits. This quick guide will help you navigate the process if you plan to file a claim in North Carolina.

    Wage Base And Tax Rates

    UI tax is paid on each employee’s wages up to a maximum annual amount. That amount, known as the taxable wage base, increases slightly each year in North Carolina. Recently it has been around $22,000.

    Unlike other states, North Carolina currently also charges a 20% surtax for the state’s Unemployment Insurance Reserve Fund. This surtax will be imposed until the amount in that fund equals or exceeds $1 billion. The state does not expect to reach this amount, and cancel the surtax, before 2017 at the earliest.

    For an overview of the latest rate and wage base information, check DES’s online FAQ page.

    One piece of good news is that state UI tax payments generally can be credited against your FUTA taxes. In most other states 100% of the payments can be credited, but in North Carolina only 83.33% can be credited while the surtax for the Unemployment Insurance Reserve Fund is in effect.

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    How Do I Check The Status Of My Unemployment Claim In Nc

    Find out the status of your claim at any time by phone or by clicking on the Claim Status tab in your online account. Chat with one of our agents here at or call our Customer Call Center for assistance. Check our website frequently for updated FAQs and information for individuals and employers.

    How To File Your Weekly Certification For Unemployment In North Carolina

    Bank of America Unemployment Card Guide (State

    A claimant in North Carolina must file their weekly certification online. The option to file by phone is no longer available. An applicant having trouble with the online system should contact the North Carolina Division of Employment Security Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259. The claimant must submit a weekly certification after each week for which they want to receive benefits. The certification is a set of questions that verifies whether the individual was able, available and looking for work in the prior week.

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    Find Out Why You May Have Your Unemployment Benefits Denied In North Carolina

    In the event that you have had your unemployment compensation benefits denied in NC, you will receive a letter of determination stating the specific reasons for the decision. Former employees must meet the specific qualifications for unemployment that are set by the DES in order to receive unemployment insurance within the state. Denied unemployment benefits may be the result of various different factors. First of all, NC residents must be out of work through no fault of their own and must be physically able and willing to work at any given time in order to receive unemployment benefits.

    On the other hand, generally, residents may be denied unemployment benefits due to any of the following reasons:

    North Carolina residents can file an unemployment denial appeal for any reason they believe is just. For instance, if you are unemployed due to wrongful termination and you believe you were unjustly denied unemployment, then you may submit the necessary evidence to prove your case in an appeal hearing.

    Apply For An Extension

    Unemployment insurance benefits are temporary. In most states, you can get benefits for up to 26 weeks.

    However, some states offer benefits for only 13 weeks or fewer.

    If you have exhausted your regular unemployment insurance benefits and are still between jobs heres what you can do:

    If your state is experiencing particularly high levels of unemployment, you may be eligible to receive up to 13 additional weeks or more depending on the state and the circumstances.

    Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has programs that extend unemployment benefits beyond the state limits.

    Check with your states unemployment agency for information on how to apply for an extension.

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    As An Employer What If The Claimant Is Not Claiming Benefits Against My Account

    You should respond to all requests for information regarding a claim from DES. Neither claimants nor employers get to choose which employer is charged for a claim. This is determined by the Employment Security Law. All employment within a claimants base period and a claimants last employment before filing a claim are considered.

    Eligibility Requirements For North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

    Trouble filing for unemployment benefits.

    In North Carolina, the Division of Employment Security handles unemployment benefits and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements in order to collect unemployment benefits in North Carolina:

    • Your past earnings must meet certain minimum thresholds.
    • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by North Carolina law.
    • You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.

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