Thursday, May 16, 2024

How Does Unemployment Work In North Carolina

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Calculating The Payroll Tax

VERIFY: Yes, North Carolina essentially does have enough jobs to employ every unemployed person

The process of deducting taxes is slightly different for each employee as their marital statuses or additional sources of income arent the same. The IRS and North Carolina Department of Revenue provide detailed guidelines that enable employers to calculate the state and federal payroll taxes.

It is worth adding that both of these tax authorities adjust payroll tax rates annually, so employers must check the rates at which they calculate payroll taxes before the start of every fiscal year. Heres how you can calculate the payroll tax for your employees

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

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

How To Qualify For Unemployment Benefits In North Carolina

North Carolina uses four main criteria to determine UI benefits eligibility, as outlined below:

  • The claimant must be unemployed through no fault of his or her own, as determined by the information provided by both the claimant and the employer
  • The claimant must have earned sufficient wages during the base period of review these wages are used to help determine benefit amounts
  • The claimant must be physically able and available to accept work when offered
  • The claimant must be actively seeking work, including registering for work with NCWorks Online.

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What If My Claim Is Rejected

If your claim is denied or the DES determines youre no longer eligible, youll receive a written notice that includes an address and instructions for appealing. But the fastest way to file an appeal is online through the DES online benefits system. Once youve filed your appeal, the DES will send a notice with the date, time and contact information for your scheduled hearing.

Gathering The Necessary Documents


Employers in North Carolina cant pay wages to newly hired employees unless they provide the documents that enable the employer to calculate the federal and state tax withholdings.

These documents are usually submitted before the employment period starts or within the first few days of employment. Employers must report a newly hired employee to the NC New Hire Directory within 20 days after the employment period begins.

Lets take a look at the documents employers in North Carolina have to acquire from their employees.

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State And Local Payroll Taxes

The state income tax of 5.25% applies to all wages in North Carolina, regardless of the salary level. Local governments in North Carolina dont impose income taxes on businesses operating under their jurisdiction.

Besides the state income tax, businesses based in this state also have to cover the state unemployment insurance tax that ranges from 0.06% to 5.76%. The maximum state tax withholding amount in North Carolina cant exceed 11.01% of the employees gross wage.

Does Receiving Social Security Disability Payments Affect My Unemployment Benefits

In order to qualify for benefits, you must be able to work. You are not able to work during any week that you are receiving or applying for benefits under any other state or federal law based on your temporary total or permanent total disability.

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I Received A Message Indicating That I Have Not Registered For Work At Ncworksgov What Should I Do

You must register for work at by creating an account. Click on the ‘Not Registered?’ link and then select ‘Individual’ under Option 3 – Create a User Account. The website will then guide you through the steps to complete your account setup. If you fail to register for work at by setting up an NCWorks Online account or maintain an active account, your benefits may be delayed or denied.

How Do You Apply For North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

Changes to filing for unemployment in North Carolina

You can apply for unemployment benefits online through the DES portal. People without internet access can attend their nearest NCWorks Career Center to use a computer. Claimants can also apply over the phone or get help with their claim at 888-737-0259.

You should file for North Carolina unemployment benefits as soon as you lose your job. Your employer may file on your behalf if it lays you off temporarily, but you can apply yourself if your employer declines to do so.

You will need a valid email address and your Social Security number to apply for unemployment benefits in North Carolina. The DES may also ask you to verify your identity through

After filing your initial claim, you should complete a weekly claim online through your DES account. You can also file over the phone at the same number used to submit your initial claim. Claimants should file while awaiting a decision on their initial application or appeal, and failing to submit weekly claims will result in a missed payment. You will need to answer questions about your availability and ability to work and work search activities to complete your claim.

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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.
  • Create An Online Account At Desncgov To:

    • File a claim for unemployment
    • Complete your Weekly Certifications
    • Check your Claim Status

    To help prevent fraud and protect claimant and employer information, DES is increasing security measures for accessing its online benefits system. DES is partnering with to provide a secure identity verification process for unemployment claimants. Claimants may receive an email from DES notifying them that they must verify their identity through to access their account and be eligible for benefits. Claimants should click on the link in the email to start the verification process, which can be completed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Multi-Factor Authentication: When signing into their DES account, individuals may be asked to verify their identity using Multi-Factor Authentication. DES will send a one-time passcode to the email address on file for the account. The user must enter the one-time passcode and their password to access their account.

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    North Carolina Changes Unemployment Benefit Requirements To Assist Employees Dealing With Covid

    On March 17, 2020, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 118, which, among other measures, makes temporary changes to North Carolinas unemployment benefits program in order to assist employees and employers dealing with economic hardship and uncertainty brought on by the current spread of COVID-19. These changes will make it easier for individuals whose jobs are impacted by the virus to apply for and receive unemployment benefits, and ease the burden on employers by not allocating charges to their accounts for COVID-19 related benefits.

    What Does Executive Order 118 Change About Applying for Benefits?

    Executive Order 118 makes several temporary changes to the administration of unemployment benefits under North Carolina law. While recently terminated employees must generally wait for a period of one week before applying for unemployment benefits, the Executive Order removes that requirement, while also removing the requirements that employees must be actively seeking work, allowing workers who temporarily lose their jobs because of COVID-19 to quickly apply for benefits.

    Finally, the Executive Order postpones in-person application and other in-person contact, and allows individuals to apply for benefits and submit weekly certifications by phone or over the internet.

    How does Executive Order 118 Impact Employers?

    What do These Changes Mean for Employers and Employees?

    Desnc Gov Sign In Contact Us

    Unemployment rate in North Carolina construction industry stays steady ...

    Individuals and claimants should contact the Customer Call Center with questions regarding benefits and assistance with unemployment insurance claims, sign in or password resets.

    Customer Call Center: 888-737-0259 .

    Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Fraud Hotline: 984-465-9224

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    Sufficiency Of Ui Benefits

    Experts recommend that in order to be meaningful, a UI benefit should replace half of an average workers weekly wages. Before the last recession, in 2007, North Carolinas replacement rate was 49 percent. That dropped to 38 percent in 2019. Included in the 2013 legislation was a shift to calculating the weekly benefit amount on earnings in the most recent two quarters, or six months of work, rather than on the highest quarter of earnings in the benefit base period. This change effectively cuts benefits in two ways. First, averaging two quarters instead of simply using the highest quarter will usually result in a smaller benefit amount. Second, making it the most recent two quarters instead of the highest quarter can be particularly detrimental for a worker in a job that had cut back available hours and pay if it experienced a business slowdown. The change in the benefit-amount calculation can also harm workers in industries with highly variable hours and pay when they become unemployed.

    The 2013 change in the method for calculating benefit amounts caused a decline in the share of prior earnings being replaced for claimants, as well as a correlated decline in the average weekly benefit paid to claimants. In North Carolina, the average weekly benefit was $264.70 in the third quarter of 2019. Here is how that stacks up with other states, according to the U.S. Department of Labors Employment and Training Administration.

    What Will The Information I Provide Be Used For

    Wage information and other confidential unemployment compensation information may be requested and utilized for other governmental purposes, including, but not limited to, verification of an individual’s eligibility for other government programs. 20 C.F.R. § 603.11.

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    Figuring Out Federal And State Unemployment Taxes

    Both federal and state unemployment taxes are mandatory. The Division of Employment Security assigns most newly registered businesses in North Carolina the 1% unemployment tax rate.

    Rates for this state tax is adjusted annually based on the employers reserve ratio percentage and experience rating. The rates vary from 0.06% to 5.76% of the determined base wage for the current year. The base wage is adjusted annually, and it is currently set at $26,000 of gross annual income.

    As we already noted, filing state unemployment insurance taxes on time makes a business eligible for federal unemployment insurance tax reduction. Also, you must file the federal UI tax to the IRS, while the state UI tax is submitted to the North Carolina Division of Employment Security.

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    File For Unemployment Insurance

    To receive unemployment benefits after losing your job through no fault of your own, you must first file a claim with our Employment Security Division. Remember, the fastest and most efficient way to file an unemployment claim is online. You do not need to visit an NCWorks Career Center for that purpose.

    North Carolina requires that you participate in reemployment programs in order to continue receiving financial assistance from the unemployment insurance program. To help you find work, our Division of Workforce Solutions offers both the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment and the Employability Assessment Interview through our NCWorks Career Centers.

    What Is A Base Period

    Your base period is the time frame used to determine whether you are monetarily eligible to receive unemployment payments. Monetary eligibility simply means that you have worked and earned enough wages within your base period to meet the requirements for establishing a claim.

    It normally includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.


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    Reemployment Services And Eligibility Assessment

    The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment program delivers regularly scheduled case management services when youre looking for work. In this program, local staff provide the following services:

    • Information on careers and the labor market
    • An assessment and an eligibility review
    • Help with developing a reemployment plan
    • Referrals to at least two reemployment-related services, such as workshops or training opportunities
    • An orientation to reemployment services

    Enrollment in the program can last up to 10 weeks.

    During the initial visit, you may be required to report in-person to an NCWorks Career Centersubsequent appointments may be conducted by telephone or e-mail. If you do not report for your scheduled appointment, your benefits may be affected.

    What If My Job Wants Me Back With Reduced Hours Can I Still Collect Unemployment

    More Than 137,500 People Filed for Unemployment in North Carolina Last ...

    If you are working reduced hours because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the wages you earn will affect the amount of unemployment benefits you are entitled to receive. If you earn $420 per week or more then you will not be able to receive a benefit. Each claimant has a Weekly Earning Allowance, 20% of their benefit amount. That is the amount that a claimant can make before their benefit is impacted.

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    How Can I Apply

    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.

    What Does North Carolina Unemployment Office Do

    North Carolina Unemployment office is North Carolina state workforce, labor and unemployment agency that provides services and information including:

    * Administers the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.* Collection of employers funds.* Employment services to employers and job seekers.* Employment and wage data.* Research and the development of sound public workforce policy.* Development of education programs.

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    Do I Have To Look For A Job To Get North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

    One of the requirements for collecting benefits is that recipients must conduct an active and ongoing job search each week. Claimants must contact at least five potential employers during the week. Failure to make at least five contacts in a week could result in your benefits being denied or delayed for that week.

    The DES has the right to check your work search records for up to five years after you claim benefits, so not only should you keep an accurate log of your work search records every week you are claiming benefits, you will need to keep those records for that five year period. If you have questions about how to maintain these records, you can visit one of several North Carolina unemployment office locations.

    Most job hunters are able to find new work before their benefits run out. In some cases, such as high North Carolina unemployment rates, you may contact the unemployment department to inquire about filing an extension.

    You will need to keep a detailed record of your work search activities, providing the following information:

    • Employers name.
    • Job position you inquired about or applied for.
    • Contact information for the employer, including URL address of their website, an email address, telephone number and/or their physical address.
    • The date you applied for the job or made contact with the employer.
    • Confirmation information that may include the name and job title of the employer you contacted or an email or confirmation number.

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