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North Carolina Unemployment Benefits After End Of Pandemic Programs Latest News And Updates

Tax exemption for unemployment benefits in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Commerce oversees a variety of economic, community, and workforce development policies and programs. The Division of Employment Security manages the states unemployment insurance program by processing claims and paying benefits. This includes the now expired enhanced pandemic unemployment benefit programs.

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To 2022 Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefits By State

Listed in the table below are the latest maximum weekly unemployment insurance benefit/compensation amounts by state. The Unemployment compensation program is designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work or in between jobs, through no fault of their own.

Note, the table below contains the the maximum regular weekly unemployment insurance compensation including adjustments for dependents where applicable. It does not include federally funded enhanced and supplementary benefits which expired on September 6th.

In many states the number of dependents you have and your average maximum weekly wage will impact the unemployment benefits you are eligible to receive. Please check the respective state unemployment page or website referenced in the table below for state specific UI details, benefit eligibility and process to claim/file for benefits.

Get the latest on the federal enhanced unemployment programs and associated extensions. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self employed and independent contractors and extended state UI benefit coverage under the PEUC program.

In addition, various supplementary weekly payouts like the recent $300 FPUC and $100 Mixed Earners Compensation are now available to unemployed or underemployed workers. Also see which states are ending these benefits early.

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Maximum Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit Amounts by State

extended unemployed benefits

Sweeping Changes To North Carolinas Unemployment Insurance Laws Take Effect On July 1 2013

In 2009, North Carolina, like more than half of the states in the U.S., borrowed money from the federal government to pay claims for unemployment compensation benefits. On February 19, 2013, North Carolina enacted a comprehensive reform to its unemployment insurance statute aimed at paying down that debt totaling more than $2 billion. Under the statute, the debt owed to the federal government is expected to be paid off three years early . The new law, North Carolina Session Law 2013-2, takes effect July 1, 2013.

To generate the revenue needed to repay the federal government and rebuild the states unemployment insurance fund, the plan provides for the following financing changes that will directly impact North Carolina employers:

  • Required contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund: A surtax equal to 20% of the contributions due from each employer will be imposed until the balance in the Unemployment Trust Fund equals at least $1 billion, projected to occur in 2017.
  • State unemployment tax rate: The minimum tax rate for employers has been increased from 0.0% to 0.06% of taxable wages, while the maximum tax rate has been increased from 5.7% to 5.76% of the taxable wages. .)

The new law also includes a host of administrative, benefit, and program changes that will impact North Carolina employers and claimants. Changes include:

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

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.

North Carolina Eligibility Requirements

2013 Changes to NC Unemployment Law

Unemployment insurance recipients in North Carolina must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for benefits:

  • Recipients must have lost employment through no fault of their own.
  • Recipients must have earned sufficient wages during the base periodthe first 12 months of the 15 months prior to filing a claim.
  • Recipients must be unemployed or partially employed and earning less than their weekly unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Recipients must be able and available to work.
  • Recipients must register with NCWorks Online.

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How Do You Apply For North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

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.

Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work

To maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for employment.

If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. For the initial unemployment period, whether a position is suitable depends on several factors, including the level of skill and training required, the similarity between the work and your previous employment, how much the position pays, and the distance between the job site and your residence. However, after ten weeks of receiving benefits, any job that pays 120% of your weekly benefit is deemed suitable work.

You must conduct a reasonable search for work. At a minimum, you must make contact with two different employers on two separates days of the week. You should keep records of the employers you’ve contacted, the dates you made contact, and the outcome. The DES will ask you to provide a weekly certification verifying your efforts to find work. You will also be required to register for work by building a resume.

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Biden Stimulus Bill Extensions

Under President Bidens $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan , enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th. This includes further extensions to the PUA program, PEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.

Latest News and Status on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC Payment Schedule

The Federal Department of Labor has now issued formal guidelines to implement the latest round of extensions until September 6th. For those who exhaust their benefits or have a zero claim balance after March 14th there could be a lapse in benefits as DES update their program/systems to enable the extended weeks of coverage funded under the ARP Program. The DES is in line to have the recent extensions implemented by mid-April in line with federal guidelines. I will post updates as they are made available and you can follow along via the options below for the latest updates.

Estimated Weekly Benefit Rate

North Carolina ranked among worst in timely unemployment benefit payments in 2020

The calculator returns your estimated WBA based on your average weekly wage during the base period.

Your WBA is the sum of your two most recent quarters divided by 52. If the resulting figure is less than $15, your WBA will be zero.

If eligible, the maximum WBA is $350.

The calculator will return an estimated weekly benefit rate of $0, if it appears that you do not meet the eligibility requirements described above.

Your WBA may be reduced by other compensation that you receive and certain mandated payments, such as delinquent child support payments.

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How Do I Apply For Peuc

Sign into your online account at and click on the Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation link to apply. Federal guidelines require you to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. You will not automatically receive PEUC when you exhaust regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

If you are not eligible for PEUC, you will not see the Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation link in your online account.

For help with applying for PEUC by phone, call the Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

Changes At The Workplace

An employee is within their rights to receive unemployment benefits if the employer substantially changes their work conditions or contract, and the employee quits the position. For example, if an employer reduces an employees pay by 30 percent, moves them to a facility with a substantially longer commute, or permanently changes their assigned shift without their agreement, these changes are considered a substantial change in the employees contract of hire.

Minor changes, such as requiring an extra hour of work a day or changing the employees work location in the same facility do not constitute a change in the contract of hire, and the employee would not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. DES decides what changes are substantial on a case-by-case basis.

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What Wages Can Be Used To Establish A Claim For Benefits

Any wages used to establish eligibility for UI benefits must be earned in employment that is covered by the Employment Security Law. This means that the employer must be subject to UI tax. Employers who are liable under the Employment Security Law are required to post a Certificate of Coverage and Notice to Workers in their place of business.

Coronavirus Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Nc

Claimants must submit proof of income to the Division of Employment Security to establish eligibility for PUA. Acceptable documents include 2019 tax returns for a 2020 claim and 2020 tax returns for a 2021 claim recent paycheck stubs bank receipts 1099 forms billing statements and notices business licenses contracts invoices and ledgers. A claimant can also become eligible for PUA due to a COVID-19-related reason, such as a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Acceptable documents to submit to show loss of work include documentation from medical professionals related to diagnosis or isolation instructions notices from school or childcare providers notices from county or state government regarding business closures or stay-at-home orders and documentation that a job offer or need for the claimants services was cancelled or delayed because of COVID-19.

Claimants can receive benefit payments through direct deposit or debit card. Bank of America offers the debit card. A claimant usually receives their payment within 14 days of filing the initial claim.

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Assistance With Job Searches

NC Works Career Centers are reopening, but some are only open in limited capacities. The way to determine what services are available at a specific center is to check the NC Works page and determine how to get help. Some centers, like the Alamance Center, are open to the public, but limited staff and a limited number of customers are allowed inside at a time. Other centers, like the Alexander Center, offer virtual services only. The Mecklenburg/Charlotte Center, offers services virtually and by appointment.

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Expanded Unemployment In North Carolina During The Covid

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan .

Under ARP, the $300 per week federal unemployment supplement is extended until September 6, 2021.

The law also extends two unemployment programs originally created by the CARES Act in March 2020: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation .

Under the PUA program, self-employed workersusually excluded from unemployment benefitsare entitled to unemployment if they meet certain criteria. ARP makes PUA benefits available through Labor Day 2021, and increases the maximum duration of these benefits from 50 to 79 weeks.

The PEUC program provides for a federally-funded extension of benefits when state unemployment benefits expire. ARP increases the maximum duration of PEUC benefits from 24 to 53 weeks, with an expiry date of September 4, 2021.

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What Is A Benefit Year

Your benefit year is the 52-week period from the date you register for work and first file a valid claim. If you are still attached to your employers payroll, your benefit year begins on the Sunday before your payroll week ends. If you are not attached to an employers payroll, your benefit year begins on the Sunday of the calendar week that you file a valid claim and register for work.

Can I Use Military Service To Establish A Claim

NC cuts unemployment benefits, lawmakers to address issue Wednesday

Military service may be used to establish your claim if that service occurred during your base period. Military wage credits are assigned to the state where the military claimant files a “first” claim. These wage credits may be combined with wage credits from other base period work to establish a claim and pay benefits. In order for military service to be considered, you must provide a copy of your Report of Separation from Active Duty or Correction to DD Form 214 .

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Overpayments Repayment And Waivers

When an individual receives an overpayment of unemployment benefits, they can either repay the overpayment balance in full or enter into a payment agreement with DES. An individual with an overpayment balance will receive a monthly statement that shows their current overpayment balance and minimum monthly payment. They will also see their federal and state tax refunds intercepted and any North Carolina lottery winnings intercepted. In addition, they may see their intangible property and/or wages attached or garnished.

When a claimant fails to repay an overpayment, all of their future UI benefits may be intercepted until the overpayment is resolved. When an individual is receiving benefits and has an overpayment, their benefits will be reduced by 50 percent for non-fraud overpayments and 100 percent for fraud overpayments. DES will consider waiving the repayment of non-fraud overpayment for good cause. A claimant should file a waiver request after their appeal rights expire on the determination of overpayment.

If they filed an appeal, the waiver request should be made after DES decision becomes final. A claimant can file a waiver request online or by fax. A claimant cannot seek a waiver for overpayment if fraud is the reason for the overpayment.

How Is Unemployment Calculated In North Carolina

how your North Carolina unemployment is calculatedThis is calculated by dividing your total of wages in the last two quarters by 52. That number is then rounded to the next lower whole dollar. In order to receive a payment, the total must equal to or exceed $15.

What happens if your weekly benefit amount calculation is over the $350 weekly maximum set by the State of North Carolina? If you are someone who earns more than this amount annually you will just receive the weekly maximum. Currently, that is the maximum amount of unemployment weekly benefits that are allowed. That amount may go up as the cost of living continues to increase but as for right now it is capped at weekly.

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How Will I Receive My Payments

You wont receive your first payment immediately, since theres a one-week waiting period before payments begin.

The DES pays weekly unemployment insurance payments through direct deposit into your bank account or on a DES debit card issued by Bank of America. You can use the card anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Be aware, though, you may encounter fees if you use the card at an ATM thats not a Bank of America or Allpoint ATM, or if you use it outside of the country.

What Are The Accepted Covid

Over 450,000 Unemployment Claims Filed in North Carolina  Flow Chart ...
  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has COVID-19
  • A child or other person in the household for whom you are responsible for is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 and this makes you unable to work
  • You are unable to reach your workplace because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19
  • You are unable to reach your workplace because you have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • You were scheduled to begin employment and do not have a job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19
  • You have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19, and/or
  • Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • If you refuse to return to work that is unsafe due to COVID-19.
  • If you refuse to accept a job offer or new work that is unsafe due to COVID-19
  • If you provide services or work for educational institutions or educational agencies, but do not have a contract or a guaranteed return date with the educational employer.
  • DOL. Expanded Eligibility Provisions for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.
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