How To Apply For Unemployment In North Carolina

The Division of Employment Security (DES) of the North Carolina Department of Commerce handles all unemployment insurance benefits claims and weekly submissions. Before you apply, make sure you have your social security number and history of past employment available. You’ll also need the routing and account number for your account if you want your weekly benefits payments deposited to your bank account. Use the links below to begin:

You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own, monetarily eligible, physically able to work, and registered for work search at NCWorksOnline to collect unemployment benefits.

Filing Your Initial Claim and Weekly Certifications

You can file your initial unemployment claim over the telephone by calling (888) 737-0259, but you’ll get faster results if you file online. Create an online account on the DES Home Page by entering your social security number and creating a username. You’ll also need a valid email address and contact phone number to complete the sign-up process.

Once your account is created and verified, you can login to file your initial unemployment insurance claim. The initial claim is for review only. You start to receive payments when you file your first weekly certification. You’ll need to certify that you’re still unemployed, ready and able to work if asked, and that you can physically and mentally handle the requirements of your job.

North Carolina Work Search Requirement

The online portal at NCWorks gives unemployed workers access to job search and educational resources designed to facilitate reemployment as soon as possible. You are required to search for work, but there are specific guidelines for what type of work you’re required to accept. These guidelines vary as your unemployment term progresses:

  • First Ten Weeks: Risk factor, physical fitness, industry availability, travel distance, and prior earnings history are all relevant.
  • After Ten Weeks: You must accept any position that pays more than 120% of your weekly unemployment insurance benefit amount.

The North Carolina Division of Employment Security is required by law to enforce the work search requirement outlined in your unemployment insurance agreement. Keep your job search records for up to five years in the event of an inquiry later down the road.

Appeals Process for Denial of Benefits

If you have been denied unemployment insurance benefits for any reason, you have the right to file an appeal with the Division of Employment Security. Determinations on appeals are handled by different divisions at DES, depending on the nature of the appeal. Reasons for denial of unemployment benefits can include the following:

  • You voluntarily quit your last job
  • You were fired for disciplinary reasons
  • You did not meet the work search requirement
  • You refused a job offer while collecting UI benefits
  • You committed unemployment insurance fraud

For additional information on how to file an appeal and an address to mail it to, visit the Appeals Page at the Division of Employment Security. Your appeal will be reviewed by an appeals board and you’ll be notified by mail about their decision.

North Carolina Unemployment Insurance Program

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