North Carolina Unemployment Appeal

North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

Level 1: Appeals Section

If your application for NC unemployment benefits is denied, or you disagree with a decision, you have the right to appeal.

The first level of appeal is with the Appeals Section of DES. The unemployment hearing will be decided by an appeal referee.

How to appeal depends on the instructions in your determination letter. Determinations are made in different parts of the North Carolina Division of Employment Security. Your appeal instructions, including the deadline to appeal, may change depending on your circumstances. Make sure you send your appeal to the right address before the deadline to appeal expires.

What can’t be appealed?

When it comes to North Carolina unemployment benefits, you can’t appeal every decision. Reasons for not being able to appeal include your eligibility is still being decided or your claim was denied for monetary reasons.

The following cannot be appealed:

  • Incomplete or pending claims
  • Excessive earnings/wages preventing benefit payment
  • Wage protests
  • Weekly certifications
  • Monetary determinations, including “monetarily ineligible” claim status
  • Pending issues
  • Unemployment fraud investigations
  • Claim effective dates, requests to back-date a claim
  • Waiting week waivers
  • Weekly benefit amounts

How to file an appeal in North Carolina


The easiest way to appeal is through the Division of Employment Security (DES) online system. To sign in to your account, visit and click on “Individual Sign In” at the top of the page. You can file an appeal from the ‘Determination History’ section in your account.

If you prefer not to use the online system, you can mail or fax your appeal request. You can also write your own letter instead of filling out a form. Just be sure to follow any special instructions in your determination letter.


You could also send your appeal by fax to 919-857-1296 or email it to

Mailing address:

DES Appeals
P.O. Box 27967
Raleigh, NC 27611-7967

If you send your appeal by email, fax, or mail, it’s going to take longer for them to process it. Be prepared to wait a few weeks or more for your appeal to be reviewed and scheduled.

Your appeal letter must:

  • Be in writing – both handwritten and online written statements are sufficient.
  • Include your full name, and, if you are with an employer, your title.
  • Provide your phone number and email address.
  • Explain that you appeal or disagree with the determination or ruling.
  • Include the Issue ID number or Docket number that you are appealing.

You may want to include a detailed explanation about why you’re appealing. If you have any evidence that you want to be considered during your appeals hearing, be sure to include that, too.

Once you’ve sent your appeal, DES will set a time for a hearing. You will receive an unemployment hearing notice telling you the date and time of the hearing and the name of your Appeals Referee. Be aware that hearings may be scheduled 2-3 months from the date of your appeal. During this time, you should continue to file your weekly claims. This way, you can receive back pay on your NC unemployment benefits if you win your appeal.

Preparing for your hearing

Preparing for your appeals hearing is important. Begin by carefully reading the hearing notice, as well as any documents that came with it to fully understand what has been discussed about your case.

Gather all documents, recordings, and any other pieces of evidence that could help support your unemployment insurance claim.

If your hearing will be held over the phone, you’ll need to provide copies of your evidence to the appeals referee and each party involved before the hearing date. For an in-person hearing, create enough copies of your evidence to give to everyone involved, including the appeals referee.

If you need testimony from witnesses, make sure they are available for the hearing. For telephone hearings, it’s important to provide the names and phone numbers of your witnesses. You can do this by reaching out to the appeals referee or by completing and returning the Telephone Hearing Questionnaire that was included with your hearing notice.

Level 2: File an Appeal with the Board of Review

If you disagree with the outcome of your first appeal, you can file an appeal with the Board of Review.

You have 10 days to file the appeal with the Board of Review from the date of the Appeals Referee’s decision.

How to file an appeal with the Board of Review

You can submit your appeal request through the online portal, or by mail, fax, or email.


Appeals Clerk – Level 2 | Board of Review
North Carolina Department of Commerce
Post Office Box 28263
Raleigh, N.C.  27611

Fax:  919-733-0690


3. Petition for Judicial Review

If you disagree with the Board of  Review, you can petition for judicial review.

You have 30 days from the date of the Board of Review decision to ask for a review by a judge.

Send your petition for judicial review to the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where you live.

Keep filing your weekly claim

It’s important to keep filing your weekly claim during the NC unemployment appeals process. If your appeal is successful and you’re found eligible for UI benefits, you can collect back pay on those weeks. But if you don’t file, you will miss out on unemployment compensation for those weeks.

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