North Carolina Unemployment Application

North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

Apply Online

Customer Call Center: 888-737-0259

Visit a local NCWorks Career Center

The North Carolina Unemployment Insurance program is a vital resource for those who are currently unemployed within the state. The program is managed by the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES). Financial support is available to eligible workers who lost their job through no fault of their own.

If you become unemployed through no fault of your own, you should apply for NC unemployment compensation immediately. To be eligible for NC unemployment, you must register for work, be able and available to work, and be actively searching for work.

How to apply for NC unemployment insurance

The NC unemployment application should be submitted online. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can visit your local NCWorks Career Center and use their resource room, or call the support line at 888-737-0259.

You can apply for NC unemployment benefits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For questions about your application, call the Customer Call Center.

Create your account

To begin, you must first create an account at Navigate to the website and click on “Create an Online Account.” You will be prompted to enter your Social Security Number for personal identification.

After this, click “Next” and you’ll be directed to the “User Account Creation” page. Here, you need to create a unique username, then enter your email address and phone number.

The last step is to click on “Create Account.” You should now be able to log in and fill out the application.

Information needed to apply

You will need to have the following information when you apply for UI benefits in North Carolina.

  • Your Social Security Number for personal identification.
  • Details about any severance, vacation, or other payments you have received or are entitled to from your last employer.
  • Information about any retirement pay you’re receiving
  • Your bank routing number and account number are needed to set up direct deposit.
  • Your work history for the past two years. For each employer, you must provide:
    • The employer’s name, address, and telephone number.
    • Your dates of employment, rate of pay, and reason for separation.
  • Alien number and expiration date if not a United States citizen.
  • Your DD214, Member 4 Copy, if you were in the military.

Verifying your identity

To help prevent identity theft and unemployment fraud, the NC DES has partnered with When you apply for benefits, you might be asked to verify your identity through The process can be completed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When you sign in to your DES account, you’ll see a link for You will be asked to upload certain documents, such as a copy of your driver’s license. Or, you can verify your identity by scheduling a video chat with a certified staff member.

Choosing your payment method

During the application process, you can choose how you want to receive your UI benefit payments. You can either set up direct deposit or have funds deposited onto a debit card. You can change this preference anytime in your DES online account by logging in and selecting “Change Personal Information.”

Direct Deposit

If you choose direct deposit, you will need to have your bank account number and the bank’s routing number. Once set up, your weekly benefit payment will be deposited within 2-3 days after you file a weekly claim.

Debit Card

If you choose the debit card option, you will receive a U.S. Bank ReliaCard in the mail. You can manage this card at

If your card gets lost or stolen, call the North Carolina DES Debit Card Customer Service Center at (855) 847-2026. You can report your lost or stolen card and ask for a new one.

After you apply

After you submit your application, keep an eye out for notifications from the DES. After reviewing your unemployment application, you will be provided with the details of your eligibility and the amount of benefits you’re set to receive. Curious how much you’ll get? You can estimate your weekly benefit amount using the NC unemployment calculator.

You can also track the status of your unemployment claim by logging into your DES online account and viewing the dashboard.

Make sure to file your weekly claims and make 3 job contacts each week to meet the NC unemployment work search requirements.

Waiting week

You don’t actually get paid for the first week. You must still file a weekly claim, however. This is called the waiting week.

How long will my North Carolina unemployment benefits last?

You can collect UI benefits for up to 20 weeks in North Carolina. The minimum number of weeks is 12. This is determined by the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate. When the NC unemployment rate gets too high, Extended Benefits may become available.

Appealing a Denial

If you receive a denial, you can file an appeal and request a hearing. Your benefits case will be reviewed by an Appeals Section referee.

  1. My employer is offering a furlough option (paying their insurance benefits but no salary) until they are (or maybe) recalled. Can you draw unemployment under such circumstances?

  2. I’d like to file online but am being directed to an “update drivers” site that is going to cost me a minimum of $30. There doesn’t seem to be a way around this. Can you advise?

  3. I noticed there were several employment places online that said they were NC employment. Which is the correct link to qualify for unemployment compensation

    • I hope you’ve read the content available in this article thoroughly.You should be able to ascertain if you qualify or not.

  4. I am an Adjunct Welding Instructor at our local community college and my classes ended May 2014, I’ve always been told we can’t get unemployment but is this true. I thought whether part time or full time as long as you are unemployed by no fault of your own you are eligible to get UI Benefits?

    • Not all types of employment qualify.There is a limitation to contract and seasonal employment.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  5. I walk out because my new manager was touching me I told my supervisor and the assistant manager they told me it was nothing they could do so I left it’s been two months I can’t find a job worked there 8years file with NC employment commission they are investigating .can I file for unemployment? Please reply or call 910-382-3080

    • If you were harassed or abused and left your job because of this,you can file for UI.

      You must be able to prove if there is a dispute.

  6. I have recently relocated to charlotte. I resigned from my job in Nov. 2013 can I apply for unemployment here in .charlotte NC. I did apply for it in New York City but never received any response in regards to payment. so can I apply here in NC an how long will it take for my first payment?

    • Please follow up with the labor dept in NY.

      You must apply and claim from the state where you were employed last.

  7. I have a 3 year old son who has been kicked out of every school in the county daycare, private anything possible and cannot afford a nanny or private care. The doctors recommend I stay home and proceed with his medical care helping him deal with his aggression. I am forced to have to quit my job to stay home and take of my sons mental medical issues since they recommend he does not go back to any of these type of facilities until they can figure out what is wrong with him. Can I apply for unemployment because I have to stay home and take care of my son? since he is mentally unstable?

    • Unfortunately, most states consider providing UI benefits to those who are willing and available to work. I can understand your situation.Please have a word with the labor dept in NC and see if there are any provisions or exceptions.

      You can also explore other social benefits offered in your state or look for home based jobs on the internet.

  8. I am a merchant mariner and worked on a ship from July 10 to August 22, 2013. The crewing company that hired me and paid my wages is located in Indiana, 47150.

    Can I file a claim in NC to receive benefits?

    • When you file to claim UI, they usually consider last four calender quarters to ascertain qualification.I assume that you’ve worked before this instance as well.
      You can consider filling from the base state(or where the payout happened) which I believe is Indiana.

  9. I applied for unemployment about a month ago. I got my quote and mailed it in. How do I check on the status of my unemployment direct deposit

  10. I currently work 3 part time jobs as a college instructor. The semester ends in December and I will be laid off until the Spring semester begins in the middle of January. Each part time job finishes on a different date. Do I need to wait until all three jobs finish and then file, or can I file when the first one finishes?


  11. I was let go from my employer on 5/1/12. I have not yet tried to collect any unemployment. The representative said I had no wages for the last 18 months and therefore could not file for unemployment. MY calculation is that 14 months have passed not 18 months. Can I receive unemployment or not in North Carolina? Thank You!

  12. I started a job in August. I am 4 days short of my 90 day working relationship. They called me to let me know that the business was closing. Can I receive unemployment?

  13. Hello. My family and I moved from California to North Carolina in June 2013. Before leaving I quite my job.
    Untill today ( Sept, 2013) I made many application, but nobody call me yet.
    I would apply for unemployment benefit. Do you think I should do that?
    Thanks, Roberto Moneta.

  14. I got out of the military 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve had 3 jobs and went to school a little while in between. The longest I’ve had any of those jobs was 6 months; Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

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