North Carolina Unemployment Application
Customer Call Center: 888-737-0259
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 des.nc.gov. 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 ID.me. When you apply for benefits, you might be asked to verify your identity through ID.me. 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 ID.me. 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.”
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.
If you choose the debit card option, you will receive a U.S. Bank ReliaCard in the mail. You can manage this card at usbankreliacard.com.
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.
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.