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State: North Carolina (NC)
Phone Number:888-737-0259 to reach the North Carolina DES Customer Call Center Fax: 1-919-250-4315.To file a weekly certification, dial 888-737-0259.
Major Towns:Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, High Point, and Wilmington
Current Unemploymnet Rate in North Carolina

North Carolina Unemployment Questions

How do I file a claim for unemployment?

DES provides three methods for individuals to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Please review the following options for the method which best suits your needs. All three options are available for those individuals who are totally separated from their employment, and wish to apply for benefits.

File Online: this option allows claimants to apply for benefits online. You can file for benefits and register for work in as little as 20 minutes.

File by Telephone: DES provides a toll-free number which allows individuals to file for benefits. Customers can call 1-877-841-9617 (toll-free, 24-hours a day, seven days a week) to file an initial claim.

File in Person:an individual may file a claim for benefits at the nearest DES office.

Employers are responsible for filing attached claims for workers on temporary layoff.

I received separation pay (or pay, wages in lieu of notice, vacation pay, etc.). When should I file a claim?
You are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for any full week covered by separation pay, vacation pay, etc. (nor may such a week count as your “waiting period week”). Generally, you should file your claim the first week after the period covered by the payment (if the last week of the payment is not a full week’s pay, you may file that same week, although you possibly will still be ineligible due to excessive earnings).

Can I review the information I have submitted?
Currently our system does not allow you to review your work registration and claim once it has been submitted. If you entered information incorrectly or omitted pertinent information online, contact DES to provide additional information.

Why can I not update my information online?
If you have filed an unemployment insurance claim in the last 4 weeks, information may not be updated online to avoid erroneous claims processing. Contact DES if information needs to be changed.

How much money can I receive from unemployment?
Your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of entitlement to benefits are based on the wages you were paid and amount of time you worked during your base period. The exact amount of benefits and the duration of those benefits cannot be determined until you actually file your claim for benefits.

It says something about a “waiting week” in the claims filing information. What am I waiting on?
The “waiting period week” is the first week you file for and are otherwise eligible. You will never receive payment for this first week. It must be claimed to be counted. It does not mean you should wait a week before you file the claim.

How do I find an Appeals Decision pre-notification for a hearing that I attended recently?
Log into the Individual Services secure area. Select Appeals Decision Pre-notification under Inquiries & Information section. A listing of pre-notification(s) will display.

Will I still be able to use the JOBS Line?
Absolutely. The same User ID (your Social Security account number) and PIN gives you access to both the JOBS Line and online filing. You can even file your claim online one week, then file using the JOBS Line the next, and vice versa. Regardless of your filing method, you may still use the JOBS Line to hear job openings.

Will I get my payment sooner if I file online?
The processing of payments is exactly the same whether you file online or by telephone, so if you file by telephone the same day as some one else files online, you both should receive your payments at about the same time. However, online filing does not require staggered Monday/Tuesday filing. So if Monday is your telephone filing day, you can file online one day earlier, or two days earlier if your telephone filing day is Tuesday, by submitting your weekly certification online.

How do I file an appeal?
You can file an appeal to the first and second level decision in person at your local DES office, via mail to DES, attn.:Appeals Department, PO Box 25903, Raleigh, NC27611 or by email to [email protected] Appeals to Commission decisions must be filed via a petition for judicial review the Clerk of the Superior Court. The Commission must be served with copy of such petition.

What should I do if my unemployment payment is late?

View Your Benefit Payment History online or call the DES JOBS Line. Use the DES Office Locator to find the JOBS Line phone number for your location. You should allow 48 hours if you file your continued claims by telephone or 5 days if your employer files your claim(s) for you or you file by mail before checking the status of your claim.

Note: If you are eligible to receive a payment and it does not arrive within 14 days from the date you filed the claim, notify DES.

Questions & Answers

  1. I’ve filed for three weeks and it says that the payment is dependent on “pending resolution” What does that mean? I was a school teacher in NC and my spouse was offered a job in another state so we moved.

    I’ve tried emailing my question and they do not seem to be taking calls at the moment.

  2. My mother is widowed and dedicated her time to my father during his 17 yr battle with cancer. Since his passing the small amount of life insurance has almost vanished. I support her with over $1000 a month. She is not sure how to claim or if she is able to collect. She works a small home business that doesn’t generate more then $1,000 a month. What can we do so she doesn’t lose her home and is able to keep the lights on?

  3. Worked for employer since 1/20/2017. Worked full time for 6 months with verbal agreement they would do 12 hour shifts when I started school. They honored agreement for two weeks. Since that time, they have schedule of 40 hours every two weeks and take medical benefits even though I’m not full time. Am I eligible for UC?

    1. Elizabeth,

      Contract workers are not eligible since employers’ don’t remit Unemployment taxes into the system. Please check with your employer if they do.

  4. I am paymaster at a business in North Carolina. Are we require to comply with an order to withhold child report based on an order from another state, specifically NY?. The employee is a NC resident.

  5. Hello,

    I work for a company in Charlotte as an IT contractor since January 2017. I work for Randstad a temp agency. The company I work for is laying me off on Dec 31st 2017. Will I be able to apply for unemployment? I have been looking for work for a few months now with no luck.

    1. Mike,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted relevant taxes into the system. If “Yes”, you will be eligible to claim UI benefits.

  6. I am part owner of a small business that is struggling. We haven’t gotten pay checks for the past two weeks. Can I lay myself off and collect unemployment?

  7. I relocated from NY to NC for a Job and I started Jan 23 2017 and was terminated on June 28th 2017 a few weeks under the 6 mth mark can I still apply for unemployment benefits ?

  8. My wife had to quit her job several years ago to care for me as I am a %140 disabled war veteran. We have lived in NC for over a year now. We’re at a point of needing help getting her back in the workforce. Is she qualified for unemployment benefits?

    1. I am not sure of the state-specific benefits.

      Please call the Claims Center and speak to a representative for more information.

  9. I did a claim for temporary unemployment due to slow work due to weather and was told I had to do 5 apps a week I am still a full time employed why do I have to do this

  10. I have worked for SP Plus for 20 months, the 3rd of November I had to have Hip Replacement surgery and was out of work for 4 weeks, can I collect unemployment for that time, I am now back at work .

    1. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  11. Can I apply for partial unemployment if my job is cutting back my hours? I am 8 months pregnant and 15 hours a week is not enough. I have been with this company for 5 years.

    1. Generally, you will be able to apply for partial UI benefits for the reduction in the full-time hours.

      I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office and apply accordingly.

    1. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. If I am a 10 month school employee for Cumberland County Schools can I apply for unemployment for the two months that I am unemployed?

    1. Seasonal employment such as working in a school does not qualify.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  13. I was recruited and accepted a job here in NC and moved here from another state in November 2015. After 5 months, I was told I was not capable of doing the job they hired me for (although I was not ever given a job description nor have received one since) and they lowered my salary 20%. Can I quit and collect unemployment?

    1. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  14. If I hire a North Carolina resident to work in New York for a 12 week assignment, do I need to register with North Carolina for unemployment which she may be eligible for after the 12 week project is completed or would she file a claim through the state of New York?

    1. If you’re doing a temp job, you will not be eligible for UI benefits.

      Please inquire with the Unemployment Office in New York.

  15. I have been gainfully employer in New Jersey for the last 20 years. I have always worked out of my home as an outside sales manager. In the beginning of March I moved to North Carolina. I am hearing rumors that my company may be having layoffs because of a merger. If the layoff occurs, do I file for benefits in NJ or NC? All the UI payments, except for the past three weeks have been made to NJ.

  16. Hello – My name is Shannon Black and I work for WECTEC Staffing. I would like to know who I can speak with regarding working with your facility to attract qualified unemployed individuals to work for our Company in the Nuclear Power industry. We understand that there will be layoffs in the area in our industry and we would like to capture that market and possibly get them back to work. I can be reached at 412-374-2310 or by email at [email protected]
    Thank you for your time,
    Shannon Black

    1. Hello Shannon,

      Please note this is not a government website. You can visit the nearest office of the Labor Department or find more information on the official website for contacts.

  17. I got a notice from the North Carolina Department of Revenue, stating that owned state tax on my unemployment payments in 2009 and 2010, when I filed for my unemployment I remember checking the box to have taxes taken out, how do I get this situation cleared up?? Please Help..

  18. I worked for an convenient store and was robbed gunpoint twice. I was beginning to think that this was not a safe place to work and it was taking it’s toll on my body physically and mentally depression. So I quit. I was wondering if I can draw unemployment benefits.
    Thanks, Richie

    1. Yes, you can qualify for UI benefits for hostile and threatening work environment until you find a new one.

      Please keep supporting documents handy in case if your employer disputes.

  19. I left a job in MD to take a contract position in NC. I started by NC job in July and just received notice of layoff. I have been here 6 months. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

  20. I’m misclassified as a subcontractor when I’m treated as an employee . I got terminated for no reason. Can I apply for unemployment?

  21. I was laid off my job of 34 years but i was able to sign for unemployment but I when to work at a another job but that late about for months I was fire can I go and file from my job of 34 year.

    1. They consider your employment of the last 4 calendar quarters.

      If your previous job falls under this category, you can claim. Please apply if you lost the job due to involuntary reasons.

  22. I have been self employed for the last 19 years, the contractor I was contracted with has eliinated all postions. Do I qualify for unemployment?

    1. Yes, you can claim from the state where you last worked.

      One can make UI claims for being unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  23. Hey! I was laid off from a full time position this month. This was a only source of employment and I worked 40 hours per week no overtime and I am planning on applying for Unemployment benefits. If my previous employers deny that I was laid off and present some sort of other issue not voiced to myself during termination, Could the state deny my benefits? I suspect that my previous employer is willing to lie to avoid paying unemployment taxes. How deep would an investigation get? Will a thorough investigation be conducted on my behalf? For example i do accounting i believe they will state that I made an error or multiple errors that caused a client to take their business elsewhere. PLease help Thank You

    1. Please note if there is an unfair denial when you apply owing to factors promulgated by your former employer, you can always look forward to filing an appeal through an adjudicator who will investigate further.

      Details of this process will be available on the website of the labor dept in your state.

      1. Knowing the kind of bosses they are I will most likely have to appeal. I was a deserving employee that was treated unfairly and verbally abused on the daily basis. I am determined to appeal over and over again until they give up. Thank you so much Martin. (I apologize for the venting)

  24. Greetings,

    We are an employer in Wilmington, NC and would like information for a contact person with the department. We have posted jobs on Indeed but would like a chance to speak with someone directly.

    Thank you,
    HR Generalist

  25. I got laid off from my full time job getting 40 plus hours a week but I have a part time job just making 13-15 hours a week do I still qualify…..

    1. and if my weekly amount is 159 a week then when I file my claim and I report hours I work and make more than my weekly amount do I still qualify

      1. Look at the handbook or your financial determination. You will find information about a partial benefit. So you may find you still will receive some money.

  26. Hi, I started colecting on march ’13 and would like to go to Peru to visit my family for 1 month on Dec-Jan’14. If I havent found a job by them, can I still apply for jobs online and claim those 4 weeks from Lima? thanks

    1. I think it is possible you will be out of benefits at that time. As far as applying from outside your labor market for jobs in your labor market, I would recommend you call the local office – part of being eligible is to be able and available to work. People are allowed (in some states) to leave their local labor market and apply for jobs in another state. So what are the expectations in terms of your ability to respond (time frame, means of communication, etc)?

  27. My husband has applied for unemployment benefits and hasn’t heard anything about it!! He is an older person 55 years old and its not easy finding a job at his age but he wants to work to help his family out!! We are kind of in a desperate situation here!! Would appreciate hearing from you! His name is Kenneth Hudson

    1. This is not the unemployment office – it is a public website – please do not post personal information, everyone sees it. When did he apply? Have you checked the website to see if there is any information about the status of your claim? Please call the local office as soon as possible to find out what the hold up is.

  28. If I was working full time since last September. Now my employer only works me 1 day every 2 weeks of pay period can I apply for unemployment for the other 9 days

  29. i worked part for lowes. my question is am i allowed to draw unemployment benefits for the time that i worked? thank you.

  30. If I live in North Carolina, but worked in Texas while in the military, can I make my claim against Texas instead of North Carolina?

    1. Hi Joe,

      Since your last job was in Texas, you might have to file for unemployment there.
      Part time earnings need to be mentioned while you file your claim and during weekly claims. You can file for UI after loosing job and not waiting for anything.

  31. If I worked part of a week and earned very little, can I initiate my claim that same week, or do I have to wait until the following week?

  32. My boss told me that he could no longer afford to pay me what I am being paid so I voluntarily cut my hours to 3 days a week and half of my former salary. Can I file for unemployment benefits for the 2 days that I don’t work ?

  33. I worked for a large Company in Florida, moved last year to NC still worked from Home for same Company, got sick
    And last week my employer advised me that I will be placed on 24 Month unpaid Medical leave and if I am better I can apply for my Position again. I am 62 and applied for early SSI …..which is not enough to pay my Bills, my Question is …..
    Can I apply for Unemployment in NC?

    1. If you are able and available to work you can receive unemployment benefits. Alternatively, you can check if you are eligible for temporary disability benefits.


  35. I am retiring from the military after 20 years of service and relocating to NC. I do have a residence there and am moving there. Do I have to get a NC drivers license first to start my claim? Thanks.

  36. What is the waiting period for unemployment due to a temporary layoff?

    My employer told us that due to the economic conditions that BSH (Bosch Siemens Home Appliances) was behind on their unemployment taxes and if we had temporary layoffs that we would not be able to draw unemployment benefits, is this true?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Generally, about a year of work (base period) is used to calculate the amount you are entitled to receive as benefits. Anything shorter than a year might have special criteria where you can receive benefits for a shorter period of time or a lesser amount or you might not be entitled all together.

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