North Carolina offers Unemployment Insurance to the citizens of the state for those who have lost their jobs for no cause. Citizens of North Carolina may apply for unemployment benefits if they were ‘laid off’ from work.The page consists of information that you will need to successfully apply for benefits, such as the information on eligibility criteria, methods to apply and other important information that is required to file for benefits.
Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in North Carolina
The State of North Carolina has set certain parameters to decide what are the criteria and who can be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
One of the parameters set by North Carolina for eligibility is that all applicants must fulfill the requirement of earning the minimum stipulated wages in the base period.
A Base period is a time frame during which an applicant is expected to have earned the required amount of wages to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits. In North Carolina, it generally includes the first four of the last five completed quarters.
A calendar quarter is a set of three-month time periods used to categorize a base year, as a base year consists of four quarters.
To gain monetary eligibility, you need to meet the following criteria set by the state of North Carolina:
- You must have received wages in at least two-quarters of your base period.
- You must have received wages totaling at least six times the average weekly wages during your base period.
- If you do not have enough wages, your wage criterion is then determined by calculating your wages in the last four completed calendar quarters, immediately before the first day of your benefit period. Alternative benefit period may not be used to make a claim after your first benefit year.
- The claimant must have at least $780 in the last two quarters to establish the minimum weekly benefit amount of $15. North Carolina has set a maximum limit for WBA at $350.
- In North Carolina, the weekly benefit amount is calculated by adding wages in the last two base period quarters, dividing it by 52 and rounding it to the next lower whole Dollar.
Every applicant will receive a Wage Transcript and Monetary Determination. This letter will contain all the necessary information about you, including all the employers you’ve worked for and the wages you’ve received.
The Wage Transcript and Monetary Determination letter will also contain information on your probable weekly benefit, maximum benefit amount, and the number of weeks you will receive benefits. You are expected to read this letter and verify if your wages are correct.
After establishing the monetary eligibility, the next step to qualify for benefits is to establish the reason for separation from your previous organization.
It must be noted that the unemployment insurance program is not right for anyone who is unemployed. The law in North Carolina mandates that the benefits should only be given to those who lost their jobs due to no fault of theirs.
Consider the following points to be aware of the points pertaining to job separation that has a bearing on your eligibility factor:
- You must not have lost your job due to any fault of yours.
- You must not have quit the job at your own volition.
- You were not involved in any unethical or illegal activities, resulting in your exit from the previous organization.
- You were laid off from your work or your working hours were shortened due to lack of work.
The Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security of North Carolina will verify your claims about job separation. The department may contact your ex-employers to corroborate your claim with your ex-employer. If found that your claim does not match with that of your previous employer’s claim, your eligibility for benefits will be withheld.
Once you establish that you are monetarily eligible and that you lost your job due to no fault of yours, you will gain qualification for monetary benefits. You must, however, remember that you should maintain the eligibility factors throughout the weeks you would receive benefits.
To make sure that you receive your weekly benefits every week without any hurdles, consider the following points:
- You must be able and available to work at all times in the weeks you receive monetary benefits.
- You must possess mental and physical capacity to work.
- Report any wages you earn during the benefits weeks without fail.
- Report to the department immediately if you receive employment during the benefits weeks.
- You must register with the North Carolina Division of Workforce Solutions for work at NCWorks online.
- You must actively pursue work throughout the benefits weeks. You must make at least three contacts with potential employers in a week.
- Follow rules and prevent yourself from committing fraud by providing false or misleading information, or by withholding important information.
How to Apply For UI Benefits in NC?
To apply for benefits, you will need the following documents:
The most convenient way to file a claim is by doing so through the North Carolina’s Division of Employment website – https://des.nc.gov/. You will have to create a login ID and password to create your new online account. If you do not have access to computers, you can use the computers at your local NCWorks Career Center.
In the event you do not have access to computers, you may also file claims through a phone call. Dial 888-372-3453 to register your claims over a telephone call.
How to File Weekly Claims
You can file your weekly claims through the website or through a phone call, as per your convenience. Both the sources are available for 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.
If you have not received your payment within 14 days after your weekly certification is filed, get in touch with the Division of Employment Security (DES) by email at [email protected]. Also, if you have any questions regarding your responsibilities or the schemes introduced by the department, contact DES by calling 1-888-737-0259.
UI Benefits Amount
The UI Benefits Calculator attached below will help you to determine the approximate UI Benefits amount that you may receive in North Carolina.
Things to Know After Filing An Application Office
The claimants are expected to follow certain guidelines after filing for monetary benefits. Not following these guidelines may create problems to claimants, and may result in stoppage of monetary benefits as well.
Overpayments and Collections
An overpayment occurs when a claimant receives benefits to which he/she is not entitled to, either inadvertently or through wilful misdirection. Examples for overpayment include undisclosed earnings, fake documents submission, not reporting your new job or your new source of income, etc.
The state of North Carolina distinguishes overpayments into two types – Fraudulent and Non-Fraudulent.
A fraudulent overpayment occurs when you knowingly provide false or misleading information to get benefits or to extend the benefits weeks. The Division of Economic Security takes cases of fraud very seriously. Any fraudulent cases that exceed $400 can be prosecuted as a felony in the state of North Carolina.
A non-fraudulent overpayment occurs when you receive an overpayment but it was determined that there was no objective to mislead or falsify data to the advantage of the claimant. Non-Fraudulent overpayments occur due to administrative miscalculations arising due to unintentional errors committed by the claimant, employer or by the DES.
Overpayments received by the claimants must be repaid to DES, failing which the department may conduct a tax-offset with your tax returns to recover the amount owed. In order to avoid tax-offset, you may contact a DES recovery specialist by dialing 919-707-1338.
You can also pay the overpayment dues online by logging into Customer Self Service on the DES homepage. It would DES a minimum of 2 days to process your request. Also, note that if you continue to receive UI benefits while you have an overpayment balance, your weekly UI benefits will be reduced.
There are no state-sponsored or federally funded benefit extensions active at the moment. The claimants are only entitled to receive benefits during their benefit weeks. It is advised to all claimants to look for an employment opportunity by the end of your benefit period, as there are no extension programs available in the state of North Carolina at present.
Job Training Assistance
The workforce system of North Carolina, NCWorks provides ample training and education opportunities to job seekers. The platform provides a whole list of career services to help job seekers prepare better to the changing dynamics of the job market.
NCWorks offers the following services to job-seekers free of charge:
- Career assessment and guidance to those who are seeking to find job opportunities.
- Assessment of the aspirants to guide them to relevant training and education programs.
- Gives information to job aspirants on job fairs and workshops.
- Provides information on the job market
- Helps aspirants prepare a resume and a cover letter.
- Provides ample job interview practice.
- Registered job aspirants can use computers with internet access in the NCWorks center for free of cost.
You can avail the following services online on the website of NCWorks:
- Exploring job opportunities
- Resume Builder
- Job market trends
- Letter Builder
- Virtual Recruiter (This feature helps in scheduling a recurring search for job openings that matches your qualification)
The NCWorks also helps job aspirants find workplace training as the requirements of the job aspirants. The center helps you find the following options to help you acquire some job experience:
- On-the-job training