Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
Max. Weeks of Benefits
Current Jobless Rate
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
Max Weeks of benefits
Current Jobless rate

Updated : February 21st, 2022

North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

North Carolina offers Unemployment Insurance (UI) to citizens who have lost their jobs. They can apply for unemployment benefits if they are ‘laid off’ from work or unemployed with no fault of their own. On this page, you will find all the information you need to successfully apply for benefits, such as eligibility criteria, methods to apply, required documentation, and more.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In North Carolina

To filter genuine UI claimants, North Carolina’s unemployment insurance agency has set certain criteria that you need to meet to claim weekly Unemployment Benefits.

Monetary Eligibility

One of the parameters set by North Carolina for eligibility is that you 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.

Note: A calendar quarter is a set of three-month time periods used to categorize a base year.

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 determined by calculating your wages in the last four completed calendar quarters immediately before the first day of your benefit period. You should note that the alternative benefit period may not be used to make a claim after your first benefit year.
  • You 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.

You 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 estimated 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.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

After establishing monetary eligibility, the next step to qualify for benefits is to establish the reason for separation from your previous organization.

You should note that the North Carolina Unemployment Insurance program is not applicable for anyone unemployed. The State law mandates that the benefits should only be given to those who lost their jobs due to no fault of theirs.

The reason for your job separation also comes into play when determining your eligibility. Please check and assess if the following apply to you or not:

  • You must not have lost your job due to any fault of yours.
  • You must not have quit the job of 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 work, or your working hours were shortened due to lack of work.

North Carolina’s Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security will verify your claims about job separation. The department may contact your ex-employers to corroborate your claim with your ex-employer. If it is found that your claim does not match with that of your previous employer, your eligibility for benefits will be withheld.

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

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 all the weeks you would receive benefits.

To make sure that you receive your weekly benefits every week without any hurdles, make sure to adhere to the following points:

  • You must be able and available to work at all times in the weeks you receive monetary benefits.
  • You must possess the 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.
  • You must follow the rules and prevent yourself from committing fraud by providing false or misleading information or by withholding important information.

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In NC?

To apply for unemployment benefits in North Carolina, you will need the following documents:

  • Your Social Security Number.
  • Details from your most recent employer about separation, vacation, or severance pay you received, will receive, or are entitled to receive.
  • Details regarding any retirement pay (gross monthly amount of pay along with proof).
  • Your bank routing number and account number if you would like unemployment payments directly deposited into your bank account. If you do not select direct deposit, payment will be placed on a DES-issued debit card.
  • Your work history for the past two years (employer name as it appears on your check stub, employer’s payroll and physical addresses, telephone number, employment dates, rate of pay, and reason for separation from each employer).

You can file for unemployment benefits in North Carolina through the following methods:


The most convenient way to file a claim is by doing so through the North Carolina’s Division of Employment Security website – 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 888-737-0259 to register your claims over a telephone call.

How To File Weekly Claims

You can file your weekly claims through the DES website. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can also certify your weekly claims by calling the customer care number – 1-888-737-0259.

Note – If you have any questions regarding your responsibilities or the schemes introduced by the department, contact DES by calling 1-888-737-0259.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefits Amount

Benefits Calculator

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
North Carolina
Select Number of Dependents:
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: North Carolina
Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?

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$ 25,000
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Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things To Know After Filing An Application

You are expected to follow certain guidelines after filing for unemployment benefits in North Carolina. Not following these guidelines may create problems for claimants and may result in a stoppage of monetary benefits as well.

Overpayments And Collections

An overpayment occurs when you receive benefits to which you are not entitled, either inadvertently or through willful misdirection. Examples of overpayment include undisclosed earnings, fake documents submission, not reporting your new job or your new source of income, etc.

North Carolina overpayments fall 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 your advantage. Non-Fraudulent overpayments occur due to administrative miscalculations arising due to unintentional errors committed by you, the employer, or by the DES.

What can you do if you receive overpayments in North Carolina?

You need to repay all overpayments to the Division of Employment Security. If you’re receiving UI benefits and have an overpayment balance, your benefits will be cut by 50% for non-fraud overpayments and by 100% for fraud overpayments.

The DES may collect overpaid amounts by:

  • Pursuing criminal prosecution and/or civil court action.
  • Garnishing your state tax refund
  • Garnishing your federal tax refund.
  • Garnishing your lottery winnings.

To avoid garnishments, you should repay the overpaid amount in full. If you can’t afford to do so, you can reach out to DES and arrange a payment agreement.

You can make payments by:

  • Check
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card or
  • Money Order

You can make credit and debit card payments online. Payments by check or money order must be made payable to N.C. Division of Employment Security. Remember to include your name and claimant identification number while posting.

Mail the checks or money orders to:

N.C. Division of Employment Security
Benefits Payment Control Unit
Post Office Box 25903
Raleigh, NC 27611-5903

Further Reading: How to Settle the Overpayment of Benefits

Benefits Extension

The state offers a benefits extension when the unemployment rate is too high, or there is an economic downturn. Contact DES to know more about the benefits extension in the state.

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 for the changing dynamics of the job market.

NCWorks offers the following services to job-seekers free of charge:

  • Offers career assessment and guidance to those who are seeking to find job opportunities
  • Assesses aspirants to guide them on relevant training and education programs
  • Provides information to job aspirants on job fairs and workshops
  • Provides access to computers with internet access in the NCWorks Center for registered job aspirants

You can avail of 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 also offers ollowing options to help you acquire some job experience:

  • Internship
  • On-the-job training
  • Apprenticeship

Know more job training opportunities in NC

Locations and Phone Numbers

You can pay a visit to your closest DES office to get more information on unemployment insurance and any services related to it. The local DES offices will provide updated information on all of your queries. Locate the closest local DES office to your location
Alternatively, you may also contact the DES over the telephone to find answers to all of your queries. The following table contains the requisite numbers you will need during the course of your benefit period in North Carolina:

NC Unemployment Office Phone Numbers

File Claim via Telephone 888-372-3453/1-877-841-9617
Customer Call Center area 888-737-0259
DES Recovery Specialist 919-707-1338
Public Appeals 919-707-1060
Government & Public Relations 919-707-1010

Note - Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. Do I need to repay if my claim is reversed on appeal?
When a claimant receiving benefits has his/her claim reversed on appeal, the benefits received will be an overpayment subject to repayment to the Division. The Law requires all persons who have received benefits to which they are not entitled “for any reason” to be liable to repay the benefits received, including when decisions at any Division or judicial level have been reversed on appeal.
Q. What happens if I forget to file my weekly certification for benefits?
If you fail to complete a timely weekly certification, you will not be allowed to receive payment for the week, you will not be required to reopen your claim, and finally, you will not be required to serve a waiting period week (non-payable week).
Q. I received separation pay (or pay, wages in lieu of notice, vacation pay, etc). When should I file a claim?
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).
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”).
Q.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 wait for 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.
Q.What are my work search requirements in North Carolina?
The state of North Carolina mandates that you must be able to work, be available for work, and actively pursue job opportunities.

To receive benefits:

  • Under state law, you need to make contact with at least three different employers every week and record your work search. You can satisfy one of the three job contacts requirement by attending an approved reemployment activity offered by a NCWorks Career Center or a partnering agency.
  • You need to register with a jobseeker account on You can use to search and apply for jobs, access labor market information and find opportunities for workforce training.
Q. Am I required to register for work in the state of North Carolina?
Yes, you need to register for work to be eligible for your weekly unemployment benefits in North Carolina.
You can register by -
  • Visiting and create an account. Click on the link that says 'Not Registered?' and then select 'Individual' under Option 3 - ‘Create a User Account.’ The website will then guide you through the steps to complete your account setup.
  • Maintain an active account. If you have not logged in for more than 90 days into, you must log in and verify your information to reactivate your registration.
Q.When should I file a claim for UI benefits?
You should file a claim for benefits if you lost your job due to no fault of your own, you are willing to register for work and actively seek employment, and you are able and available to work if any work is offered to you.
NOTE: If you are still employed but are temporarily laid off due to a decrease in workload, your employer may file an attached claim on your behalf. Attached claims do not require that you register for work or actively seek work. If your employer refuses to file an attached claim on your behalf, you must file your own claim and meet all eligibility requirements.
Q. What day of the week does North Carolina’s UI benefits get deposited?
You need to start filing for weekly certifications the week after submitting your first application. After which, you must file a weekly certification within 14 days every week of unemployment to continue being eligible for unemployment benefits. It is also suggested that you file for certifications even if you are waiting to see if you’re eligible.
You need to wait for up to 48 hours for payments to fully process.

Questions & Answers

  1. How do I get in touch with someone? I’ve called the numbers listed, no one ever answers. Sucks you’ve taken money from me my whole life, now I can’t get it when I need it. Thanks government

    1. Nathan,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

      1. Please please please read this!!!! We have 7 children and my husband filed in March because I am considered a high risk patient and he had to leave his job until this covid passes. We have no diapers, no wipes, no tp, our bills are piling up. We have always worked but we need this help now. We are extremely anxious and stressed. Every time we call someone just tells us they don’t understand why he hasn’t received it. Please help us. Please do whatever is necessary to release the funds so we can take care of our family
        Claim #11552078

        1. Oscar,

          I can understand your situation. Please wait for an update from the office. There will be thousands of applications for the office to be processed. Make sure to check the status at regular intervals.

        1. Dave,

          The Unemployment Office might be inundated with pending requests. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals.

  2. I relocated from NY to NC. I am a medical assistant. My job required a certification which i was ineligible to certify for due to length of time between my graduation date and present. I was fired due to not being able to certify(which was no fault of my own) would I be eligible to unemployment

    1. Emily,

      UI benefits are available to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  3. I have lived in NC for 3.5 years but continue to work remotely for my-NJ based employer. I have been with them 22 years. My position is being eliminated at the end of February 2020. In what state do I apply for benefits?

      1. My husband’s account has said pending resolution for 28days. And of course I can’t get anyone on the phone. So I don’t know what to do. We need help. He lost his job right before the Coronavirus lay offs and it’s like he got pushed to the back and no one cares that we have a child to feed as well. Something needs to be done! This is ridiculous.

  4. If receiving unemployment benefits and you try out a job for two weeks before accepting,if you decide not to take the job can you resume your unemployment if you haven’t used all of your 12 weeks?

  5. Where I work at my hrs got cut back I was getting 50 to 60 hours a week now do to the weather iam lucky to 20 to 30 hours a week so I trying to get my unemployment I found out that I could get it but with them going by the first two quarters is the lowest out of the 4 quarter and the first quarter is 630.00 the second quarter is zero the third quarter is 1.653.15 the fourth quarter is 10.024.35 see the first two quarters I got heart at work had to have surgery done and I just couldn’t work that why someone can tell me what can I do thks

  6. My company is closing the plant here in Lexington, NC, how can I calculate how much would I be receiving for unemployment benefits?

      1. Hi Sam, thanks so much for your help! I’m wondering about the Max Weeks of benefits. Some sources, even this website shows 20 weeks. But the unemployment office, and even this thread mentions 12 weeks. What determines the max weeks of benefits? Thanks!

        1. Robert,

          It primarily depends on the “Base Period” earnings. Each state has its own way to calculate.

        2. I’ve been applying since March and called over 100 times. Can’t talk to anyone at Des. Tried faxing and emailing and still no one. If y’all was getting more people to help during the pandemic of covid 19 we would be able to actually speak to someone about our claim. I’ve waited 4 hours on the phone to be hung up on. Waiting 8 weeks now and still nothing. I need to know what is taking y’all so long. I have BILLS!

        3. Thomas,

          I can understand your situation. Please wait for an update from the office. There will be thousands of applications for the office to be processed. Make sure to check the status at regular intervals.

  7. I filed for unemployment on August 18th 2019 and it said pending . I haven’t heard anything yet and now it’s September 19. How long does it take. About to lose everything. Help!

    1. David,

      It should certainly not take so long! Please chase the Claims Center at regular intervals until a determination is made.

  8. Just a question… I am old enough to collect Social Security benefits. I am still working but things are looking bleak. Can I file for Social security and still be eligible for Unemployment ??

  9. I was laid off due to lack of work , I cant even get unemployment to tell me how much I can draw. The quarters for the year will start over next week so I will have to reopen the claim prior to any payment at all. I’m looking at weeks before I can even draw a cent if I am even entitled . 12 weeks is not much for anyone unemployed they really need to re look at this and change the laws back to where they were. NC offers no extension and I highly doubt I can even make my bills . I am searching high and low praying I soon find a job.

  10. I’m really tick off right now. My husband worked for almost 20 years for a company here in Charlotte NC. Then he was laid off at no fault of his own other than he made a good salary and had been there so long. He applied for UIB and he will only receive $350 for 12 weeks. Seriously, he has worked all of his adult life and can only receive unemployment benefits for 12 weeks and $350 at that? Unbelievable! He can’t even request an extension. How is the time for receiving benefits deterimined?

    1. North Carolina is 49th in the country for overall worst unemployment benefits, considering both maximum weekly amount as well as maximum benefit period. 40 states give 26 weeks with only Florida, the worst in the nation for total benefits ($3,300) also giving 12 weeks. The US average total weekly benefits is more than $500, making NC 30% lower than national average. The US average maximum total benefit is $12,622, with NC providing only about one-third of that average national figure. Illinois has a maximum benefit of almost $39,000, almost ten times higher than NC. The maximum weekly amount I am entitled to represents less than 14% of what I have normally earned.

      With a Republican legislature, it is surprising that there is any unemployment benefit at all but we get what we vote for. NC is an embarrassment but this is not the only thing we very much lag behind the country on, powered by sheer meanness. Incidentally, before Republican Governor Pat McCrory and the GOP slashed the payment period and amounts in 2013, it used to be a maximum of $530 and 26 weeks for a total benefit of $13,780, a reduction now of 70%.

  11. I received a balance payout check on March 22, 2019 and before I could get to the bank to cash the check my dog ate most of it. I have called 17 or 18 phone numbers passed off to me by employees of the NCDOR employment department and spent 6 1/2 hours on the phone. This is deplorable that not one single employee can take the time to get an answer for me. It is not rocket science. All I need is to have the check reissued. I wouldn’t need that except when I inquired about the remainder on my NC debit card I was told there was no more money on it so I shredded the card. I would like an accounting for why this happens in my state. I have a picture of the partially eaten check and my check stub if I had a place to email the information.

    1. Jane,

      I can understand what you must be going through. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity for a fix.

  12. I applied for UI benefits on Feb. 1st 2019. I have continuously tried to contact someone about my account to get some answers on why my account is still showing a message that says pending resolution. I have been reporting every week but have not received anything yet. Today is March the 24th. What is going on? The customer service line is absolutely no help and they tell me that I cant talk to anyone else. What and why is my account still pending resolution? Every time I have called customer service they keep telling me that it will be any day now. They have been saying that for weeks. Who do I talk to for a resolution to this issue? My situation is critical at this point and I am about to lose my car and my home!! What’s the holdup?

    1. Alicia,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. Please try visiting the nearest office for quick resolution.

    2. I have the very same issue I have been applying for my benefits for almost 8 weeks and have not received a denial letter nothing. Has your issue been resolved and if so how did u get it done

      1. No help but the exact same situation. It’s been 7 weeks and my job portal looks exactly the same as the day I filed. “pending resolution” . The pending is with two employers ago and not with the people who fired me so I don’t get what the hold up is at all.

    3. No help but the exact same situation. It’s been 7 weeks and my job portal looks exactly the same as the day I filed. “pending resolution” . The pending is with two employers ago and not with the people who fired me so I don’t get what the hold up is at all. Sorry for your situation. I know it’s tough

  13. My job is moving from one part of Charlotte to downtown, which will make my commute go from 20mins to 45mins. Can I receive unemployment if I quite?

    1. Sam,

      Depends on a few factors. Before making a decision on your employment, please call the Unemployment Office.

  14. I was laid off from my full time job 2 weeks ago. I have had a part time job also which I still have. I am a single mom and needed both jobs to pay all my bills. What is the most I can work at my part time job and still get unemployment benefits. I need to still keep my part time job when I do full time work.

    1. Melinda,

      I am not sure of a definite answer to your question. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for clarification.

  15. My unemployment says exhausted, I’ve used 12 weeks. Is there a way to get an extension? If so do I need to do anything?

    1. Sara,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  16. I just moved to NC Transferred here from same company in Atlanta, the work here is slow not making the same hrs pay plus work is really slow. Only working when it’s work to be done not making 40hrs, still consider full time can I receive parcel unemployment?

      1. So if I try to get unemployment, can the company stop me? I transferred on my on. They lowered my pay to the standards here plus taken my seniority. Just trying to find out can they stop the unemployment. Only if you can help.

        1. Marlon,

          The employer cannot stop the claim but can contest it at the time of processing which can influence the determination made by the Unemployment Office.

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