North Carolina Unemployment Eligibility

The Unemployment Insurance program in North Carolina is part of a national system intended to provide temporary economic benefits to eligible workers.

In order to collect benefits you must meet certain requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

1. You must become jobless through no fault of your own.

2. All claimants, except those who are still attached to an employer’s payroll, must:

  • register for work with the Division of Employment Security;
  • file a claim for each calendar week of benefits they request, and
  • actively seek work during any week for which unemployment benefits are claimed.

Actively seeking work means doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. Claimants who are enrolled in Approved Commission Training may be exempted from work search requirements.

3. You must quit or get fired from your job for “good cause”

Monetary Eligibility

To be monetary eligible:

You must have worked enough hours in a defined base period to qualify. Typically, the base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters. You must have worked in two of these quarters to meet eligibility requirements. During your base period, you also need at least six times the state average weekly wage at the time of your filing.

Ineligible amount is determined by adding the claimant’s earning allowance (maximum amount a claimant may earn in a compensable week before the weekly benefit amount is reduced) to the claimant’s weekly benefit amount. If, in a given week, the earnings reported by the claimant equal or exceed the ineligible amount, then the claimant cannot receive any unemployment benefits for that week.

North Carolina is a waiting week state. Unemployment benefits can’t be accrued until you serve one full week of unemployment. The first day of your waiting week begins the day after your job separation. The ESC (Employment Security Commission) ensures that you’ve served the waiting week by contacting your last employer for verification. You can still apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you separate from your job.

Eligibility Questions

Can I receive unemployment benefits if I get fired?

Federal law prevents states from offering unemployment benefits to claimants who are unemployed through their own fault. In North Carolina, this includes claimants fired for cause by their former employers. The burden of proof falls on the former employer, though, so if the state Employment Security Commission (ESC) doesn’t get evidence you were fired for cause, you may still collect benefits. However, if your employer does provide evidence, you can collect only if you can provide more-compelling evidence that you weren’t fired for cause.

Can I draw unemployment in North Carolina if I quit my job?

Typically, if you voluntary leave your job in North Carolina, the state will not allow you to receive unemployment compensation. Eligibility is based on how long you worked during a specific base period, how much you earned and reason for job separation. If you have a valid reason for leaving your job, you may file a dispute or appeal if the state denies your unemployment claim. The Employment Security Commission (ESC) of North Carolina is the agency that manages the state’s unemployment program.

What happens to my unemployment benefits if I am laid off?

If you are laid off for reasons beyond your control, such as due to structural downsizing, or the company that you worked did not have enough work and money for you, there is a good chance that you qualify for unemployment benefits.

To receive these benefits, apply to your state agency that manages them. Generally, you should apply for benefits as soon as soon as you are laid off, as there is nothing to gain from waiting.

What are the work search requirements for EUC?

To be eligible for EUC, you must be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work. While filing for EUC, work search requirements have been met when you seek work on at least two days and make a total of two different contacts with potential employers. You must keep a written record of your work search and present the written record upon request by DES.

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.

More Questions?? —> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. I moved to North Carolina in May of 2013 and have only worked here for six months. Do I file in NC or in my former state of WV?

  2. I have had 2 part time jobs for several months.. I have been laid off from my main job, the one that gave me the most hours, since Dec. 6th until around February due to lack of work (seasonal). My employer told me to go file unemployment. Am I eligible even though I am employed part time somewhere else? My main job, the one I was laid off from, averaged around 30-35 hour per week while my other job I work only 5-7 hours one week and 17-20 hours the next week.

  3. While I am waiting for my unemployment to be approve I pic up so hours working with my old part time job. Since I am not currently receiving benefits with this affect my eligibility?

  4. My son is 17. He began his first job 6 weeks ago, working anywhere from 15-20 hours per week. The company is now closing. Is he eligible for unemployment benefits?

  5. I have worked full-time for the Department of the Army for five years and am currently furloughed due to the government shutdown. If I am furloughed for more than a week, can I qualify for North Carolina unemployment benefits? Since I am still on the government payroll, do I have to apply for a job like other unemployment applicants? Thanks!

    • I was laid off from my job. I have a small business that I basically carry because it does not produce profits. Can I receive unemployment as a business owner?

      • Call your local unemployment office. You might be eligible from the job in which the lay off occurred. With regard to the business – ask about sideline business. As a business owner you may not be eligible and you need to understand how this impacts you.

  6. Hi
    Quick question. Ive been working at UPS for 5 years receiving for the past 6 months only 17 hours. I have just been laid off of my second job at Orielys Distribution Center working 25+ hours a week for a total of give or take 43 hours. Would i at all be capable of qualifying for Unemployment or underemployment?

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