North Carolina Unemployment Extension

North Carolina Unemployment Benefits

Extended Benefits (EB)

Unemployment benefits in North Carolina can be extended when the unemployment rate gets too high. Extended Benefits (EB) are additional funds provided to individuals who have already used all of their regular unemployment insurance benefits during times of high unemployment.

The fundamental Extended Benefits program offers up to 13 extra weeks of benefits to North Carolina workers. Extended Benefits can only start after an individual has exhausted all other unemployment insurance benefits. The amount of money you get each week from Extended Benefits is the same amount you received for regular unemployment compensation.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) can become available when there is an officially declared major disaster in North Carolina. If you’ve lost your job or self-employment because of a disaster, you may be eligible for DUA. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

To qualify for DUA, you need to meet one of the following conditions of unemployment, and it must be a direct result of the disaster:

  • You’ve had a week of unemployment after the disaster started
  • You can’t get to your workplace
  • You were about to start a new job, but the job doesn’t exist anymore, or you can’t get to the job
  • You’ve become the main earner because the head of your household died as a direct result of the disaster
  • You can’t work because of an injury that the disaster directly caused.

DUA is only available for those who are not eligible for NC unemployment benefits.

The NC Department of Employment Security will first check if you can get regular UI benefits before they decide if you’re eligible for DUA.


The CARES Act, an abbreviation for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, was a law enacted by the federal government in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided a broad range of financial support, including expanded unemployment benefits such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), to help stabilize the economy and support jobless workers affected by the pandemic.

All Cares Act programs ended in September 2021.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provided up to an additional 53 weeks of assistance for those who had used up their regular unemployment insurance benefits.

Applying for PEUC wasn’t an automatic process when you exhausted regular state unemployment insurance benefits. Claimants had to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. Once your regular UI benefits were exhausted, you could file a claim for PEUC and complete your weekly certification. If you were approved for PEUC, you’d continue receiving benefits for up to 53 additional weeks.

PEUC benefits ended in September 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was a program for jobless workers who couldn’t work because of COVID-19 and couldn’t get regular state unemployment benefits – for example, if you were a self-employed worker or an independent contractor.

PUA benefits lasted up to 79 weeks until September 4, 2021. Qualifying for PUA wasn’t as simple as qualifying for regular NC unemployment benefits. The NC DES had to review your claim each week to decide if you were eligible.

Your eligibility for PUA was entirely dependent on COVID-19 directly being the cause of unemployment. For example, you could qualify for PUA if you couldn’t work since you had COVID-19. But if weeks later you didn’t have COVID-19 anymore, your claim for PUA benefits would be denied.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

As part of the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020.

FPUC was a supplementary benefit added to your regular NC unemployment insurance benefits. Under the program, claimants initially received an extra $600 per week. Payments were later lowered to $300 per week under the American Rescue Plan Act.

FPUC benefits expired in September 2021.

Increased Benefit Amount

During the COVID pandemic, North Carolina enacted the Increased Benefit Amount program. Eligible claimants saw their weekly unemployment benefit increased by $50. This started with the benefit week that began on September 6 and lasted until the benefit week that ended on December 26, 2020.

Eligible claimants did not have to apply for the $50, it was automatically added to the weekly benefit amount.

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)

The Lost Wages Assistance program ran for 6 weeks, starting in August 2020. It provided a supplemental payment of $300 to individuals who were receiving at least $100 a week in unemployment benefits and were unemployed due to COVID-19.

LWA was managed by FEMA. In order to qualify for LWA, you had to be receiving a minimum of $100 a week in unemployment benefits and had to be unemployed due to COVID-19.

Claimants did not have to file a separate claim or application for Lost Wages Assistance, though they did have to certify that COVID-19 was the reason for their unemployment.

    • There is a huge shortage of staff across all unemployment offices due to a massive surge in UI applications. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response. Your state has activated the ‘emergency funding’ program authorized by the federal government. We recommend you to apply for UI benefits online. As a full time college student you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Click here for more information.

  1. I have been professionally employed all my adult life, have paid Taxes, have been a good member of my community, volunteered, etc. I have been unemployed since December, 2018, benefits ran out 20 weeks later. I have submitted over 200 applications for full time work. I do not speak Spanish, I do not possess a four year degree and I just turned 60. No one calls and even the Temp Agencies have nothing for me. Where are all the JOBS in Charlotte, NC for experienced professionals??? How can I apply for extended Unemployment benefits. There MUST be programs for adults i my position. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Same in Fayetteville. Everything is online and nobody calls you back or has a response for your application. Months later you get an email “we chose other candidate”. Temps have manufacturing which I don’t have and give you run around when you call trying to get them just to look at your online application. In Fayetteville it’s a lot of “who you know”.

    • Sam,

      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.

    • my name is monica lopez-hernandnez. i writing u because ,i’m nowing facing alot of dlimena in my life.I am a dibets, high cholestrol, post-pardum-depression, and anietxy, and also have sleep -apnea.I need my wages decision of my current decision of unemployment too reopen the decision to come .I am under doctor care and i have to see a therpasits about every week .so, please help meok.I have tryied several jobs, but, due too my health i couldnot fulfill my obligation of workcause, i taking alot of medication.

      • Hello Monica,

        Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

        Get well soon!

    • Taneshia,

      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.

      • What do we do? No food, possible eviction, car repossession, Just become homeless. This is horrific!!!

  2. Out sourced / Out of work since Dec 1,2016. I have remained employed first time since I was 18 years old when I joined the US Navy. (except in July 2001 for 3 weeks)

    I have paid Unemployment Insurance for thirty plus years. My benefits ended in February 2016. I have two kids I’m supporting now. I worked hard, always getting exceptional evaluations on work performance for all of the companies I have worked for in the past. (Always above and beyond. Extra assignments, salary with no overtime, etc.) Is there any path to take for support?) I went from $+130K per year to $350 a week with unemployement. That hurt but we survived… Now about to be homeless at the end of month.

    • Well, I can understand your frustration. There is no extension available at this time.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state to see if there are additional benefits available.

  3. What is the procedure to receive unemployment benefits in NC if you are fired by your employer without reason?

    • This is Ridiculous. They say our employment percentage rate is down. So we should have no problem finding a job. We fill out application and send resumes out. No one is replying back in a timely fashion or at all. So what are supposed to do. Lose Everything we’ve worked so hard for just to lose it. Because of the status quo says there are jobs available. I’m sorry I just think it’s a little ironic we all are saying the exact same thing. I Pray that all of you that are having a hard time same as Me and My Family are. I hope and Pray that God will send each one you that trying your best and still struggling. Please do not lose faith in yourself. Because We are only capable of the possible! God is the Only One Who Can Do The Impossible! Be Blessed.

    • There is only one gateway to apply for UI benefits. Please apply online or by phone in your state.

      When you’re called for interview, please be straightforward if there are any questions on your reason for termination from employment.

  4. Will NC start accepting the federal funds for unemployed worker, I been unemployed all of 2013 and I have a master degree. There are no jobs hiring. Does the Gov. care ?

  5. My unemployment benefits ran out in September 2013, and I still haven’t found a job. Are there any emergency extensions available?? The only thing I have coming in now is $75/wk child support. Please advise.

  6. I am presently enrolled in school and have 8 weeks to finish before getting my certification. I still have funds in my account, but I am close to my 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Can I continue to draw my benefits until I finish school for the 8 weeks?

  7. Will i be able to get extense benfits? My benefits are endings at the end of the month and i would like to know ifviNm not able to find a job am i going to be out of benefits and if so until when?

  8. I want to know why I have no more unemployment benefits if still I have no job and I have no 4 tiers.

    • Hi Rosario,

      As pointed out by Chris in previous comments, NC seems to have stopped accepting federal funds to help unemployed workers in the state. This is a possible reason for you to not receive any extended benefits.

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