Unemployment Office

The unemployment insurance program (UI) is organized by the Division of Employment Security (DES), which is supervised by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The UI program is designed to help individuals who have lost their jobs and require temporary financial assistance.


Eligibility & Benefits

To be eligible for UI benefits, you must follow certain rules that have been outlined by the law in North Carolina. These requirements include accurate reporting, registering with reemployment assistance services, and actively searching for work while receiving UI benefits. Moreover, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own, and you must be able to provide proof of unemployment in the form of a letter or notice of separation from your last employer.

In addition, you must meet the monetary eligibility requirements set out by the state of North Carolina. This condition states that you must have earned enough wages during a specific 12-month period, which is known as your “base period.” This period is determined by using the first four quarters of the past five completed quarters in which you have earned wages. In specific, you must have earned wages in at least two out of the four quarters of your base period, and your total wages must be at least six times the “average weekly insured wage” in the state. This number is determined by using the total wages of all employers in the state of North Carolina and dividing it by the average number of employees per month. Next, you must divide the result of this equation by 52 in order to determine the “average weekly insured wage” in North Carolina. As this process can be difficult to follow, you can use a benefit calculator to help you obtain a rough estimate of your weekly benefit amount. However, the maximum amount that you can receive through the UI program is $350 per week.

Similar to other states, you can qualify for UI benefits using an “alternate base period.” This alternative consists of the last four completed quarters before the effective date of your claim. Regardless of which period is used, your UI benefits will begin on the following Sunday after your claim has been processed. There is also a mandatory one-week waiting period that you must serve before you can begin receiving payments; most importantly, you are not permitted to work during this period. In terms of your claim, you can benefit from the UI program for anywhere between five and 20 weeks, depending on the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in North Carolina.

How to File a Claim

There are two ways to submit your claim; one method is to apply online by visiting the DES website, and the other option is contact the organization by telephone at 1-888-737-0259. Before you can begin the application process, you will need your Social Security Number (SSN) and two other forms of identification, either your driver’s license or state identification card. In addition, you will need to provide the names, addresses, and contact details of all your employers from the last 18 months; you must include the dates of employment and the reasons for separation from all of these positions as well. Thus, you will need to be prepared with all of the necessary information before filing your claim.

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Department of Commerce 700 Wade Avenue Raleigh, NC 27605 (888) 737-0259 View Website Unemployement Claim File