North Carolina Unemployment

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File for Unemployment Benefits

When you are filing for unemployment, you can do this at an appropriate unemployment office or online at the Division of Employment Security website. The employees at the office can help guide you through the confusing details that may impact your unemployment. You can also file from any computer with internet access. The claim process in North Carolina is fairly simple.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

The best way to file for unemployment is to do it online following these steps:

  • Create a new account at the DES unemployment site using an appropriate e-mail address – if you don't have an e-mail address, you must create one
  • Verify your identity by providing your Social Security Number and date of birth
  • Answer the appropriate questions, including all information about your employers
  • Input your wages and indicate why you lost your job
  • Input any post-employment payments (including severance pay, holiday wages, or bonuses)
  • Submit your application and create a work search account (see work search requirements)

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

  • Personal information (including contact information)
  • Employer's name and contact information
  • Beginning and ending dates of employment, as well as wages
  • Total earnings over the base period
  • Wages earned during the week of your claim
  • Identification card (such as driver's license or Social Security card)
  • Social Security Number
  • Payment method
  • Other information (such as union membership, Alien Registration Number, W-2 for federal employees, or military forms, if any of these are applicable to you)

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Claim Weekly Benefits

Weekly benefits are what you are paid at the end of every week for your unemployment. Claiming them must be done on a weekly basis and requires a few simple steps. You are essentially verifying with the DES that you still qualify for unemployment, which helps the DES decide if your benefits are necessary.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

Claiming your weekly benefits requires verifying that you are searching for new work. As long as you can prove your job searching efforts, you will maintain your eligibility for benefits. This process includes the following steps:

  1. Log on to your DES account or create a new account if necessary.
  2. Navigate to the section that allows you to claim weekly benefits.
  3. Fill out the questionnaire, including certifying your ability to work.
  4. Add in your job search information, including employer contact information.
  5. Answer honestly when asked if you have found a full or part-time job.
  6. Indicate the wages you'll be earning at these positions – this will verify your new weekly amount or even if you still qualify for unemployment.
  7. Verify the results of your job search and submit your application.

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

Mistakes can occur when assessing weekly benefits, or even your overall unemployment amount. These mistakes can lead to earning too much, too little, or even being denied benefits. It's important to understand how to appeal claims and to check discrepancies. Both are done in North Carolina by the Board of Review. This group works to ensure that no mistakes have been made in reporting your unemployment and that you can claim the proper amount of benefits. It also helps the state protect itself against fraudulent claims.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

If you have received a statement confirming a denied claim, you must file an appeal to the Board of Review within 10 days of them sending the denial. This appeal must include the relevant information about your case, including why your claim was denied and why this denial is not accurate.

A hearing will be scheduled, during which you can present your case. Legal representation is available for a fee, though many unemployment advocates will give you free advice.

During your hearing, you must argue why your claim was wrongfully denied, including possible mistakes made in the filing, misrepresentation or misstatement of information by your employer, or other relevant testimony comments.

Once this information is reviewed, the board will make a ruling. If your case is still denied, you can appeal it to state and federal courts. In order to win your case, it is a good idea to collect as much evidence as possible, including testimonies from co-workers or even your employer if they are in agreeance with your appeal.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

Board of Review

North Carolina Department of Commerce

Post Office Box 28263

Raleigh, NC 27611