North Carolina – Know Your Rights

North Carolina UC (Unemployment Compensation) benefits provide temporary compensation to individuals who fulfill all the eligibility requirements of North Carolina Law. North Carolina Employment Security Commission administers the unemployment insurance program in accordance with the Federal guidelines.Seal of North Carolina


Here are some of the basic requirements for collecting the unemployment benefits in North Carolina:

  • You must have worked in North Carolina. The Employment Security Commission is responsible for publishing requirements for time worked and wages earned during a specific time period, also known as the “base period.”
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. The North Carolina Law defines it very clearly that you should not be unemployed as a result of quitting your job or being rightfully fired.
  • You have to file ongoing claims. Moreover, every question related to your continued eligibility should be responded to properly.
  • Any earning from work has to be reported.
  • You have to report any job offers you get during the claim period.
  • The reasons for unemployment must be reported accurately
  • You must be ready and willing to work
  • You must register with the Division of Workforce Solutions, North Carolina.
  • You should be actively searching for a new job
  • Meet any other eligibility requirement of North Carolina Law in order to get the unemployment compensation benefits

The applicants for North Carolina UC benefits must have worked for an employer who paid into the NC unemployment program. Moreover, the applicants should have received wages in at least two quarters of the base year.

Eligible individuals should also have earned at least 6 times the average insured weekly salary throughout the base year. The exact duration and amount of unemployment benefits are determined based on info provided by the claimant.

The Employment Security Commission uses a term “base period” for determining if you are eligible for the benefits or not. Normally, a person has to work for first 4 of the total 5 quarters, which indicates that if a person worked for no less than twelve months out of sixteen, he/she is eligible for the benefits.

How to apply

You may file for unemployment benefits in North Carolina online or by phone. If you wish to file by phone, you can call 1-877-841-9617 any day of the week. You may file online here.

There are 3 steps that are needed to be taken in order to receive unemployment compensation in North Carolina.

  1. You will have to register with the North Carolina Division of Workforce Solutions
  2. You will have to file a claim for every calendar week of UC benefits you request
  3. You need to seek a job actively during the weeks for which you claim unemployment benefits

Before you begin the application process, make sure:

  • You should collect the name and address of the employer you last worked for.
  • The dates of your most recent employment need to be reported. You can do it easily by collecting W2s and pay stubs.
  • Be prepared to show and prove that your unemployment is not your fault.
  • Do not forget to keep any written notification of your termination, layoff, or severance that you might have received.


Filing an appeal against your determination decision is fairly simple in North Carolina. There is no required form. Your letter of determination will state where to send your appeal to. If you have any questions and are unable to reach the office stated on your determination, you may contact:

Appeals Section
Division of Employment Security
Post Office Box 25903
Raleigh, NC 27611-5903
Telephone No.: 919-707-1060
Fax No.: 919-733-1228
E-Mail Address:

For more information on appeals, you can review this FAQ.


North Carolina UC benefits are usually based on the earning of an individual during the base year. Generally, North Carolina benefits range from $45 to $476 a week. Moreover, these benefits are subject to Federal Income taxes. You are given the choice to withhold taxes from your unemployment check.  You can estimate your potential benefits amount here.

You can claim unemployment benefits in North Carolina for up to 26 weeks. The duration can be increased or decreased by the state depending on the general economic circumstances.


If you are looking for further information, you can visit the official website of North Carolina Unemployment Security Commission at

NCESC Phone number


DES mailing address

P.O. Box 25903
Raleigh, NC 27611-5903

DES central office

700 Wade Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27605

Weekly certification phone number


Appeals Inquiry



For online registration visit the following website:




  • Dee

    Hi! If I worked in North Carolina for nine months and am let go, am I eligible for unemployment? How many months do you need to qualify?

  • T Will

    I was separated from the army in November of 2016. I received an honorable discharge for failure to provide a family care plan. Is it too late to file for unemployment? I am also pregnant and due in a month? Am I still required to apply for jobs? I have no problem doing so but I wouldn’t accept a job offer because until six weeks after birth and even then, I am a full time student who graduates in may and interns in the summer. Not sure what to do.

    • Maternity disability and school are generally both disqualifying. You need to be Able and Available to search for and accept work.

      Yes, you can apply now to preserve wages and get the claim in place for when you are again Able and Available – to search for and accept work.

      What state were in you in when discharged? If you separated from the Army in another state, you in all probability are far better off applying for benefits there.

  • Karen

    My daughter have worked for Verizon for 2 years. She has become ill medically and mentally. She has applied several times to their short term disability boards and have been denied. She has all the medical documentation stating that she is unable to work at this time. Her job wants her to quit but I advised her that would not be wise because if she apply for unemployment benefits she may be denied. If she is unable to work for medical reasons can she get unemployment benefits?

    • No. Unemployment benefits are paid to those have experienced a qualifying separation and to those who are Able and Available – searching for and able to accept work. If she quits for medical reasons, you may be granted claim, but NC will not pay benefits until she has medical authorization that she is fit for work.

  • Mary

    I worked at a law firm for one month before they let me go due to inexperience, even though they had my resume, work experience and I went through the interview process. They claimed I was not getting a hold of the material even though I was provided very little training. Could I still receive unemployment?

    • Lacking skills/bad fit isn’t disqualifying. In your case, much depends on your work and earnings history. If this is your first job, you haven’t worked long enough to qualify for benefits. If you quit another job to take this one, how long were you at the other job, was this new job materially better than the one you quit? In your case, an earlier quit is far more apt to be the disqualifier than why you lost your current job. In the end, however, apply for benefits and let NC sort it out. You have nothing to lose.

  • Jane doe

    I was put on probation due to being out for being sick or my child was sick. The past 3 months I was not out until yesterday due to school closes dor weather and daycare closed. I was told today a patient called about a fee that was charged to their account for missing an appointment. I follow directions and if they have missed one appointment the second you add a fee. I was never wrote up for this. Then I was told I was late 5 times the past 3 months due to traffic and accidents of 77. There were 3 others girls late the same days they live near me. But they were not fired or wrote up. Will I be able to get the benefits? I also must add last week I got in trouble for things I didn’t do that were done while I was on vacation over Christmas. The notes in the patient chart proved that. They held my check and did not send it to payroll for direct deposit last week. The same week I was repremanded for things I didn’t do. I am to pick up a paper check tomorrow.

    • Not without an appeal – especially in NC if employer cites attendance/tardiness issues. Apply for benefits. You have a small chance of winning at appeal if your employer is a no-show or if you are able to successfully refute their charges.

      • Jane doe

        But I received it back in 2012 for attendance and I was out sick….

        • Family illness is different. The employer has no responsibility toward you because of your children. Much depends on what your employer states are the reasons for the discharge. All you can do is apply and let the process run its course.

          Further, know that NC has become quite regressive in its unemployment benefit program since 2012 – virtually draconian – substantially reducing maximum benefit and weeks paid. Therefore, your current application may be handled quite differently. NC actually denied federal benefits in 2012 to thousands of eligible people by withdrawing from the program. The ONLY state in the country to do this. So, as I said, the climate in NC is very different today than it was in 2012.

          • Jane doe

            No but it was only once or twice he was sick.. I was sick and have doc visits to prove that

          • Jane doe

            Child was sick back in 2012 too and so was i. Was told no fault of own so idk.. my point is I’m being treated unfair at work. No one else gets wrote up for being late. And they are. No one else gets yelled at in front of patients like I was. Very unprofessional.

          • By all means, apply. There are never any guarantees. NC doesn’t care how badly you were treated in comparison to other employees. That’s a matter for the EEOC. All that matters for benefit eligibility is whether employer’s reasons for discharge – absences/tardiness – are not disqualifying.

      • Jane doe

        I can’t help traffic nor is it fair to punish me but not 3 others… I can prove I was sick with doc visits notes too. Like I said in 2012 I didn’t have to appeal anything and I received it. I was told then it was no fault because sickness is no fault. And I was wrote up a few times for being out at that job and I still got it?

  • Christy M

    My husband and I owned a small business franchise that we had to close last year. He has not been able to find a new job but has trying to use the LLC as a consulting firm. He has only had one client. Is he eligible to file for unemployment?

  • John H

    I was just notified today that my job of 9 months was “letting me go” because they want to hire someone in my position who can eventually lead a department and they don’t think I am that person. They didn’t say anything about fighting me on unemployment and that they’d give me good references, etc.

    How will NC likely determine my eligibility?

  • Angel M

    Im a painter…I’ve been working for this company for a year now. Winter is here snd work has been cut to 1 work day a week to maybe none until further notice from my employer. He hasn’t laid me off or anything….basically has me on notice. From 40+hrs to just 7hrs a week just won’t do. What can I do? Quite? Would I be able to collect unemployment benifits in N.C?

    • You can apply for unemployment based on reduced hours. Any gross earnings will be deducted from your benefit on a week by week basis. If you earn more than your benefit in any one week, NC won’t pay you and will close the claim, which means you need to call the following week to reopen.

  • Jane Doe

    This process of getting unemployment in NC is horrible. I am from NJ and moved to NC for college and ended up finding a full time job with benefits. I only once applied for unemployment in NJ (and it took them 3 weeks to receive my 1st unemployment check). I am now on my sixth week and no money. I am about to lose my car, my house, etc. They keep saying that since I have gotten a severance they are still determining my unemployment. Why is the determination taking so long for someone who got laid off? I wish I can get a lawyer but that is not a reality. I have never gone through what I am going through now, and I have lived in states with bigger cities and populations. I am looking for a job but it is going to be hard to find a job when you are homeless and carless. Any advice on what I can do will be a great help.

  • Kim

    I was recently terminated from my employment due to medical illness which caused me to miss a couple of days in November and a couple of days in December. I worked for a very small law firm and they want to pay me unemployment and have filed a response to des supporting that. When I completed the unemployment claim I indicated that I was terminated ( because that seemed like the obvious answer, despite my employer wanting me to be able to claim unemployment) now des is telling me that it does not matter that my former employer wants to approve my unemployment claim, that des will have to investigate. I filed my claim on December 14, 2016. One CSR stated that the claim would be approved upon receipt of the employer response. The last CSR I spoke with today told me that des won’t make a decision until at least January 13, 2017. I am really confused. Can you help explain this process

    • State law dictates whether or not benefits are paid. Employer may not oppose benefits but the employer’s reason for discharge may still be disqualifying under NC law. Medical absences are not normally disqualifying. Nonetheless, the review process takes time. Generally, expect a wait of at least four weeks from date of application before an approval. NC should not have an issue coming to a decision within that timeframe.

      If you don’t get an answer by then, contact your elected state representative. Find yours, here:

      State reps are extremely effective in getting these states to move. Many will stall for no good reason.

  • Anne

    I worked for my company in NC for 7 years, then the company moved to SC and I worked there for another 7 years. I lived in NC the entire time and still do. I was laid off in Feb. I filed and received unemployment from SC. Am I eligible to get unemployment from NC as well?

  • Tanya

    I quit my previous job to care for my disabled mother in November. I started working another job at home in October it is part time 30 hours. I moved to NC in November still working the other job generally about 25 hours a week. If they layoff after the holidays can I file for unemployment?

  • Dawn Bowman

    I started a job August 2016 and was just released due to a merger. My last day was last Friday 10th. My last paycheck is 12/31/16.

    1. am I eligible for 2 qtr rule to apply?
    2. Which date would I use as termination — 12/31 or 12/10
    3. What’s my deadline to apply (if I’m eligible)

    • Do you have earnings before this current job? If so apply now. Otherwise, you will to wait until January to apply in order to meet the two-quarters earnings requirement. Your discharge date is 12/10, you report you were paid through 12/31.

      • Dawn Bowman

        Yes. Part-time. Prior to this job with another company.

        He released me on dec 9th but
        Is paying me through the end of the year. That’s why I’m confused. I had vacation pay and a bonus coming for 4th qtr by mid-January. That’s why I’m confused.

        So I’ve had a job the whole time but not a full 2-qtrs with employer that just released me.

        • Doesn’t matter. Base period includes ALL employers. File now if you are unemployed.

          • Dawn Bowman

            So do I use my release date or my my last payroll date?

            And-I have a direct sales business on the side. How does that impact it? Totally forgot about that.

          • Release date, already answered upthread, here:

            Your discharge date is 12/10,

            You report any earnings received after release date which will delay payment of benefits. Earnings from SE work should be reported when you claim benefits and will reduce the amount of benefit paid each week.

            If you’ve done any reading on this thread, you should know it may take NC eight weeks or longer to approve the claim. No progress after four weeks, write your state representative. Find yours, here:


  • Carol

    My husband’s job slowed down from around 40 to 45 weekly too only 16 hours weekly.I’m just letting everyone know that because he is still working hardly part time. All he can get from NC DES is 56.00 weekly before taxes. They are making people jump through hoops for nothing. He has not even been approved yet.His employer takes taxes our heath insurance and all the other taxes, by the time he see that check it’s only around 97.00 weekly. He is looking for work doing everything to the nines. I’m currently unemployment for major heath reasons,I’m trying to get on SSI and this takes forever. This kind of stuff needs to stop it could cause people to lose there homes, everything. My husband’s job did so many wrong they knew weeks advance this was happening and, he has held that same job for over 30 years. He is still in pending going on two weeks looking work we are wasting more in gas money than he will even get. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who recently conceded to Attorney General Roy Cooper, I say to late, it will take a miracle to fix this mess.

  • Jeanne

    I work at a small family motel and my winter hours decrease substantially. Additionally, my employer is forcing me to take two entire weeks off without pay. I currently work about 20 hours per week for them, but it is not enough to survive. Do I qualify for partial unemployment benefits or any type of assistance?

    • Chances are any unemployment benefit will be very small, not to mention NC has an unpaid waiting week, which means all you get paid for is one week – and will take NC at least four-six weeks to process your claim. You may want to visit your country social services to see what assistance might be available.

  • TJ

    I was just laid off today but have a job offer that starts in March of 2017, can I still apply for unemployment ?

    • Yes. you can claim for each week you are unemployed. However, unless NC grants a waiver (possibly you are part of a union which can be exempt from work searches), you will need to perform work searches for each week you claim.

      If you refuse a job, it needs to be unsuitable as to any one of hours, pay, distance, work outside your skill set. NC will not allow you to refuse immediate work because of a “promise” of a job offer at some future point. So, if you refuse what NC deems suitable work, your benefits will end.

  • NC

    I start a new job next week. Should I still file my weekly unemployment certification once more being that I will not have worked until then?

  • Tmill

    My company moved to FL and we’re moved along with them in June, I was just let go and I was wondering where I need to apply for unemployment. My check is still coming from NC because they’ve not switched over yet but I’m now unfortunately a resident of FL. I tried to file online for FL and it said I was being fraudulent I guess since my licence and paycheck show NC?

    • Apply in NC. Any wages in your current base period (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) would have been reported to NC. FL will deny you for lack of earnings.

      • Tmill

        So I applied for nc and I received letter (document is an explanation of potential benefits but not a guarntee) although it doesn’t state wether or not I was accepted or denied but at the bottom of the letter it It stated claim has active issue that is preventing payment of benefits. Claim has indefinite/ineligible disqualification.
        Do you know what exactly this means?

        • NC must have found wages for you or it wouldn’t have sent that letter. Does the letter list your wages accurately?

          Now, NC needs to investigate the claim – i. e., contact your employer regarding circumstances of your job loss. This could take quite a while – four-six weeks, or longer.

          To be sure, call NC and ask for an explanation of that language.

          • Tmills

            We still haven’t heard anything back from unemployment is that normal for it to take a month without my word of wether or not I’m approved or denied?

          • Yes, it is normal, but it is not right. Four weeks is plenty of time for NC to process this claim. You have bills to pay. Those funds are there to assist you when there is no income. The purpose of the program is defeated when benefits are not paid – because your bills don’t stop and then you start incurring late fees and penalties which puts you into an even deeper hole.

            At this point you need to immediately email your NC state legislator about your stalled claim and lack of communication. He will get NC to make a decision. Find your legislator, here:


            Reps are extremely effective in getting these states to move.

  • clintonia murray

    In february of this year i fell at home and injured my knee and i was taken out of work for a couple days but when it was time for me to return my knee was still not functioning good the way i needed in order to perform my job. So at that point i knew i could not go back so i decided im going to further rehabilitate myself at home until i am 100% able with my knee. So will i be able to file unemployment

    • Unemployment benefits are not paid while you take time off for a disability. Either your employer provides short-term disability, or you have a policy, or your state does. So, no, you will not get benefits. Further, if you actually quit for medical reasons, you may be granted a claim – but NC will not pay benefits until you can provide a doctor’s certification that you are Able and Available to search for and accept work.

  • Jenifer Gulrock

    I worked in 2015 and 2016 remotely from WA and VA. I’ve been filing NC state taxes etc as I am a military spouse and NC is our state of residence. Apparently, my employer paid me through WA and VA, not through my state of residence. I applied for unemployment through NC and my former employer granted the request. But now, NC is asking for the unemployment back! How can that happen? What can I do to correct this?

    • You need to ask NC for a no-fault repayment waiver because the granting of this claim was not your error, but NC’s. You may need to consult a NC unemployment atty.

      In future, know that NC is among the five WORST states for unemployment benefits – lower benefit, minimal number of weeks paid – only 13.

      Worse yet, you were legitimately qualified for a claim in EITHER WA or VA – and should have applied in either of those states, asking for a combined-wage claim. Both states pay 26 weeks’ benefits, but WA is the best because it also pays a potentially much higher benefit ($681/wk) for the same $$ amount of earnings than either NC ($350) or VA ($378).

      The determining factor on where you file for benefits is the state to which your earnings were reported (and FUTA tax paid), not the state in which you live – in this case NC, which is a terrible state for unemployment benefits, generally. The fact that NONE of your earnings were reported to NC and no NC FUTA tax paid is why NC now wants its money back.

      NC should NEVER have granted the claim in the first place because none of your wages were in its database. Without any wages in the NC database, you were not eligible for a NC combined-wage claim using WA/Va earnings, either. NC is clearly in a mess to have allowed this.

      Instead, NC should have immediately denied the claim and told you to apply in either WA or VA – which is what any other state would have done – and which would have been so much more beneficial for you.

      This is NC’s error. Given NC’s draconian attitude on UE benefits generally, however, a waiver may not be readily forthcoming, which is why you may need to see an atty.

      • Jenifer Gulrock

        Thanks for the help! It’s frustrating and confusing as I’ve been paying taxes to NC and not to the other states. Someone should have definitely denied me along the way – either my employer or NC. again, thank you!

        • Administration of payment of unemployment benefits is solely the responsibility of the state paying the benefits. Your employer is not at fault, here, in any way. This error is solely the fault of North Carolina.

          Employer’s only responsibility is to verify the reasons for the job loss. Employer would only contest the claim if you quit without cause or were discharged for misconduct – not which state paid your benefit – as employer has no control over administration of the unemployment benefit program – in any state.

          Further, fyi, where you live and pay income taxes has no bearing on which state pays your unemployment benefits. You pay personal state income taxes to NC but your employers pay an unemployment insurance tax (FUTA) to the states to which your wages are reported.

          I hope you get this straightened out. If you do get a waiver, can you report back?

          Thanks and good luck.

  • J. Roberts

    Can you file for unemployment if you are furloughed?

  • deswaga

    I have been working 2 jobs the last 2 years and 8 months. 1 full time and 1 prn job. The full time job will no longer be available as of Dec 1 due to a contract buy out at a hospital. Am I still able to get unemployment from the full time job if I retain the prn job which could potentially become full time but no luck as of yet after Dec 1st?

  • Zee

    I got laid off April 3 after 16 years of service and started the part time job April 20 it’s just not fare this whole system. This the first time in life I’ve applied for this I have worked sence age 15 never applied for this 47 now married 3 kids not lazy at all there’s a lot of benefits that comes along whit being a dis locaded worker school mortgage assistant and more I just feel like I put my time in never unemployed?????? My social security employment history states all of this !!!!!? From age 15 to now. Thanks you’re very helpful

    • I know, it’s not fair – and particularly in NC which has done its best over the past few years to decimate its unemployment benefit program under the disguise of “attracting” new businesses to the state. In any other state that 11-hr/wk job would have no effect on your eligibility. Apparently, in NC, for some reason it does. See an atty. If you learn anything on this, it would be helpful if you could update your situation.

      Good luck.

  • Bunny

    What affect does a severance lump sum or moving your retirement money from your have on your eligibility to collect UI in NC? In other words if you are laid off and you get a couple thousand dollars as a result will result in a reduction of benefits?

    • Regarding severance, in NC normally you should be able to open a claim, but not collect for a number of weeks until severance has been offset. You may encounter NC saying you can’t open a claim b/c of severance, but you should insist on opening it now and delay claiming until severance is exhausted. Opening the claim now will preserve wages in your LAG for a future claim a year from now if you need it.

      Example: You receive $3,000 severance. Weekly benefit under your claim is $250. You delay collecting benefits for 12 weeks ($250×12=$3,000). Thereafter, NC begins to pay unemployment benefits.

      Regarding withdrawals from retirement funds, it depends on whether these funds are from a 401K or a personal IRA. 401k withdrawals are at the very least partial offsets to benefits if your employer has contributed to this 401k and will delay processing of your claim.

      For tax and unemployment benefit purposes, it is much better to NOT do a direct withdrawal from a 401k. Instead, do a direct rollover to a personal IRA and then withdraw, as withdrawals from IRAs do not need to be reported, nor is a 20% tax withholding mandatory.

      Otherwise, your benefits will be delayed because of this withdrawal – and, in addition, tax withheld which you will not get back until you file your tax return.

      Better than withdrawing from your retirement funds this late in the year which will trigger all manner of tax consequences – early withdrawal penalty of 10% plus income taxes – if you can borrow on a credit card until the year turns and then withdraw – you can delay payment of taxes for another year to April 2018 and those taxes may be lower depending on your earnings in 2017. If you have a 0% balance transfer offer, use it to buy yourself some time – and postpone those taxes. Meanwhile, rollover that 401k into an IRA.

  • Zee

    I got laid off my job company closed after 16 years of employment. We got a severance. I immediately applied for unemployment, and was told to wait 4 months to reapply some how the wait had to do with the severance. I got a job working 11 hours a week. When my 4 months was up I reapplied 10 week past I called everyday for a week they expidited my file to the top and denied my claim. I immediately appealed it the very next day. I spoke with the appeals department witch informed me that working 11 hours a week is why I was denied. I’m going to follow thru with the appeal,for this does not look right at all

    • Depending on when you lost your first job and then the part-time job – and how long you’ve worked that part-time time – it is possible now, because of the passage of time, you no longer have enough wages in the base period to support a claim.

      Further, NC has made extreme revisions to its unemployment program. Know that NC now pays a maximum benefit of $350/wk for only 13 weeks. It is possible that (1) an 11-hr week job is not considered qualified employment under NC’s statutes so the loss of that job does not qualify for benefits, or (2) wages from that part-time job diluted the wages remaining in your base period below NC’s “average weekly insured wage.”

      Per NC:

      2. You must have been paid wages totaling at least six times the average weekly insured wage during your base period.

      You may need to consult a NC unemployment atty. It is quite probable the part-time job voided your chances for benefits.

      There are many, many reasons not to take an inferior part-time job after the loss of a good full-time job. In NC, it appears a job such as the one you had is one of them.

  • Brain

    Someone recieved benifits for 13 weeks nov 2015- jan 2016 exhaused benifits went back to work for same temp agency in april became unemployed again in October. Unemployment said ineligible to file again until nov 19 . Would that person still be eligible for benefits

  • Unknown

    I was let go in Jan 2016 due to a personal medical condition and my 12 weeks of FMLA had expired. My company gave me 7 months salary which covered me until Aug 31, 2016. I am now physically able to work (with some minor restrictions) and plan to file for unemployment since my severance has run out (it was paid to me in lump sum). Due to the timing in the year with all the holidays, etc can I still receive unemployment if I receive an offer of employment but they don’t want me to start until the first of the year. Also, if I can continue to receive benefits Do I have to continue applying to other job postings?

    • Your original question was answered at post #24 on this page. You are eligible for benefits for every week you are unemployed regardless of any future ‘job offer.’ The only time you cannot collect benefits is if you are working full-time. Until that happens, you are eligible. Apply for benefits, now.

      • Unknown

        Thank you for helping me. I think I have a better understanding of the process. I just want to clarify one thing. Let’s say I accept the job (but starting in Jan), do I still have to apply to other jobs or can I just receive benefits until the job starts. (I believe they require you to apply to at least 5 jobs per week while you are receiving benefits)

  • Nancy

    So I was recently notified that my position is being eliminated as part of a restructuring of the company I work for. My last day is on Friday, 11.11.16. On that date, I will receive from the company a packet which includes some sort of release letter that I must sign in order to be able to receive severance money, which is to equal one week of pay for each year I was employed by them. I estimate this to be about 10 or 11 weeks worth of pay. I don’t know when I will actually be paid the severance.

    In any event, I plan on filing for unemployment benefits. Should I do this immediately after 11.11.16, or should I wait until after I have received the severance money?

    • File immediately in order to preserve earnings in the LAG for a future claim a year from now if you need it. You will need to have worked between now and then to utilize that LAG, however. But the larger the LAG, the better a possible future claim, so file now. There is no downside to filing now, but if you delay, you will lose a quarter of earnings – and a second claim may not be possible.

  • i have been unemployed since august but i started filing september 4th, ive been filing every week ever since, and i still havent recieved anything yet. they say “there is an issue on my claim pending an eligibility ruling”. but they also say to keep filing every week..i dont understand, can someone explain this to me please?

  • Mel

    My 13 weeks of benefits is running out however I have not been able to find a new job what options do I have

  • Diane

    I worked for a company for 20 years and the entire department was let go. I applied for another job and got it. I have not told them “yes” yet. If I take it and do not like it (the hours are 4:30am) and I leave after only a short time, will I forfeit any chance for unemployment?

    • You can’t quit a job without good reason and get benefits – especially in NC. Some states allow a “try me” period, but NC has become so draconian in its view of unemployment, it would be very risky to take this job and then quit unless you had a really good reason – wages, hours, duties, not what was promised. That said, bear in mind, NC is now paying benefits for only 13 weeks, the maximum benefit is $350/week. If you have not yet applied for benefits, you don’t need to report this job refusal. If you have already applied for benefits, then you need to report this job refusal and have a good reason for doing so.

  • Nick Cassidy

    Hello. I was given an separation paper and let go suddenly from my job with no exact explanation. I applied for unemployment benefits three weeks ago and haven’t received a determination letter yet. Last i heard from a representative was that they are waiting on my former employer to respond. My employer response due date was this past monday. Any help with this?

    • Three-four weeks is normal processing time in most states before a claim is approved and benefits are paid. The states ultimately will approve benefits if employer fails to respond, but often that can take a while. A good way to get NC moving on your claim – with or without an employer response – is to EMAIL your state representative, who will contact NC and get your claim approved and benefits paid. Find your state representative, here:

      This is an excellent method for getting the states off the mark when claims are stalled. Most reps respond to their constituents on this issue, usually within a matter of hours. Good luck.

  • Diana

    If I am receiving a weekly severance, do I need to wait until that is finished before applying for unemployment in NC? I know some states can “double dip.” Thank you.

    • If you are receiving weekly severance, NC will not pay benefits if the severance is equal to your unemployment benefit. That said, you should apply before year-end to keep as much of your wages in your base period as possible.

  • Joe Dunford

    I will be 66 in March, 2017. I have worked in NC since 9/2014 and the company may very likely downsize after the first of the new year. I was planning on filing for social security when eligible in March, but I was wondering if my NC unemployment benefits would be affected in the event I was let go and filed a claim.

  • This really answered my problem, thank you!

  • Mike

    I was laid off from contract position on 9/15/2016. Filed for unemployment benefits the following week. After 2 weeks I heard back that I would receive something in the mail. Now 10 days have passed and have not received mailing. Have neither been approved or denied benefits. I have been filing weekly that I have actively been pursuing employment each week on Sunday, but have not received any information. How long does it take to receive benefits after filing. And how do I know if benefits have been denied and whether I will need to appeal.

  • Anon

    I was hired for a contract position through a temp agency and I was given a end date for my assignment.
    The position ended and I filed for UI, I was denied because the temp agency said I voluntary resigned because I didn’t check in with them after my assignment ended.
    Do I have grounds for an appeal?

    • Temp agencies always call job completion a quit if you don’t continue to contact them and ask for work. If you can’t prove you did in fact call, email temp agency several times beginning three days after the end of the job, no, you will get nowhere in NC – or any other state, for that matter. Read this:

      “Once you accept an assignment with a temp agency you are obligated to check with them for additional work upon completing each assignment before reactivating your Unemployment Insurance claim. By law, failure to contact them for additional assignments is considered “quitting” and can be disqualifying.”

  • lahoma Elaine Boyles

    I have been working at vintage inn as a housekeeper for a year and one month so as of this year they have cut back on the housekeepers hours that means they took away our sundays. Some are getting 4 days a week but me im getting 2 to 3 days a week that average up to 32 hours so am i entitled to unemployment?

  • Christian

    I was the practice manager of a medical practice for a little more than 3 months. I was abruptly fired because “we feel you’re not a good fit.” Since I was there just a little more than three months, can I still file? I was let go with no fault of my own.

    I was at my previous employer for the same type of position for almost two years just before taking this last position.

    • You certainly should file for benefits. NC will review your base earnings April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, which should provide more than sufficient earnings for a benefit. NC will investigate reasons for your separation, probably want an interview and then query your employer. Provided employer doesn’t accuse you of misconduct, you should be granted a claim. Know that NC now pays no more than $350/wk for no more than 13 weeks. Good luck.

      • Christian

        Thanks for the response. I have waited to file as I have been applying and interviewed last week. Having never applied for unemployment before, I’ve been reluctant to apply as though there is some stigma. But I’ve come to the conclusion that after many years of work in high paying position, I’ve paid a lot in taxes and unemployment tax to not worry about it.

        I’m going to apply and use this time to work on me and spruce up my skills.

        Take care.

  • Good Day. I currently work for the state of NC Division of Public Health. I work as a temp employee through Temporary Solutions. My situation is unique in that I work home-based in the Florida. I have been working home-based for over a year and a half on a part-time basis. I am told my assignment will be up August 31, 2016. My question is where do I apply for unemployment benefits – through North Carolina? I reside here in Florida and plan to look for work in Florida once my assignment runs out. Since I worked for State of NC – would I qualify to get benefits through the State of NC. Can I apply online?

  • Anonymous

    If I am given a “light duty” note from after surgery, however, my boss refuses to put me to work until full duty, can I receive unemployment?

    • Yours is a gray area only determined by investigation of the circumstances, so it is difficult to say if NC will grant benefits. You won’t know until you apply. Of course, you risk angering your employer in the process. Your employer is within its rights to discharge you for any reason unless you are within an FMLA period. If discharged, generally, you would receive benefits if no misconduct is proved, but in NC weeks paid now are down to 13.

  • Tatiana

    What is the maximum time to be able to collected unemployment in North Carolina?

  • Ashley Martinez

    Hi, today was my 1st day at work for a cellular company. Since I am bilingual they offered to pay me more and gave me full time hours. Everything was perfect, my manager said I was learning faster then other employees.

    That afternoon the son of the owner came into the store to drop off some merchandise to sell. Immediately he started hounding me with questions, who I was, where did I work before, why did I leave my previous job.

    It got to the point were my customers and employees felt the tension in the air, and at one point he told me to stand up out of my seat when being talked to. It was almost like people were waiting for him to just hit me.

    I stood my ground and answered every question politely and respectfully but I believe that only mad him more upset. He asked me for my full name, then walked out. Later on at closing my store manager pulled me aside to tell me that her boss thought it was best that I don’t come back to work, she paid me in cash tonight.


    • Absolutely, file for benefits. Depending on why you quit your other job, NC may grant the claim, although you may need to appeal to get benefits. You should also, absolutely, file a complaint with the United States EEOC. Clearly, this is a discrimination issue.

  • Ginny

    I had worked for 5 years with a company in NC. I took a new job closer to home in April and was told today my last day will be Friday as they are cutting back. Am I eligible for unemployment?

  • Unknown

    I have had some major medical issues and after several months on FMLA/leave of absence my employer and I discussed parting ways due to my medical issue and absences, it was in both our interests to part ways. They gave me a generous severance package that covered me for 7 months. My severance will cover me for another month, however, I’ve spent the last month in the hospital and am facing at least 3 months recovery. When my severance runs out, can I file for unemployment even though I’ll still be recouperating? Do I have any other options? My LTD was not included in the severance package.

    • You should file for unemployment before the end of the June so that you don’t lose any more wages in your base period. NC will use wages earned Jan. 2015-Dec. 2015. If you wait until July or later, you may not have enough quarters of earnings on which to base a claim. NC can establish the claim – and you can begin to collect benefits when you are recovered and Able and Available to search for and accept work. You will need to provide medical documentation to NC.

      • Kate

        I’m an attorney. Often, as part of a severance package, one agrees to forgo seeking unemployment benefits. I don’t do labor law but this may come up.

        • Agreement between employer and employee not to apply for unemployment benefits is unenforceable, as state law mandates benefits and the state is not a party to this agreement. Many employers have tried this carrot and stick method and are always overrridden by the state.

  • dorothy russ

    I am losing my job because of Kmart closing. I draw social security, can I draw unemployment as well?

  • Jon

    This is my 5th week and im still waiting for my UI benefits, they told me it may take up to 7 weeks!!!!! this is outrageous, when i lived in Ohio back in 2009 it only took about 2 weeks to begin receiving UI benefits. They are doing this purposely to force the newly unemployed into taking any low wage part time junk job they can find in this Obama depression economy. its unbelievable that the McCrory administration would try to balance the states budget on the backs of the poor and unemployed. They must not really want to get re-elected. I voted for the sob in 2012 but i sure as hell wont make mistake twice and the dems are clueless as hell also. im gonna have to go 3rd party. never thought id say that but this is criminal really. The poor should come together and file a class action lawsuit against the NC state government for obstruction against helping the less fortunate of this failed state.

  • Kiefer VanMunch

    Will the North Carolina UC office make me refund any unemployment monies paid to me for past weeks if I did not look for the minimum five jobs in each of the weeks claimed?

  • Patrick

    My wife and I had our first child last year and she had to work part time(nights and weekends)because of the cost of childcare.She was quietly pushed to the side and not put on the schedules.She quit do to no work.Even though she quit would she be able to receive benefits.Also she is a full time student in collage (online).

    • When an employer no longer schedules an employee, the employer has effectively discharged that employee. Yes, she should file for benefits. Her online schooling should not be a problem if her class schedule is such that she is able to search for and accept other full-time work.

  • Susan

    I have been out of work since March 2015, LTD stopped in July, the company just terminated me because they couldn’t find a job with my restrictions. Have been on a “Leave of Absence” during that time because my benefits ran out. I can be rehired by this company if my situation changes. Can I apply for unemployment? I can work just need a low stress job. I have PTSD.

    • Yes, you have been discharged. Reason – discharged while on medical leave of absence. You will also need to prove medically you are Able & Available for other work, just not the work you previously had.

  • Sandy

    I was fired for being “tardy” however; My manager has given us grace periods a under 10 minutes & as Long as we call. So I always stayed under that time – now that we are down to one register, and told to only clock in our departments. I couldn’t always clock in on time, but, I would always tell my manager, “I am here I just can’t clock in. As soon as the register is available.” I will clock in. They fired me for being 6 minutes late & an hour late another day (because I had a fire in my building), which I called about. Not my fault. All happened in a months time.

    • File for benefits. Expect a denial. You will need to appeal. At the appeal hearing you can present the exact circumstances which led to your clocking in late. If you are credible, NC should grant benefits.

  • Dee lee

    I owe unemployment 300$ can I file agin

  • kenny

    Just terminated from my job of 14years.
    I have never been written up in my 14 year career from anyone complaining about my services.On my first complaint from on of my accounts i was given a final warning so on my my next complaint they terminated me.i just dont think it was fair when other people have had thw same anyone think this will affect my unemployment benefits.

    • Most certainly this will affect your benefits – especially in NC. If the 2nd occurrence took place so soon after the first warning, there is a chance you might win benefits on appeal. Employer will no doubt cite misconduct/poor performance – but employer also needs to prove you intentionally made these errors. Expect a denial which you will need to appeal.

  • Marie

    I was terminated from my job as a result of my position being cut out. I was not offered another position within the company. I was let go on a Wednesday and filed my claim that day. Am i required to call in and do the weekly certification that same Sunday or do I wait until the next week, once I am out of work for a whole week? One of the questions on the certification asks if you worked during the week and the amount of money you made.

    • Bri

      In North Carolina, you are able to receive benefits for weeks in which you were unemployed and filed a weekly benefit claim. The earliest you may answer the weekly certification questions on the website is each
      Sunday. The questions you answer cover the prior seven day period Sunday through Saturday. If you spent less than three days working, you are considered to have been either partially or totally unemployed. We are not experts on North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance program, however, based off of their website, it is probably in your best interest to file your first weekly benefit claim this upcoming sunday. Source

  • Shane

    I applied for unemployment and have been waiting a month for a decision. Was fired from my last job for tardiness. I found a job and began working last week and filed it on the weekly certification like I was supposed to.

    What happens if I get approved for unemployment since I started working again? Will they back pay me for the time I was out of work?

    • Bri

      Shane if you were fired from your job through no fault of your own, then you might qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. However, because you were fired as a result of being tardy, that means you were fired through your own faults, thereby disqualifying you from unemployment insurance. It’s doubtful you will receive any compensation for the time you spent between these two jobs. Please keep us updated, as it would be really surprising should you receive a letter of determination that deems you eligible. Thanks for the message, and best of luck!

  • Brenda

    Wanted to know if you can get benefits if you have to quit your job due to employer changing job duties to impossible terms? Such as work 7 days a week,8-10 hours or more every day. Plus lots more.

    • Absolutely, because employer has made a substantial change to the terms of your employment, plus the hours you cite should be in violation of federal labor law standards, and possibly those of NC. By all means apply. Chances are you will be denied and need to appeal to win benefits.

  • Dejah

    I live in Arden, NC and now both parents are unable to care for themselves. I have a temporary job and have to relocate to Kinston, NC to care for them. There is no one else & I have to move there in October be cousin that is there has to go back to work in another state. Will I be able to get my unemployment benefits.

    • You may be able to get benefits from NC if you can prove compelling circumstances. But, even if NC grants benefits – which is a big ask – NC will require that you still be Able and Available – that is you are searching for and able to accept full-time work in your new location. If your caregiving duties don’t allow for A&A, then NC will not pay benefits.

  • Mary

    Who determines how long you can receive benefits, especially when you have searched for jobs, gone to interviews and been turned down because you were either over qualified or you don’t have the proper credentials for the jobs you are applying for. I have applied for numerous jobs and now I have been told I have exhausted my benefits after only 15 weeks.

    • The State of NC determines the number of weeks for which benefits are paid-. NC made drastic cuts to its unemployment benefit program during the recession substantially reducing the $$ amount of maximum benefit paid as well as number of weeks paid, and further reduced the maximum number of weeks paid a second time, a few years later – which is why your benefits are exhausted at 15 weeks. The majority of states pay at least 26 weeks benefits. MA pays 30. If you are not happy with governance of your state, elect a new governor and legislators. GOP governed states have been cutting back on their UE benefits, but NC is the worst – by far – and has been for a number of years.

  • chris

    I just got let go because boss says my work is shotty..i do autobody repair and have 33 years experiance 2nd to none in the field…its because the new writer…MEXICAN…does not like me and has had it in for me aince hea been there..i had a come back because a new head light was not working and i accidently scratched a car i was working on…2 re do s in 2 years and now my work is not up to par…im wanting to file unemployment on this company but ive never filed in my life and dont know where to start…i have a winner here and i know it …should i get a lawyer …or go on my own

  • I had verbally turned in my notice and was ask to give them 30 days so they could find a replacement. About a week or 2 afterwards, my employer came to me with a pay rate increase to stay. We mutally decided at that time ok. Then on the last day of the month, I was called into the GM’s office, given a thanks for prior work done well and told I would be paid through the next pay period and give a 500 severance for helping them through the month of notice. I was also given a letter for recommendation for my work excellent ethic and dependability at that time to use to help me get another job. I was floored that I was let go and lied to after the mutual agreement to stay. After about 6 or 7 weeks I was awarded unemployment benefits and paid back to the when I filed my initial claim. Now the ex employer has appealed the decision. I have since filing, found another job and cannot take a hour of work time to do a telephone interview for this appeal. I do not know what to do. My ex employer is a cheat and a liar and I feel this is unjustified and need guidance as what to do next. I did send a request to postpone the interview, but have been reissued another date and time which again, I have another job and cannot take this phone interview during my hours I am at work and do not want to jeopardize my new employment because of it. Please, any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • chris

      Take the hour for a lunch break…god …u do get lunch ?

    • You have to appear or you will lose benefits and need to repay what you’ve already received. NC will not give you the benefit of the doubt on this. Tell employer dr. appt., family emergency, something.

    • Yojana

      The best move to do in this case is to find a lawyer to represent you. It would proceed smoothly and give you guidance. From my own experience, I was given benefits to later get an appeal from my former employer, and without a lawyer to gide me I would have probably ended paying back the benefits. Lawyer cost $400, but it was worth it.

  • They said i was overpaid & i want to know why, I faxed my information, thank you.

  • I have been receiving unemployment for a month now. This week however, I receive my last paycheck from y job I haven’t worked in over a month. Can I still claim unemployment for this month, since I am searching for work, and haven’t worked this week?

    • You file a claim for benefits for any week in which you haven’t worked full-time. If you’ve worked part-time, you still file a claim, report your gross earnings for that week and NC will pay you a partial benefit.

  • Could I collect unemployment benefits if I moved from p.a. To n.c.?

    • If you are eligible for benefits in PA, you can live anywhere in US and still collect benefits from PA. You can’t just quit your job, however, without good reason. Just because you want to move is not a good reason.

  • Can i apply for unemployment after being laid off after one week.

    • Of course. Whether or not you receive benefits will depend on amount of wages in your base period going back 18 months, the circumstances of why you left your other employer, and the circumstances of your current separation.

  • Job was terminated with out any explanation or any chance for me to explain

  • How do I owe money???? Why does it say I have a overpayment???

    • mysti – did you receive your answer?

    • Overpayments result when you have claimed benefits while working and fail to report those earnings. Overpayments can also occur if you are granted and paid benefits, and then later those benefits are rescinded if employer appeals. Without more detail on your situation, it isn’t possible to conjecture.

  • I have applied for nc unemployment was denied now live in nj never got a determination letter need something to show new jersey I applied in nc for north Carolina, nothing went to a lawyer, who told me to write to commissioner of unemployment cert and regular letter. Please send something through e-mail so I can show nj I filed.

  • I need to know if I can collect unemployment for my employment.

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