North Carolina Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.

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: [email protected]

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:



73 Comments to “North Carolina Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.”

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

  2. 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.

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

    • Name says:

      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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. Name says:

    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.

  10. chris says:

    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

  11. Mary says:

    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.

  12. Dejah says:

    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.

  13. Brenda says:

    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.

  14. Shane says:

    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 says:

      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!

  15. Marie says:

    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 says:

      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

  16. kenny says:

    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.

  17. Dee lee says:

    I owe unemployment 300$ can I file agin

  18. Sandy says:

    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.

  19. Susan says:

    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.

  20. Patrick says:

    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.

  21. Kiefer VanMunch says:

    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?

  22. Jon says:

    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.

  23. dorothy russ says:

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

  24. Unknown says:

    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 says:

        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.

  25. Ginny says:

    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?

  26. Ashley Martinez says:

    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.

  27. Tatiana says:

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

  28. Anonymous says:

    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.

  29. 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?

  30. Christian says:

    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 says:

        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.

  31. lahoma Elaine Boyles says:

    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?

  32. Anon says:

    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.”

  33. Mike says:

    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.

  34. Joe Dunford says:

    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.

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