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Filing an Unemployment Claim – North Carolina

  1. Am I eligible to receive benefits?

    You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, and you must have earned sufficient wages in your base period (the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim, or alternatively the last 4 quarters). Also, you must be able and available for full-time work.

  2. How do I apply for benefits in North Carolina?

    You can apply online.

  3. How much will I receive?

    Your weekly benefit amount will be computed by dividing the sum of the wages earned during the highest quarter of the base period by 26, rounded down to the next lower whole dollar. The weekly benefit amount ranges from $45 to $522. For an estimate of the benefits you will receive, use the Benefits Estimator from the Division of Employment Security.

  4. How long will I receive these benefits?

    The total number of weeks you can receive benefits ranges from 12 to 26 weeks. The duration will be based on the wages you were paid and the amount of time you worked during your base period.

  5. After I start receiving benefits, what do I have to do to remain eligible?

    You must report any offers for employment to the Employment Security Commission. You must register for work with the Employment Security Commission. You must continue to file weekly, and you must continue to be able and available for full-time work. Also, you must actively seek work. To be actively seeking work you must do those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. Unless otherwise instructed, you must seek work in person on 2 different days with at least 2 different employers and must keep a written record of all work search contacts for periodic review by the Commission.

  6. I was turned down for benefits. How do I appeal this decision?

    You must appeal in writing within 30 days of the date of the decision for denial. Decisions may be appealed in person, online at, by fax,or by mail. Also, you must keep filing your weekly claims regularly because you will only be paid for weeks you filed if you win your appeal.

  7. For more information on North Carolina’s unemployment insurance laws:

    Visit the State of North Carolina Website

    Read the Claimant Guide

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