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North Carolina Unemployment

Unemployment insurance benefits are paid by the North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. This program is funded by taxes paid by the employers, there are no deductions applied to the employees’ wages. Unemployment benefits are administered by the Division of Employment Security (DES). The division provides temporary financial aid to individuals that lost their job through no fault of their own. Applicants must be able and available for work, as well as actively seeking re-employment options to be eligible.

DES has the obligation to ensure that all beneficiaries meet the eligibility requirements according to federal laws. The Division of Employment Security also partners with the workforce community to offer the appropriate resources and skills to those seeking employment.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must register for work at Each week, you need to have contact with at least two potential employers on two different days. A work search record must be kept, as it might be requested to continue your benefit entitlement. As stated by the requirements, you cannot reject any offer of suitable work; otherwise, you can be disqualified from the program.

Initial eligibility will be determined after you file your first unemployment claim. To file a claim, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • Social Security Number
  • Employer information, including employer’s name and address.
  • Military service dates when applicable
  • Alien Registration number if you’re not a U.S. citizen.

The Division of Employment Security will review your information and determine if you are entitled to benefits payment. If you disagree with an unfavorable determination, you can file an appeal and request a hearing. You need to send a written letter to DES and explain the reasons why you disagree with their decision. Keep in mind that the appeal needs to be signed and dated.

Important Information

If you received your first unemployment benefit payment after March 1, 2014, the DES office will mail you a letter indicating you are required to complete an Employability Assessment Interview (EAI). This is a mandatory in-person interview with a workforce specialist. Interviews are held at the Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS) office and it is a requirement to maintain eligibility. The purpose of the interview is to provide assistance to the unemployed individual and help them find suitable employment options. Work search records will be reviewed during the meeting as well.

Unemployment benefits are subject to federal income taxes, hence, you need to include your unemployment insurance payments in your 1099-G tax form. You can choose to have DES withhold federal taxes from your benefits. Take into account that deducted taxes will be transferred to the IRS and cannot be returned after the payment has been issued.

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