What North Carolina unemployment compensation extensions are available?
You are likely wondering, How can I extend unemployment for a subsequent benefit year? if you are reaching the end of your insurance period. However, unemployment claimants may only be able to have their unemployment compensation extended under certain conditions. Valid claims for an NC unemployment extension require applicants to meet the same qualifications as they did for the prior benefit year. Qualified unemployment claimants seeking a second benefit year must have earned wages in two quarters of the base period since the beginning of the prior claim. An alternative base period is not available for subsequent claim applicants who lack sufficient base period wages.
North Carolina offers the unemployment extension program known as Extended Benefits only during periods of statewide high unemployment rates. Activation of this North Carolina unemployment extension under federal and state mandate is directly contingent on the total unemployment rate reaching the state’s limit of 6.5 percent for two consecutive calendar quarters. The federal unemployment extension program, EB, becomes inactive when the state’s unemployment rate decreases to under the threshold.
North Carolina provides Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) when disaster interrupts or prevents employment for local workers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must declare a disaster as major in order for DUA to be activated. The amount of time for compensation payments from DUA is typically 26 weeks. DUA is available for a number of individuals including those who:
Are injured directly by a declared disaster and are unable to work.
Are unable to travel to or reach their job location because of a disaster.
Have become the sole or major source of household income due to disaster-related death.
Have lost employment as a direct result of a disaster.
If you have exhausted your regular unemployment claim benefits and cannot work due to a declared disaster, you may be eligible for DUA. Displaced disaster workers who are eligible for DUA must first apply for regular unemployment insurance within 30 days of the disaster. DUA claim applicants must continue to certify their eligibility weekly, like regular unemployment insurance claims.
How to Get an Unemployment Extension in North Carolina
To qualify for an NC unemployment benefits extension, unemployment claim applicants must have earned wages equal to six times their weekly benefits within two quarters of the prior benefit year. When you file for an unemployment extension, you must show DES these wages for consideration. Unemployment claimants with depleted benefits must contact DES directly to file for a North Carolina unemployment extension.
When high unemployment rates in the state trigger Extended Benefits (EB), North Carolina’s DES notifies qualified unemployment claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. The EB unemployment compensation extension typically provides claimants with between half and the full total of their regular unemployment claim. This decrease in payment is subject to federal contribution.
Past Federal Unemployment Extensions in North Carolina
After the fall of many dot com businesses in the late 1990s, which was compounded by the housingbubble crisis at the turn of the millennium, many Americans found themselves unemployed in a period of scarce job opportunities. In an effort to combat the detrimental effects of high nationwide unemployment, the federal government established the Emergency Unemployment Compensation in 2008 (EUC08). Like in many states, the federal unemployment extension in North Carolina provided unemployed state residents with additional compensation payments following the exhaustion of their regular unemployment claims.
The unemployment extension created a four-tier system that relinquished federal funds to unemployment claimants. The latter tiers made federal unemployment extension payments contingent on the state’s total unemployment rate. EUC08 concluded in December 2013 and is not currently available for unemployment claimants with exhausted insurance claims.