How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in North Carolina
Qualified unemployment applicants who know how to claim unemployment benefits in NC must continue to certify for weekly compensation benefits. Weekly certification is required even in the first unpaid waiting week, and while eligibility is still being determined. Unemployment applicants may need to claim unemployment benefits for weeks before their first payment.
Unemployment claimants can claim unemployment benefits online or by calling the dedicated weekly certification phone line. Claimants can complete the weekly certification starting on Sunday – the day after the initial claim week is over – until 14 days after the initial claim week is past. Failure to claim unemployment benefits will result in a forfeit of that week’s benefits, and you will be required to reopen your claim. Those who allow this lapse will have another nonpaid waiting week, just like with a new claim.
The earlier in the week claimants complete their weekly certification, the sooner their benefits are processed. Claimants certifying online can claim unemployment benefits any day of the week. Former workers claiming unemployment benefits by phone can follow the below schedule:
• If your Social Security Number ends with an odd number, call Monday.
• If your Social Security Number ends with an even number, call Tuesday.
• Anyone can call Wednesday through Sunday.
Note: All certifications (by phone or online) must be completed between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight.
Continuing to Certify for North Carolina Unemployment Benefits
To continue to be eligible to claim unemployment benefits weekly, UI claimants must register to work on the North Carolina Works website. Unemployment benefit applicants without access to the internet can sign up at local NC Works career centers. In addition to signing up for the state-sponsored employment services, unemployment applicants must keep a record of their job search efforts. Claimants may utilize the DES work search form or an alternate written record. The record must include how and when you contacted a potential employer, as well as the employer’s name and address or website. The DES may request these records at any time, including years later, for an audit.
After you apply for an unemployment benefits claim in North Carolina, DES will request a mandatory employability assessment interview in person. Claim applicants must register on the NC Works website prior to the appointment and bring photo identification and an updated work search record to the interview. Failure to appear for the interview, to register for NC Works employment services and to provide a work search record can result in the denial of benefits.
North Carolina provides qualified unemployment claimants with up to 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. Those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits are not currently eligible for an unemployment benefits extension, as the state unemployment rate is too low to activate an emergency extension program.
North Carolina Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
All state and federal unemployment benefits are taxable in North Carolina. Thus, unemployment claimants can choose to have taxes automatically withheld from their unemployment compensation payments. From the website, qualified claimants can makes changes to their tax withholding amount, including stopping it altogether. While the DES will take out 10 percent for federal income taxes, unemployment claimants can choose the percentage deducted for state taxes. The DES suggests withholding six, seven or eight percent. The state will send each unemployment claimant the form 1099 for tax-filing purposes.