“What can I do to extend unemployment in North Carolina?” is the question on the minds of many unemployed insurance claimants. The Division of Employment Security (DES) administrated by North Carolina’s Department of Commerce provides qualified unemployed residents with up to 13 weeks of regular unemployment insurance compensation.
Unemployment claimants who exhaust their compensation benefits within the benefit year may be eligible to extend or renew their unemployment insurance claim. However, NC unemployment extensions are only available to qualified unemployment claimants and during specific situations.
- Learn About Requesting an Unemployment Benefits Extension in North Carolina
- How to Get an Unemployment Extension in North Carolina
- Past Federal Unemployment Extensions in North Carolina
North Carolina Unemployment Resources
Learn About Requesting an Unemployment Benefits Extension in North Carolina
At times, the federal or state governments establish an unemployment benefits extension program. Unemployment claimants may only be able to have their unemployment compensation extended under certain conditions.
Qualified unemployment claimants seeking an extension 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. The unemployment extension program becomes inactive when the state’s unemployment rate decreases to under the threshold.
Activation of this North Carolina unemployment extension is directly contingent on the total unemployment rate reaching the state’s limit of 6.5 percent for two consecutive calendar quarters.
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.
How to Get an Unemployment Extension in North Carolina
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.
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.
North Carolina provides Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) when a 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.
Past Federal Unemployment Extensions in North Carolina
After the fall of many dot-com businesses in the late 1990s, which was compounded by the housing bubble 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 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.
And in 2020, the federal government initiated the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which ended in 2021.
Last Updated: February 28, 2023