North Carolina Unemployment Eligibility Requirements

Get the North Carolina unemployment eligibility requirements. Find out how to file your unemployment claim in North Carolina online or by phone using the information below. If you still have questions or issues about applying for North Carolina unemployment benefits then contact the North Carolina unemployment office.

North Carolina Unemployment Insurance Benefits
You are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for any full week covered by separation pay, vacation pay, etc. (nor may such a week count as your waiting period week ). Generally, you should file your claim the first week after the period covered by the payment (if the last week of the payment is not a full weeks pay, you may file that same week, although you may still be ineligible due to excessive earnings). IMPORTANT EXCEPTION: Individuals receiving severance pay are considered to be unemployed (and, therefore, may file a claim) during any week that they are registered at or attending an institution of higher learning, a secondary school or an approved training program. You must provide documentation of your school attendance/registration, and you must meet unemployment insurance availability for work requirements.

Base Period
Base period is the term used to define the time frame used as the basis for determining whether or not you will be monetarily eligible for unemployment. It is normally the first four of the last five calendar quarters. You must have wages in two of the base period quarters to be monetarily eligible. Your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of entitlement to benefits are based on the wages you were paid and amount of time you worked during your base period. The exact amount of benefits and the duration of those benefits cannot be determined until you actually file your claim for benefits.

Eligibility Requirements For North Carolina Unemployment
Potentially eligible claimants must have become unemployed through no fault of their own. All claimants, except those who are still attached to an employer's payroll, must (a) register for work with ESC; (b) file a claim for each calendar week of benefits they request, and (c) actively seek work during any week for which unemployment benefits are claimed. Actively seeking work means doing those things that an unemployed person who wants to work would normally do. Unless otherwise instructed, a claimant must seek work in person on two different days with at least two different employers and must keep a written record of all work search contacts for periodic review by ESC.

Waiting Period
The waiting period week is the first week you file for and are otherwise eligible. You will never receive payment for this first week. It must be claimed to be counted. It does not mean you should wait a week before you file the claim.

Tips for Successfully Filing Your Claim
Be prepared! Before you begin, be sure to have on hand dates and rate of pay for last employment. Other information which may apply to you includes dates of military service and alien registration number if you are not a citizen of the United States.

This process may require 30 minutes or more. Before starting, please be sure that you have enough time to complete the process during the above hours. You can save your work and return to complete the process later by choosing Save Work Exit. To prevent loss of data due to the service timing-out, it is recommended you Save Work Exit if your online session exceeds 15 minutes. If you have previously registered with ESC, information such as address, telephone number, etc. will already be displayed. Be sure to update or make corrections to the data by simply editing the fields as needed. You will be able to provide an e-mail address if you so desire. An e-mail address is not required, but will enable ESC to send you a successful filing message with additional tips and links. Along with filing your claim, you will automatically be registered for referral to job openings which employers list with ESC. The online Dictionary of Occupational Titles is used for selecting the best occupational classification for your job experience and training. Due to limitations of this dictionary, you may not be able to find a classification which perfectly matches your background. In these cases, select the classification which most closely matches. Regardless of the classification you select, after registering you are encouraged to do your own search through ESCs online job bank. If the employer's name and other contact information is displayed, contact the employer directly to apply for the job.

You may be contacted by an ESC consultant from one of our offices for job referrals or to offer other services. Your request for Job Search assistance will be reviewed by a local office serving your area. All Job Search Assistance requests will be processed within three business days. Many Employers require ESC to conduct screening of all applicants for positions with their business. If your qualifications and work history place you among those applicants who are most qualified, you will be contacted with further information on applying for employment with this employer. If it is determined that you are not among the most qualified, your record will remain active, but you will not be contacted with application instructions for this particular position.

Job referrals also may be requested by telephoning or visiting any Employment Security Commission office. You may contact the ESC office assigned to assist you for questions or additional assistance. When you request Job Search Assistance over the Internet, you will be presented with a confirmation page that provides the Job Order Number for which you have requested referral as well as the following information regarding the ESC office that will be processing your request:

  • Office Name
  • Email Address
  • Physical Address
  • Telephone Number

Hours of Operation
You may find this same information for other ESC offices by clicking on https://www.ncesc1.com/locator/locatormain.asp. At the end of this filing process, a message will be displayed signifying completion of the information-gathering process. Pay careful attention to the final instructions, including when and how to contact your ESC office, requirements for documenting your work search, and methods for filing your weekly certifications.

How do I file for North Carolina unemployment benefits online?
Go to https://www.ncesc1.com/individual/webinitialclaims/applybegin.asp

Calculating unemployment benefits and how long do unemployment benefits last?
Payments for unemployment benefits can vary from state to state, but calculating how much you will receive is simple enough to figure out for yourself. Most states determine weekly benefits using the base period quarter in which wages are highest, called the High-Quarter Method. The remaining states might use multiple methods based off the Annual-Wage Method to the Average-Weekly-Wage Formula. Because the High-Quarter Method is the most common method of computing benefits, you may be able to use this to help you determine your unemployment benefits.

How can I estimate my unemployment benefit amount?
The period that the wage earner worked closes to full time is called the high quarter. This is the period in which wages were the highest. Take the amount earned during that quarter and divide by 13, which is the number of weeks in a calendar quarter. The state determines the percentage of that wage that will be replaced. The weekly wage is divided and the weekly benefit is calculated based on the weekly wage. Depending on the state you live in, the benefit amount may replace one half of the average weekly earnings.

How long do unemployment benefits last?
After the unemployment benefits have been calculated, your state will determine the duration of benefits. Several states establish uniform durations of 26 weeks for all workers who meet qualifying wage requirements, while other states have the flexibility to assign benefits lasting anywhere from 26 to 30 weeks.

This page provides general information about applying for North Carolina unemployment benefits. The eligibility requirements in North Carolina may change from time to time, we highly recommend that if you cannot find the information you are looking for on this page that you contact the North Carolina unemployment office. They should be able to assist you with your questions or issues about your unemployment claims.