If you’ve had trouble getting unemployment insurance subsidies from the government lately, then you’re not the only one. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a record number of Americans face unemployment, many of them facing unemployment for the first time. Directing that system can sometimes make you overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Here are some quick links and resources to make it easier for you to find eligible funds.
If you’re an employer, visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s COVID-19 Information Center for more information on how employees claim unemployment affects your business.
How to claim unemployment
Check out North Carolina’s helpful guide to applying for unemployment benefits for guidance on the documents you need, what happens when you apply, and how to continue receiving unemployment benefits in the future. Due to the pandemic, this includes W-2 workers and free workers, free workers, contract workers, and 1099 independent contractors, as well as those eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You may experience delays applying for unemployment because of the large number, but go on.
Create an account if you don’t have one yet to start the registration process; otherwise, sign in to your existing account. The on-screen guide will guide you through it all. Translations are available in Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hmong, Korean and Russian.
If you need to talk to someone or apply by phone, call the Call Center at (888) 737-0259 if you have questions about benefits and for assistance with an unemployment insurance claim, login, or reset your password.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Line is available at (866) 847-7209. Its working hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
In addition to state unemployment subsidies, the federal government will distribute $600 along with each disbursement through July 25, 2020. The grant can last for 26 weeks; an additional 13 weeks of benefits are available through the federal CARES Act. You don’t need to apply separately for these benefits, and all benefits will take effect from your first week of unemployment. Because of the pandemic, you don’t need to prove that you’re looking for a job every week that you’ve re-certified.
Who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
People who do not qualify for regular unemployment can still receive PUA if they are diagnosed, have symptoms, or are directly impacted by COVID-19, including:
A household member of an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
An individual who is caring for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
A child or other family member with whom the primary care responsible person cannot attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of a COVID-19 emergency and school or care is necessary for the individual to work
Individuals who are unable to get to work because of COVID-19 quarantine or because a healthcare professional has advised them to self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns
Individuals who have been scheduled to start work and are out of work or unable to access work as a direct result of COVID-19
An individual has become a breadwinner or primary support for a household because the householder has died as a direct result of COVID-19
Individuals who have quit their jobs or been seded as a direct result of COVID-19
Individual workplaces closed as a direct result of COVID-19
Learn more about North Carolina’s PUA program and get questions answered at the state’s online PUA FAQ.