North Carolina FAQs
Applying for unemployment compensation in North Carolina can be confusing if filing an application for the first time. To verify commonly mistaken information about unemployment benefits in NC, review a list of Frequently Asked Questions addressed below.
Is it true that unemployment benefit money is taxable, like income?
Yes. The IRS views the money received through unemployment insurance payments to be income, and thus, it is legally taxable. At the end of the year, a 1099 form will be issued, which must be included with the annual tax return when it is filed.
I’ve been fired, so do I qualify for unemployment benefits?
That depends. If you’ve been fired due to misconduct, then you are ineligible for unemployment benefits. However, if you were fired as a result of intimidation, discrimination or harassment, then you are eligible to file for benefits.
What is a weekly certification requirement for unemployment in NC?
The weekly claim, or certification requirement, is required by the state of North Carolina to indicate that the participant continues to look for a job. The other name this process goes by is the continued claim.
How many NC residents actually use unemployment benefits?
The numbers have gone down, but that does not mean that the unemployment rate has lowered. Rather, the eligibility requirements and the reduction of extensions offered have contributed to this data. Approximately 80,000 people are currently benefiting from unemployment, to date, in NC.
Is there a difference between being eligible for unemployment and qualifying for it?
NC residents who are eligible are considered eligible because they worked long enough at a job and made enough income in order to be eligible for the program. Qualifying for the program means that the requirements to participate in the program have been met.
What is the ‘waiting period’ week?
Quite literally, the waiting period week is the week when a newly filed claim is in process and the claimant is waiting for the claim to be processed.
Does NC have an earning allowance?
Yes. If a program participant obtains a job and makes above a certain amount of money, then he or she will be dropped from the program. This amount is the amount of money that can be earned over a weekly period without a reduction in benefits.
I’ve been asked to get a Wage Transcript from my employer. What is that?
The Wage Transcript is called FORM 550, and itemizes all of the wages by quarter that were paid by the employer. Most employers will automatically send this in upon termination.
I received severance pay from my employer, so can I still receive unemployment?
Yes and no. During the time period that you receive severance pay, you cannot receive unemployment benefits. Only after the severance pay has run out can you apply.
I found a job, so how do I stop the unemployment benefits?
In NC, all you have to do is stop claiming the benefits each week online. After three weeks of not claiming benefits, you will be removed from the roster.
I stopped filing for unemployment benefits, but I have continued to receive them. What do I do?
It can take up to three weeks for the system to remove someone from the active list. If you are not going online to file a claim each week, you should not be receiving money. If you are, then you should contact your DES office immediately. Do not withdraw or use that money during this time, as you may be asked to repay it when the mistake is noticed.
I just got out of the Army, but haven’t been able to get work. Can I file for unemployment?
Yes. Military service can be used for an unemployment claim if the service was ongoing during a base period. The wage credits are combined with other base period wage credits to make the claim.
I was told that because I am a teacher in a public school that I am not eligible for unemployment if I am let go. Is that true?
You would not be eligible for benefits during non-base periods where you were not actually in school. You are only eligible to claim unemployment for those base periods where you were actually teaching. So, yes, you can claim unemployment, just not for 12 months out of the year.
I’m on workers’ compensation, so can I also receive unemployment benefits?
Part of the requirements for unemployment benefits is that the worker is able to look for work. If you are injured and can’t do this, then you are not able to fulfil that requirement. If the injury is only temporary, then inform the state department, which may allow the claim to move forward.
I’m not a U.S. citizen, but was working here. Can I claim unemployment compensation?
If you are a legal immigrant or have a work visa and are laid off, then you are eligible for unemployment as long as you meet other qualifying criteria.
My factory went on strike, and I’m not able to get in to work. Can I file for unemployment?
Technically, you are not unemployed at this point. Workers cannot receive unemployment benefits when there is a labor dispute that is ongoing. This is true even if the strike is happening at another plant which has caused production in your factory to slow down.