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North Carolina Division of Employment Security

The Division of Employment Security is working hard to help North Carolinians understand unemployment insurance and receive the benefits for which they are eligible. If you have questions or need assistance with your claim:

  • Find out the status of your claim at any time by phone or by clicking on the Claim Status tab in your online account.
  • Chat with one of our agents here at des.nc.gov or call our Customer Call Center for assistance. 
  • Check our website frequently for updated FAQs and information for individuals and employers.

Please note that NCWorks Career Centers do not process unemployment claims, and staff at those offices cannot answer specific questions about your claim.

Online Account Access

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Individuals: Create an Online Account to file for unemployment.

Employers: Create an Online Account to manage your tax and unemployment information.

News and Alerts

Coordination between State and PEUC Benefits in a New Benefit Year

When people apply for unemployment benefits, they establish an unemployment claim for a 12-month period referred to as a benefit year. This may be different than a calendar year. When a claimant has filed for unemployment for more than 12 months and has earned wages, they are required to file a new claim for state unemployment benefits. This begins a new benefit year and determines the appropriate benefit program and weekly benefit amount for the claimant based on state and federal guidelines. 

Under N.C. Senate Bill 114 and the federal Continued Assistance Act, claimants who meet all requirements will continue to receive federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) until they exhaust those benefits or the program expires, before they receive state benefits under their claim for the new benefit year.

To qualify to remain on PEUC:

  • The claimant’s first benefit year must have expired after Dec. 27, 2020;
  • The claimant must have a remaining balance of PEUC benefits on their first claim; and
  • The claimant’s weekly benefit amount for PEUC must be at least $25 higher than their new weekly benefit amount for state unemployment benefits.  

DES will automatically adjust weekly benefit amounts for claimants who qualify to remain on PEUC; claimants do not need to take any action. Any benefits owed for previous weeks will be paid retroactively.

Employer Base Tax Rate Reduced

Under N.C. Senate Bill 114, the employer base contribution rate to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund for 2021 has been reduced from 2.4% to 1.9%. The base contribution rate is one of the factors used to calculate an employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate for the year.

This may result in an unemployment insurance tax rate reduction for active, experience-rated employers. 

  • Employers who are affected by this change will receive a Revised 2021 Tax Rate Notice from the Division of Employment Security (DES) by mail. Employers should take this opportunity to verify that the mailing address on their DES account is accurate to ensure prompt delivery of the notice. 
  • Employers whose tax rate for 2021 is already at the minimum rate allowed by law (0.06%) will not be affected by this change. 
  • Employers whose tax rate for 2021 is already at the maximum rate allowed by law (5.76%) may or may not receive a rate reduction, depending on individual recalculation results. 
  • Employers who have the standard new employer rate of 1.00% are not affected by this change, as they are not yet experience rated.

Claimants to Receive 1099-G Forms

By Jan. 31, all individuals who received unemployment benefits during 2020 should receive an IRS Form 1099-G from the Division of Employment Security. This statement reports the total amount of benefits paid to the claimant in the previous calendar year for tax purposes. All claimants are notified by DES when filing a claim that unemployment benefits are taxable income and must be reported on federal and state tax returns. Claimants may elect to have state and/or federal taxes withheld from their benefit payments. 1099-G forms will be delivered by Jan. 31 to claimants by mail or email, as preferred by the claimant, and will also be available to download through their DES online account. For more information visit our 1099 FAQ page.

ID.me Identity Verification

Did you receive notification from the North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES) asking you to verify your identity through ID.me? If so, you will need to verify your identity through ID.me in order to access your unemployment claim. Learn more here.

DES Proposed Rules

Notice is hereby given in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.2 that the Department of Commerce - Division of Employment Security intends to adopt the rules cited as 04 NCAC 24D .0201, .0206, amend the rules cited as 04 NCAC 24D .0102, .0202, .0203; 24F .0304, and repeal the rules cited as 04 NCAC 24D .0103-.0106; and 24F .0303. The notice of text of the proposed rules is found on the Laws and Rules page.