Unemployment Requirements

If you are the most recent employer of an individual who has applied for benefits, you have 10 days from the time of the claim to respond to a Request for Separation Information (NC CLM 500AB). There are two ways to respond to these requests:

  • Sign into the Division of Employment Security website to provide separation information; or
  • If you participate in SIDES, provide information through the SIDES application.

Employers should respond as quickly as possible to ensure prompt and accurate payment of benefits and prevent incorrect charges to your account.

Separation Pay

All separation payouts must be reported in your response to the Request for Separation Information. These payments may affect an individual’s unemployment insurance. People should not delay filing for benefits based upon receipt of separation pay.

  • Severance - Prorated based upon regular weekly salary.
  • PTO (sick and vacation) - Impact determined based upon existence of Employer written policy prior to claim filing.
  • Holiday - Reported week earned regardless of when paid or received.
  • Bonus (Completion/Staying/Retention) - Reported as earnings during week received.

Eligibility Criteria

There are FOUR criteria that individuals must meet to be eligible for unemployment benefits in North Carolina:

  • They must be unemployed due to no fault of their own (DES will make this determination based upon information provided by the individual and their last employer);
  • They must be considered monetarily eligible (earned sufficient wages to establish a claim);
  • They must be physically able, available and actively seeking work (they could start work tomorrow if offered a job); and  
  • They must register for work with  the state's job service office, NCWorks Online.

Base Period

  • A person’s unemployment insurance benefits are calculated based upon wages earned during a 12-month period.
  • They must have earned sufficient wages during the base period in order to establish a claim for unemployment insurance benefits.