Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Applying for PEUC Tip Sheet

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is an extension to state unemployment insurance benefits, for benefit weeks ending Saturdays, April 4 through Dec. 26, 2020. PEUC is made available through the federal CARES Act.  

PEUC is for people who are eligible for regular state unemployment insurance but have exhausted their 12 weeks of regular benefits. The reason you are unemployed does not need to be COVID-19 in order to receive PEUC benefits.

In North Carolina, the maximum weekly benefit for PEUC is $350 per week for up to 13 weeks. For weeks ending April 4 through July 25, people receiving PEUC will automatically receive an additional $600 in weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

How do I apply for PEUC?

Sign into your online account at des.nc.gov and click on the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link to apply. Federal guidelines require you to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. You will not automatically receive PEUC when you exhaust regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

If you are not eligible for PEUC, you will not see the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link in your online account.

For help with applying for PEUC by phone, call the Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am about to exhaust my 12 weeks of state unemployment benefits. How do I apply for PEUC?

I am about to exhaust my 12 weeks of state unemployment benefits. How do I apply for PEUC?

When you sign into your online account at des.nc.gov, you will see an ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link instead of a link to file your Weekly Certification. Click on the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link to file your claim.

Federal guidelines require you to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. You will not automatically receive PEUC when you exhaust regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

If you are not eligible for PEUC, you will not see the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link in your online account.

For help with applying for PEUC by phone, call the Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

I already exhausted my 12 weeks of state unemployment benefits. How do I apply for PEUC?

I already exhausted my 12 weeks of state unemployment benefits. How do I apply for PEUC?

If you exhausted your state unemployment insurance benefits on or after July 6, 2019, and may be eligible for PEUC, you will receive an email notification from the Division of Employment Security. Sign into your online account at des.nc.gov and click on the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link to file your claim.

Federal guidelines require you to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. You will not automatically receive PEUC when you exhaust regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

If you are not eligible for PEUC, you will not see the ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ link in your online account.

For help with applying for PEUC by phone, call the Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

When can I file for PEUC?

When can I file for PEUC?

Once you have exhausted your regular unemployment insurance benefits, you can file for PEUC. The link will appear on your customer portal the day after your last weekly certification for regular unemployment benefits is paid.

I’m an independent contractor/self-employed worker and am not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits. Can I receive PEUC?

I’m an independent contractor/self-employed worker and am not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits. Can I receive PEUC?

No. PEUC is an extension of regular state unemployment insurance benefits. Independent contractors and self-employed workers who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Learn more about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

When should I expect payment for PEUC?

When should I expect payment for PEUC?

If you have just exhausted your 12 weeks of regular unemployment benefits, file your claim for PEUC and complete your Weekly Certification. If you’re approved for PEUC, you should continue receiving benefits for all eligible weeks.

If you previously exhausted your 12 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and have worked since then, your last employer is given, by law, 10 days to respond to DES about your PEUC claim. No payment will be released until after this 10-day period. If there are no issues with your claim, it will usually take approximately 14 days from the time you file your claim to receive your first payment.

Will PEUC be paid retroactively?

Will PEUC be paid retroactively?

Yes, we will apply PEUC to the first week you became eligible to receive those benefits. PEUC is available for weeks of benefits ending April 4 through Dec. 26, 2020.

How much will I be paid for PEUC?

How much will I be paid for PEUC?

Because PEUC is an extension of state unemployment insurance benefits, your weekly amount will be the same as what you received for state unemployment insurance. 

In North Carolina, the maximum weekly benefit for PEUC is $350 per week for up to 13 weeks. For weeks ending April 4 through July 25, people receiving PEUC will automatically receive an additional $600 a week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

Am I eligible for PEUC if I am working reduced hours?

Am I eligible for PEUC if I am working reduced hours?

If you’re working reduced hours, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, the amount you earn could affect your weekly benefit amount.

You must report the money you earn when filing your Weekly Certification for unemployment. You can earn up to 20% of your weekly benefit amount without it counting against your weekly benefit. Earnings over that amount are deducted from your weekly benefits.

For example: If your weekly benefit amount is $350, you can earn up to $70 a week (20% of $350) and receive the full $350 in benefits. Every dollar you earn over $70 will be deducted from the $350. If you earn $75 a week, your weekly benefit will be $345; if you earn $420 a week, your weekly benefit will be reduced to $0.

I exhausted my regular state unemployment insurance and have been receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). What should I do when PEUC is available?

I exhausted my regular state unemployment insurance and have been receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). What should I do when PEUC is available?

Some people who exhausted their state unemployment benefits began receiving PUA before the implementation of PEUC. According to federal guidelines, a person who is eligible for PEUC is required to move into that program once it is available.

When you sign into your online account at des.nc.gov, you should see a link to ‘Apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation’ instead of a link to complete your Weekly Certification. Click on the link to file your claim for PEUC.

Federal guidelines require you to file a separate claim for PEUC to receive these benefits. You will not automatically receive PEUC when you exhaust regular state unemployment insurance benefits.

What if I have exhausted my PEUC benefits?

What if I have exhausted my PEUC benefits?

The Extended Benefits program (EB) is now available in North Carolina. EB is the regular federal program that extends state unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment.

People who have exhausted 12 weeks of state unemployment insurance benefits and 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation may be eligible for EB.

In North Carolina, it currently provides claimants an extension of up to 9.6 weeks of benefits (nine weeks of a full benefit amount and one week with a partial benefit amount).

If you may be eligible, you will see a link to ‘Apply for Extended Benefits’ in your online account at des.nc.gov after you exhaust PEUC.