Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Applying for PEUC Tip Sheet

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is an extension to state unemployment insurance benefits that was created through the federal CARES Act and extended through the Continued Assistance Act. 

Claimants may receive PEUC for up to 24 weeks after exhausting state unemployment insurance benefits. The PEUC program expires March 14, 2021. However, claimants may be eligible for a phaseout period to receive PEUC through no later than the week ending April 10, 2021, if they receive a PEUC payment for week ending March 13, 2021, and have not received the maximum benefit weeks for the program.

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 state unemployment insurance benefits. How do I apply for PEUC?

I am about to exhaust my state unemployment insurance 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.

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 exhausted your weeks of regular state unemployment insurance 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 weeks of regular state unemployment insurance 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.

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.

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.