RALEIGH – A wide variety of unemployment benefits – augmented by federal funds and available for the first time to self-employed, independent contractors and so-called “gig” workers – are available in North Carolina as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc. Here’s a look at the benefits you might be eligible for as provided by the North Carolina Department of Employment Security:

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Before you file a claim, DES recommends you follow these steps:

  • The fastest and most efficient way to apply for unemployment benefits is to create an online account and file online at des.nc.gov.
  • If you’re temporarily out of work or your working hours have been reduced due to COVID-19, choose ‘coronavirus’ as your reason for separation when filing your claim.
  • Remember, you must complete a Weekly Certification for every week you are filing for benefits. Sign into your online account to complete your Weekly Certifications.
  • Your eligibility and amount of benefits cannot be determined until after you file your claim.
  • If there are no issues, people typically receive payment within about 14 days of filing their initial claim.

Independent contractors and self-employed could begin applying for unemployment as of April 24. (Learn more at this site.)

Learn more about all benefits available at this DES website. 

Contractors, self-employed, others out of work due to pandemic can now file for benefits