Unemployment Availability Broadened Due to COVID-19: Governor Issues Executive Order

Roy Cooper issues executive order to broaden unemployment availability

Thanks to an Executive Order signed by Governor Cooper, some eligibility requirements for Unemployment Benefits in NC have been waived for those filing for unemployment due to circumstances related to COVID-19, such as temporary layoffs, significant reduction in hours, business slowdowns and closings. Here is what you need to know:

  • You must apply for benefits either online at https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment or via phone at 888-737-0259.
  • If circumstances related to COVID-19 are your reason for applying, you must indicate that on the application.
  • Even if you are still working, but you have had your hours cut due to the effects of the COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible for Unemployment Benefits.
  • The standard one week waiting period for benefits is waived for those receiving benefits due to the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. There is still a 10-day period after the application during which your last employer is able to respond to your application.
  • The standard requirement to search for work is waived for those getting benefits as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. You will still have to do weekly certifications, but you are not required to look for work at this time.
  • The requirement that your unemployment or reduced hours is due to no fault of your own remains in place.
  • All standard eligibility requirements remain in place for those filing for unemployment for reasons other than circumstances related to COVID-19.
  • If you are receiving workers’ compensation checks and can’t return to work due to the impacts of COVID-19 on your workplace, learn if you can collect unemployment while on workers’ comp.

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We are still open, and are fighting for our clients as hard as ever. In addition, we are working to help disseminate useful information regarding the legal impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and containment measures.