With more than half a million North Carolinians filing for unemployment in the past four weeks, Governor Roy Cooper has issued an executive order that will help streamline the processing of claims by lifting some of the requirements for employers to file attached claims on behalf of their employees.
An attached claim is an unemployment claim filed by an employer on behalf of an employee who has been temporarily laid off or who has worked less than 60 percent of their customary full-time hours. With an attached claim, the employer becomes a single point of contact for DES for a group of employees who are temporarily out of work, making for a more efficient process.
“Attached claims are a tool that employers can use to help their employees until they can go back to work. They help us get benefits out faster to the people who need them,” said Lockhart Taylor, assistant secretary of the Division of Employment Security. “They also are an invaluable tool for DES to know when employers resume operations and work is available to their employees again.”
Executive Order No. 131 provides flexibility on the enforcement of some of the normal requirements for filing attached claims. Under the order:
- An employer does not need to prepay the cost of the unemployment benefits for their employees at the time the attached claim is filed.
- Employers may file attached claims for a period of more than six weeks of benefits.
- Employers may submit an attached claim for an employee more than once in a year.
- Employers do not need to have a positive credit balance with DES to file attached claims.
The Order is effective for attached claims filed as of April 1, 2020.
Since March 16, 2020, DES has received more than 510,000 claims, with most of them related to COVID-19. As of April 10, 2020, the division has made 159,449 payments totaling more than $42.6 million for COVID-19 claims.