Thursday, September 2, 2021

North Carolina Reinstates Certain Unemployment Benefits Requirements Waiting week and employer charging to resume after Sept. 4, 2021

Sep 2, 2021

As federal unemployment benefits end in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper today issued an Executive Order that reinstates certain unemployment benefits requirements after Sept. 4, 2021. 

“As the pandemic hit, we cut red tape and made temporary changes to unemployment insurance to help people get benefits and to protect employers and employees," said Governor Roy Cooper. "North Carolina’s paltry unemployment benefits are some of the stingiest in the country, and I will continue to urge the legislature to improve the state's benefits as we return to normal procedures."

Executive Order No. 231 reinstates the waiting period for unemployment benefits under state law and directs the Division of Employment Security to resume charging of employer accounts for all individuals paid unemployment benefits, including those unemployed for reasons related to COVID-19.

Under the Order:

  • All unemployment claimants will be subject to a one-week waiting period before they may receive their first unemployment benefit payment, as is required under state law. 
  • Employers’ unemployment accounts will be charged each quarter for all employees who were paid unemployment benefits that quarter. It is important that employers review their charges and report any inaccuracies or suspected fraud to the Division of Employment Security.

The reinstatement of the waiting week and employer charging coincides with the end of federal pandemic unemployment programs and the expiration of federal reimbursement for some benefits related to COVID-19.

For weeks beginning after Sept 4, state unemployment benefits will be the only benefits available in North Carolina. 

To be eligible for state unemployment benefits:

  • You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own. 
  • You must have earned sufficient wages in employment that was subject to unemployment insurance tax.  
  • You must be physically able and available to work.
  • You must be actively seeking work.

Find FAQs about the end of federal unemployment benefits, as well as links to other programs and resources available to help North Carolinians, on the Division of Employment Security website. Learn more at

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