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Government Opens Alternative Filing Site For Unemployment

Unemployment Insurance Update

At a recent audio briefing from the White House Opportunity Revitalization Council, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the Small Business Administration, several announcements were made to streamline assistance efforts and unemployment insurance benefits. 

The main message for communities and small businesses to know is that this crisis is not a lost cause, said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. "We're cutting as much red tape as possible," she added. The collaborative effort of the government and private sector companies are working on creative solutions to get the help needed as quickly as possible in the most efficient way possible. The Department of Labor is working with the National Governor's Association to allow each state to change laws quickly in an effort to expedite unemployment insurance benefits to those affected by the Coronavirus, said DOL Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Nick Lalpuis. 

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers, which usually include those laid off from a job through no fault of their own. Each state sets its own guidelines for who is eligible and the amounts of benefits. Eligibility is the main area of change as well as the application and distribution process. In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, the federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits. For example, federal law now allows states to pay benefits where:
  • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19. The DOL is working to get benefits directly to the employer to expedite payment. The influx of calls and applications have shut down the North Carolina Department of Commerce's website several times. Lalpuis released an additional website, where employees can also file. He encouraged people to work with their local Workforce Development Office as well to file. Those filing because of the Coronavirus need not seek other employment as a condition of receiving benefits either. 

North Carolina Unemployment Filing Site: 
North Carolina Unemployment Insurance Program
General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program:
To file a UI claim online:
To file a claim by telephone number:
Coronavirus update: North Carolina is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here:
Or, learn more about the federal-state Unemployment Insurance program.

Other resources for workers and employers

Federal, state, and local governments continue to develop resources and programs to deliver assistance to those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. CareerOneStop will continue to update this page as information is available. Check back here and also visit Coronavirus Resources from the U.S. Department of Labor for ongoing updates.

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