NCWorks is Here for You

During this time of uncertainty, the Northeastern Workforce Development Board and its NCWorks Career Centers are here to help individuals and businesses facing layoff situations.

While the NCWorks Career Center is temporarily closed to the public, we will continue to provide services virtually and by phone. Click here for contact information for our career centers in the Northeast.

It’s important to note that NCWorks Career Centers are not actually “unemployment offices,” and we do not process Unemployment Insurance claims (that is a responsibility of the Division of Employment Security-DES). We do help unemployed jobseekers to find new jobs. Currently, you do not need to visit a Career Center to file an unemployment insurance claim.

Please view our video that addresses many common questions about unemployment –


Individual Information

For people facing job loss* due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, Governor Cooper’s Executive Order specifically addresses that the following individuals are potentially eligible for unemployment insurance:

  • Individuals who are separated from employment;
  • Individuals who have had their work hours reduced,
  • Individuals who are prevented from working due to a medical condition or under direct quarantine orders as a result of COVID-19

How do I File for Unemployment?

For the most recent information on Unemployment Insurance (including who could be eligible to receive unemployment insurance), please look at this link.

Due to high call volumes, the fastest and most efficient way to file a new unemployment claim is to file online at You will need your social security # and a valid email address.

If you need help, call our NCWorks Career Centers (contact information here). You can also access this guide which contains guidance, screenshots and a FAQ section.

*Please note: As an individual, your eligibility, exact amount of benefits, and duration period of those benefits cannot be determined until after you file and submit your claim.

Don’t have internet access?

  • If you need to access WiFi, here are some locations that you can try to use across NWDB’s 10 counties.
  • If you don’t have access to a computer, you may file over the phone by calling 888-737-0259. The Customer Call Center is striving to respond as efficiently and effectively as possible and requests patience during this time. This group is currently working extended hours and weekends to support this increased workload. If you call and receive the message “The system is no longer accepting calls” and then are disconnected, continue to call back. The Division of Employment Security had to implement queue caps to mitigate long wait times, so receiving this message is an indication the cap has been reached and you will need to call again. 

Some helpful information related to unemployment claims:

  • Currently there are no extended benefits available. Benefits remain at a maximum of $350.00/week for 12 weeks.
  • As a result of the high call and email volume at the Customer Call Center, please allow for 48-72 hours response time.
  • DES will ensure that claimants do not miss out on any weeks of eligibility due to the high call volume.  They will begin the week when they initially attempted to file.
  • For All claims filed, the last employer will be given ten (10) days to provide separation information. NO PAYMENTS will be released prior to that ten (10) day period. (If the separation reason is determined to be other than lack of work or COVID-19, payment will be further delayed until an individual is determined eligible for benefits based upon their separation reason.) If other issues exist on the claim, they must be resolved before payment can be released.
  • Work Search requirements are waived ONLY for claimants filing as a direct result of COVID-19. Those claimants filing prior to March 15, 2020 or for reasons other than COVID-19 are still required to search for work with at least three (3) employer contacts each week they intend to receive UI benefits.
  • Individuals filing for UI benefits as a direct result of COVID-19 will automatically have their waiting week waived.
  • Additional resources available on for navigating through a job loss.

Looking for another job?

There are businesses still hiring, check for openings

2020 Census Jobs:

It’s not too late to apply for a temporary part-time position with the 2020 Census. Apply to earn extra income and help your community.

Click here to learn more and apply. Census jobs pay anywhere from $14-$20/hr plus 58 cents per mile.


Business Information:

Businesses that have questions about unemployment should call 866-278-3822.

For businesses that may be looking at layoffs or closing, this link has information on how/when to file a WARN notice. The WARN Advisor is an interactive online tool provided by the US Department of Labor for businesses to determine if they’re covered by WARN.

For the most recent information on Unemployment Insurance (including what businesses should know about unemployment), please look at this link. 

Additional information:

  •  Businesses should complete the Request for Separation Information in a timely manner, so their employees may immediately begin to receive benefits.
  • Employers do not have to contact DES nor respond to the NCUI 551 (Notice of Potential Charges) to receive non-charging for COVID-19 related claims DES will non-charge automatically.
  •  It is best for employers looking to file temporary layoffs to encourage their employees to file for themselves and report any earnings they may have when doing their weekly certification.
  • If you have an employee working intermittently i.e., one week on and one week off, while filing for UI, the employee must report their gross earnings for the week in which they did the work not when paid.
  • Independent contractors and self-employed workers are typically not covered. In order to be eligible, workers must have held a job considered covered employment.
  • If you are a business owner and paid unemployment insurance taxes on your own wages, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
  • No charges will be assessed to an employer’s account for any unemployment claim filed on/after March 15, 2020 as a direct result of COVID-19.

The Economic Development Partnership of NC also has information for businesses in response to the pandemic.

SBA Assistance Resources

Speak directly with a business counselor by contacting our local Small Business, Technology Development Center now! There are many resources available through the SBTDC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in modified and additional SBA resources to help our small businesses, small aquacultural businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and/or most private nonprofit organizations.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) The SBA has approved the North Carolina Governor’s request for a disaster declaration, and you may begin the application process.  The US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) online application for Economic Injury Loan offers up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.  These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.  Businesses are encouraged to apply online at  or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.

Small Business Loans


For all:

NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages. 

Check back often as this website will be updated as information becomes available