Why Is the Wait So Long for Unemployment Benefits in North Carolina?

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If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may qualify for unemployment. It can take several weeks to get your first unemployment paycheck in North Carolina, especially if there are a large number of people applying at the same time. You cannot receive unemployment until the unemployment office verifies your claim and your one-week waiting period expires.

Evaluation Period

  • The North Carolina unemployment office must evaluate your unemployment claim to determine your eligibility. It must check your submitted information against tax records and speak to your employer to verify your reason for unemployment. If there are any discrepancies, the unemployment office may interview you or otherwise investigate your claim. Performing these checks can take several weeks, and you cannot begin receiving benefits until the unemployment office verifies and approves your claim.

Unemployment Rate

  • During periods of high unemployment, the North Carolina Unemployment Office may take longer to verify and approve claims because of the number of people applying. This is because the unemployment office will have far more applications to process and may take longer to process your application because of the number of applications ahead of yours.

Waiting Week

  • Once the unemployment office verifies your unemployment, you must wait a week before you begin to claim benefits. You do not get benefits for your week of waiting, but you must file your recertification. If you do not file your recertification on time, the unemployment office will disqualify your claim and you will have to call it to reopen your claim. You must have a good reason for not verifying your claim on time in order to reopen it.

Appealing Claims

  • If your claim is denied for any reason, you have the right to appeal it. Contact the unemployment office as soon as you receive your denial letter. You must attend a hearing and provide evidence for why your claim should not be denied. For example, you may call witnesses to defend your claim that you were fired without cause if your employer's version of events differs from yours. Having to appeal a denial adds to the time before you can get unemployment benefits.

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