Have you lost your job or had your hours cut because of the coronavirus and are now wondering how you’ll pay rent or buy groceries? You may be feeling increased stress and anxiety while you self-quarantine and might not know what steps to take next. If so, filing for unemployment might be the way to go.
But before you file, are you even eligible?
COVID-19 unemployment eligibility
According to the governor’s executive order, you are eligible for unemployment if you have been laid off or had your hours cut in the wake of COVID-19. Anyone who is staying home per their manager’s orders but is still being paid would probably not be eligible for unemployment.
How to file for unemployment
The process is streamlined in light of the current epidemic and many of the usual restrictions associated with the process have been waived. This means you don’t have to wait a week after losing your job to apply.
What do you need to do to file for unemployment?
- Create an account at des.nc.gov
- Have your Social Security card ready
- Make sure you have your banking information like your account and routing number for direct deposit payments
- All relevant information about your work history for the last two years, including employer names, physical addresses, pay rates, and phone numbers.
- If you are a non-citizen you can apply with your “Alien” number and Employment Authorization Document expiration date
The entire process should take you about a half hour. If you run into any trouble, there’s a helpline available. Call 888-737-0259. The helpline is available from 8:30p.m. to 4:30p.m. from Monday to Friday.
You are not alone
More than 163,000 people in North Carolina’s leisure and hospitality industry have either lost their jobs or had their hours cut due to the COVID-19 epidemic, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this is understandably an anxious time, unemployment benefits could help you when you need it the most.