Unemployment Insurance FAQ's

How do I apply for unemployment?

The fastest and most efficient method to apply for unemployment is online at des.nc.gov. You may also try to file by calling 1-888-737-0259. Due to extremely high call volume, disconnections and long wait times are common. More information can be found here.



I'm having problems with my claim. Who do I contact for assistance?

Any problems that you are experiencing can be resolved by reaching out to the Division of Employment Security Customer Call Center. There are 3 ways to receive assistance:

  1. Call 1-888-737-0259. Due to extremely high call volume, wait times can be lengthy.

  2. Fill out the online form at www.des.nc.gov/customer-contact-form and explain what type of problem you are having. Note that some fields marked with an * are required.

  3. From the home page of the DES website - www.des.nc.gov - use the Chat feature in the bottom, right corner of the screen.


DES Call Center Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

NCWorks Career Center Asheville staff are not able to assist with unemployment claims, but can answer a variety of job seeker and employer questions. Contact us by phone at (828) 251-6200 or email to NCWorks.1700@nccommerce.com

What is a Weekly Certification?

It is a series of yes/no questions that helps determine your eligibility for benefits each week. If you do not complete this, you will not be considered for payment. Login to your online account to complete this. If you don't have online access, you can do this by phone by calling 1-888-372-3453.

When will I receive my payment?

After you file your claim, your last employer will be given, by law, 10 days to respond to DES. No payment will be released until after this 10-day period. If there are no issues, individuals typically receive payment within about 14 days of filing their initial claim.

Do I have to search for work while filing for unemployment?

You do not have to conduct a work search while filing for unemployment while North Carolina is under a State of Emergency for COVID-19.


Should I register with NCWorks?

Yes. Just to be safe, we encourage everyone to set up a free account. Unfortunately, some employers may not be able to re-open due to economic hardship and the lingering effects of COVID-19. If that is the case, you will already be registered. Besides, there are lots of job openings in our area if you’re looking for work!


How do I register with NCWorks?

Visit our website at www.NCWorks.gov.


What can your NCWorks office do to help me during this time?

We have many services available. We are able to assist you with job searches, provide help using the NCWorks.gov website, perform career counseling, and create resumes. We can also provide contact information or referrals to local community service agencies if you need help with food or nutrition, housing, or legal issues. Unfortunately, we are not able to assist you with your unemployment claim.


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