How to Address Issues When Filing For Unemployment Benefits

A lot of North Carolinians are having problems completing their applications for unemployment benefits. Here are some of the most frequently mentioned issues my office has been receiving.

Issue: I’m having a problem and I can’t get anyone at the Department of Commerce or the Governors Office to answer the phone!
Answer: The Department of Commerce is working hard to answer all of the calls and requests it is receiving. They are experiencing some capacity issues (mostly during “peak” hours) resulting from the quick ramp up from incoming claims of about 3000/week to approximately 150,000/week. Work is underway to boost capacity by hiring call center employees.

Issue: I can’t access the DES website at all. Webpages are slow or don’t load at all.
Answer: Again, with such a large amount of traffic the website is running slowly. The Department of Commerce is working to provide extra bandwidth as quickly as it can to keep up with the massive surge in web-traffic.

Issue: I can’t login because of a password or pin issue.
Answer: Unfortunately there is no true fix for this until you are able to speak to someone who works for the Customer Care Center at the Department of Commerce. With all the traffic, the Dept. of Commerce is directing North Carolinians to email them at this email address 

Issue: I’ve not received my verification link to activate my account.
Answer: Again, there’s no quick fix for this until you speak to an employee at the Dept. of Commerce. However you can fill out a “Customer Care Form.” You can find this form by clicking HERE. This for allows you to write a specific question or describe your issue.

Issue: I’ve gone to fill out the Customer Care Form, but I don’t have my Claimant ID, or a Remitter ID.
Answer: If you don’t have that information, don’t worry. The Department of Commerce staff will be able to help you without these numbers. Do not put your social security number. Make sure that you have correctly entered your proper email address and telephone number, and wait for the Dept. of Commerce to contact you.

Issue: I’m self-employed, what am I going to do? Are there any unemployment resources for me?
Answer: Yes. There are options available from the Federal government. The states are currently awaiting U.S. Department of Labor guidelines on the CARES Act Unemployment Insurance implementation plan. It is hard to say with certainty who exactly will be covered and what exact benefits they will receive until the USDOL issues those guidelines. We recommend that even if you are self employed you should create an account on the Department of Employment Security website so it will be ready to go when guidelines come. Click HERE to create an account.

Issue: It’s going to take two weeks before I receive unemployment benefits. That’s a long time to wait.
Answer: Yes it is going to take awhile, but the federal benefits will be paid out retroactively. Meaning that if you are eligible for unemployment benefits, the federal benefits will be retroactive to this week regardless of implementation date.

I hope this list is helpful to you. If you have any questions, concerns, or needs, please do not hesitate to message me on Facebook, email my office, or call my office with whatever is on your mind.

My office number is 919-733-5931
My office email is

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