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CARES Act - Unemployment Compensation

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  1. Unemployment Compensation Benefits have been extensively expanded under the CARES Act.
    1. Self-employed individuals and other individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation benefits will potentially be eligible for Extended Unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Insurance for up to 39 weeks.
    2. Normally, individuals are not eligible for unemployment the first week of unemployment. Therefore, the federal government will compensate states that provide unemployment benefits immediately, without the normal one-week waiting period.
    3. Unemployment benefits will be increased by $600 per week for up to 4 months. Unemployment benefits are administered by the States. The increase in benefits will be funded with federally funded dollars.
    4. Individuals who were nearing the end of their eligible unemployment benefits when the CARES Act was passed, are now eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation.
    5. States are given incentives to “Create Short-Time Compensation Programs”. Individuals are generally not eligible to receive unemployment benefits when their hours have been cut and have had an income drop but they are still considered employed and therefore ineligible for unemployment. The federal government is encouraging states that have not done so, to establish unemployment compensation programs that allow these individuals to draw benefits in these situations.
      Note: North Carolina has a partial benefits program in place for employees that have seen at least 50% of their hours reduced due to lack of work and for part-time employees.

  2. The North Carolina Department of Commerce Employment Security website currently says:
    1. It will take about 14 days for individuals to receive their first payment after filing a claim
    2. The additional $600 in federal benefits will be allowed for weeks of April 4, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
    3. The Department of Employment Security is still waiting on guidance from the U. S. Department of Labor on how to implement and issue the additional $600 in federal benefits.
    4. The Department of Employment Security is also waiting on guidance from the federal government on how to implement and pay the unemployment benefits allowed for in the CARES Act for independent contractors and self-employed workers.
    5. These benefits will be paid retroactively to the date an individual qualified once the systems are worked out.

  3. You can visit the NC Department of Employment Security at: https://des.nc.gov/
    They have a designated page for: COVID-19 Information:

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