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$600 a week federal unemployment payments are here! The enrollment starts Friday.

If you are receiving state unemployment payments, you will automatically be enrolled in the federal program. Self-employed can cash in too.

Unemployment in NC is unlike anything it’s ever been. Since March, 705,000 people have filed for unemployment insurance benefits in North Carolina.

The max anyone can get in a week from the state is $350. But then there's federal unemployment and that is an extra $600.


Everyone who is qualified for state unemployment gets this federal unemployment payment ---- automatically. The payment is a flat $600 a week, every week.

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Already $419,000,000 in federal payments have gone out to North Carolina folks already.


If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, a hairstylist and you didn't qualify for the state unemployment, the federal unemployment money is for you. You will get a flat $600 a week as well.

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The state system is being set up right now, the estimated start date to take your claims is April 24th. The federal money is officially called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Individuals who have already applied and been denied for state unemployment benefits may need to provide DES additional information to apply for PUA. Those individuals should sign into their online account and click on the ‘Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance’ link to complete the application process. If their claim is in pending status, DES is continuing to review their eligibility for state unemployment benefits. 

A pro-tip on this: Don't apply during high traffic times. The system is overloaded. Waits until 11pm at night or around 6am. The fastest way to apply is online. But individuals who need assistance filing their PUA claim can call the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance line at 866-847-7209.


To help DES process claims more efficiently, claimants should upload all necessary documents, such as proof of income or proof of medical diagnosis, with their application before clicking ‘Submit.’ If a claimant does not have all of their documents ready when they start the application, they can save their work and come back to it when they are ready to submit all of their information.