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What's the timeline to apply for unemployment?

If your hours have been cut or you lost your job due to the coronavirus, you should apply for unemployment, but be prepared for some issues.

Even if you're healthy, it's hard not to feel the impacts of the coronavirus. Countless businesses have closed due to social distancing concerns.

More than 100,000 people applied for unemployment last week, just for context, only 10,000 people applied in the entire month of February.

Last week, Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order to make applying for unemployment benefits easier. If your hours have been reduced or you've lost your job altogether due to coronavirus you can now apply.

So, what's the timeline to apply?

The system is overwhelmed right now with applications. The website to file for unemployment is experiencing high traffic so it may be hard to apply to it now. So give it a few days to try and apply.

Once you get through and your application is accepted your employer has 10 days to sign off on it. But it usually doesn't take that long.

Once it's accepted how much can you expect to get?

"Currently benefits are capped at $350 a week in North Carolina," said Employment Attorney Alexander Maultsby, "but it's really a matter of how much you made over the previous two quarters and there's a formula that spits out an answer that you can only get after you file"

So, you need to be aware of this. If you get social security or you're working some hours, it will count against how much you can make from unemployment.

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Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.

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