GREENSBORO, N.C. — Unemployment. New jobs. Both are top on the list for NC workers.
Professor Marie-Amelie George of Wake Forest Law, Will Graham of Graham Personnel Services, and Chris Rivera, Guilford Works Director answered your questions during 2WTK.
WORK SEARCH REQUIREMENT
Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Monday that the Department of Commerce will increase efforts to help North Carolinians who file for unemployment benefits go back to work.
According to Gov. Cooper’s office, Executive Order 200 establishes a flexible work search requirement for all new people who apply for unemployment benefits on or after March 14.
“With the recent end of the Extended Benefits program for state unemployment under federal law, this step will help out-of-work North Carolinians access job-seeking assistance available through NCWorks and other state-sponsored job search programs,” read a statement from a news release.
Officials said the order directs the Department of Commerce to interpret work search laws flexibly to account for burdens posed by COVID-19 that could affect a job seeker’s ability to satisfy search requirements. The department is also directed to establish a broad set of reemployment activities that qualify for a person’s job search.
If you're receiving unemployment benefits now, you don't have to worry about this. The work search requirement will only impact folks who file for unemployment on or after March 14, 2021.
The Governor's Executive Order was released on March 1, 2021. It not only reinstates the requirement, but it directs the North Carolina Department of Employment Security, NC DES, to have flexibility in how the requirements are met.
Why? Because in a COVID-world you can't always do things in person and there are internet issues, and transportation issues factored in.
“COVID has turned everyone upside down, especially those who have lost their jobs,” said Chris Rivera, Director of Guilford Works.
IF YOU GOT UNEMPLOYMENT IN 2020
The IRS form is called a "1099-G," and contains information about the total amount of money you received from NC DES during 2020.
Unemployment benefits are considered "taxable income," according to NC DES, and thus must be reported on your federal and state tax returns.
Your 1099-G documents will be sent to you either by mail or email, but you can find it on your NC DES account page right now too.
To access your 1099-G, which you will need when filing taxes, login to your NC DES account first. Once you log in, you will see the words "View my 1099G" in the black underlined text in the lower-middle portion of the screen. Click that link to see your document, which you can print or save to your computer.
The 1099-G forms will be available to all people who received unemployment funds by Jan. 31, 2021, according to NC DES.
Based on federal guidelines, North Carolina's extended benefits will end on Feb. 20, 2021. Claimants who are eligible for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation under the recent federal extension of benefits may return to the PEUC program when the EB program ends. PEUC benefits are available through the week ending March 13, 2021.
Extended benefits is a federal program that extends state unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment in a state.