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The top 11 unemployment questions related to the coronavirus answered

The NC Governor has relaxed a lot of the restrictions for filing for unemployment.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Since North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has changed the requirements for applying for unemployment 18,000 people have now applied for benefits. However, the state typically sees about 3,000 claims a week.

To file for unemployment, click HERE

WFMY News 2 spoke with an expert about many of these questions. Here are answers from the NC Governor's Office. 

Q. What if I am temporarily laid off work because business has slowed down as a result of COVID-19?

A. If you are laid off work temporarily or if your hours are reduced due to a business slowdown or a lack of demand as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits. In order to determine eligibility, you must first apply for unemployment. If you’re temporarily out of work or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, select one of those two separation reasons when filing your claim.

Q. What if my employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19?

A. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you’re laid off.  If you’re out of work due to COVID-19, indicate that while filing your claim.

Q. My employer has shut down operations temporarily because an employee is sick, and we have been directed to be isolated or in quarantine as a result of COVID-19. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

A. If you are not receiving payment from your employer, such as paid sick leave or paid time off, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits during this time. If you are laid off work temporarily or if your hours are reduced due to a business slowdown or a lack of demand as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits. In order to determine eligibility, you must first apply for unemployment. If you’re temporarily out of work or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, select one of those two separation reasons when filing your claim.

Q. What if I need to take time off work because I contract COVID-19? 

A. The first and best option for employees who need to miss work due to illness is to use their employer-paid time off.

Q. What if I am directed by a medical professional or public health official to quarantine as a result of COVID-19, but I am not sick?

A. If your employer is not offering paid time off, you should apply for unemployment insurance. If you are laid off work temporarily or if your hours are reduced due to a business slowdown or a lack of demand as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive unemployment benefits. In order to determine eligibility, you must first apply for unemployment. If you’re temporarily out of work or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, please select one of those two separation reasons when filing your claim.

Q. I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for unemployment?

A. Anyone can file for unemployment insurance. In order to determine eligibility, you must first apply for unemployment. If you’re temporarily out of work or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, please select one of those two separation reasons when filing your claim.

Q. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits if I become seriously ill and I am forced to quit my job as a result of COVID-19?

A. When filing for unemployment insurance, an employee must provide information about their decision to leave the job. In order to determine eligibility, you must first apply for unemployment. 

Q. How am I supposed to meet requirements related to my existing unemployment claim if I am in isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19?

A. Individuals currently filing for unemployment insurance benefits who have to quarantine due to COVID-19 will be considered able and available to work as long as the individual has not removed themselves from the labor market.

Q. Must I still attend a previously scheduled in-person appointment?

A. No, please contact the unit who scheduled the appointment or our Customer Call Center for other options to complete your appointment.

Q. Do I have to search for work while filing for unemployment?

A. If you are out of work as a result of COVID-19, you do not have to conduct a work search while filing for unemployment.

Q. How do I file for unemployment insurance?

A. The fastest and most efficient way to file a new claim is to file online at des.nc.gov. If you don't have access to a computer, you may file over the phone by calling 888-737-0259

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Here's what the Governor's Executive Order  does for North Carolina: 

  • It removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs;
  • It removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect.
  • It allows employees who lose their jobs or, in certain cases have their hours reduced due to Covid-19 to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • It directs that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims.
  • It waives the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can apply for benefits online or by phone.

The full executive order is available HERE.

To file for unemployment, click HERE. The online system has been overwhelmed. Phone: 888-737-0259 

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FACTS NOT FEAR

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

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

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

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 2-1-1 or 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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