COVID-19 RESOURCES & INFORMATION
Centralina Workforce Development Board and NCWorks is Here to Help
During this trying time, the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) and our local NCWorks Career Centers are here to assist those individuals and businesses facing layoff situations.
Though NCWorks Career Centers are temporarily closed to the public, we will strive to provide services virtually and by phone.
It’s important to note that NCWorks Career Centers are not “unemployment offices,” and do not process Unemployment Insurance claims (that is a responsibility of the Division of Employment Security-DES). We do help unemployed jobseekers to find new jobs. Currently, you do not need to visit a Career Center to file an unemployment insurance claim.
For people facing job loss due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, Governor Cooper’s Executive Order specifically addresses that the following individuals are potentially eligible for unemployment insurance:
- Individuals who are separated from employment.
- Individuals who have had their work hours reduced.
- Individuals who are prevented from working due to a medical condition or under direct quarantine orders as a result of COVID-19.
How do I File for Unemployment?
For the most recent information on Unemployment Insurance (including who could be eligible to receive unemployment insurance), please look at this link.
Due to high call volumes, the fastest and most efficient way to file a new unemployment claim is to file online at des.nc.gov. You will need your social security number and a valid email address.
If you need help, call our NCWorks Career Centers (contact information here). You can also access this guide which contains guidance, screenshots and a FAQ section.
*Please note: As an individual, your eligibility, exact amount of benefits, and duration period of those benefits cannot be determined until after you file and submit your claim.
File Your Claim
Create an online account at des.nc.gov
- File a claim for unemployment
- Complete your Weekly Certifications
- Check your claim status
You will need your Social Security Number, information about your most recent employment and pay, work history for the last two years, and bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
TIP: If you are filing due to COVID-19, select ‘coronavirus’ as your reason for separation.
Complete Your Weekly Certification
A Weekly Certification is a series of yes/no questions that helps determine your eligibility for benefits each week. If you do not complete a Weekly Certification, you will not be considered for payment. Log into your Online Account to complete your Weekly Certification. If you do not have online access, call 888-372-3453 (Weekly Certifications only).
Need further assistance? Call DES Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.
TIP: N.C. Executive Order 118 allows some requirements to be waived for people filing for unemployment due to COVID-19. If you are filing due to COVID-19, you may answer ‘yes’ to this question on the Weekly Certification: Did you look for work?
After you file your claim, your last employer will be given, by law, 10 days to respond to DES. No payment will be released until after this 10-day period.
If there are no issues, individuals typically receive payment within about 14 days of filing their initial claim.
TIP: Remember—you must complete a Weekly Certification for each week, or you will not receive payment.
Don’t have Internet access?
If you don’t have access to a computer, you may file over the phone by calling 888-737-0259. The Customer Call Center is striving to respond as efficiently and effectively as possible and requests patience during this time. This group is currently working extended hours and weekends to support this increased workload. If you call and receive the message “The system is no longer accepting calls” and then are disconnected, continue to call back. The Division of Employment Security had to implement queue caps to mitigate long wait times, so receiving this message is an indication the cap has been reached and you will need to call again.
Some helpful information related to unemployment claims
Currently there are no extended benefits available. Benefits remain at a maximum of $350.00/week for 12 weeks.
As a result of the high call and email volume at the Customer Call Center, please allow for 48-72 hours response time.
DES will ensure that claimants do not miss out on any weeks of eligibility due to the high call volume. They will begin the week when they initially attempted to file.
For All claims filed, the last employer will be given ten (10) days to provide separation information. NO PAYMENTS will be released prior to that ten (10) day period. (If the separation reason is determined to be other than lack of work or COVID-19, payment will be further delayed until an individual is determined eligible for benefits based upon their separation reason.) If other issues exist on the claim, they must be resolved before payment can be released.
Work Search requirements are waived ONLY for claimants filing as a direct result of COVID-19. Those claimants filing prior to March 15, 2020 or for reasons other than COVID-19 are still required to search for work with at least three (3) employer contacts each week they intend to receive UI benefits.
Individuals filing for UI benefits as a direct result of COVID-19 will automatically have their waiting week waived.
Additional resources available on www.NCWorks.gov for navigating through a job loss.
Looking for another job?
There are businesses still hiring, check www.NCWorks.gov for openings
2020 Census Jobs
It’s not too late to apply for a temporary part-time position with the 2020 Census. Apply to earn extra income and help your community.
Click here to learn more and apply. Census jobs pay anywhere from $14-$20/hr. plus 58 cents per mile.
Need Career Advice? Visit, www.centralinacareerheadlight.com
Before deciding what to do next in your life, follow these four easy steps:
Step One: Self-Exploration
In addition to your interests, really analyze your talents and strengths.
Step Two: Career Exploration
Understand the jobs available, the income ranges they pay, and evaluate the skills they require.
Identifying an area that appeals to your interests, skills, and the labor market may be your first (or your next) career
Step Three: Develop a Career Plan
A tentative career plan that is complete with multiple training and education options (career pathway)
Step Four: Log on to Centralina Career Headlight (www.centralinacareerheadlight.com)
The BEST way to complete this process is to use Centralina Career Headlight. It is the ONLY no cost career tool with data on careers in OUR region – by county or labor market area.
THE KEY is to align your interests and abilities with your career choice and the education and training you will need to receive. This alignment will help bring your future into focus and ensure your position at the top of the pay scale in your chosen career.
Businesses that have questions about unemployment should call 866-278-3822.
For businesses that may be looking at layoffs or closing, this link has information on how/when to file a WARN notice. The WARN Advisor is an interactive online tool provided by the US Department of Labor for businesses to determine if they’re covered by WARN.
For the most recent information on Unemployment Insurance (including what businesses should know about unemployment), please look at this link.
The Centralina Workforce Development Board has prepared a Virtual Rapid Response package for local employers experiencing temporary or permanent layoffs or closings.
Businesses should complete the Request for Separation Information in a timely manner, so their employees may immediately begin to receive benefits.
Employers do not have to contact DES nor respond to the NCUI 551 (Notice of Potential Charges) to receive non-charging for COVID-19 related claims. DES will non-charge automatically.
It is best for employers looking to file temporary layoffs to encourage their employees to file for themselves and report any earnings they may have when doing their weekly certification.
If you have an employee working intermittently i.e., one week on and one week off, while filing for UI, the employee must report their gross earnings for the week in which they did the work not when paid.
Independent contractors and self-employed workers are typically not covered. In order to be eligible, workers must have held a job considered covered employment.
If you are a business owner and paid unemployment insurance taxes on your own wages, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
No charges will be assessed to an employer’s account for any unemployment claim filed on/after March 15, 2020 as a direct result of COVID-19.
The Economic Development Partnership of NC also has information for businesses in response to the pandemic.
SBA Assistance Resources
There are many resources available through the SBTDC.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in modified and additional SBA resources to help our small businesses, small agricultural businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and/or most private nonprofit organizations.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) The SBA has approved the North Carolina Governor’s request for a disaster declaration, and you may begin the application process. The US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) online application for Economic Injury Loan offers up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Businesses are encouraged to apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.
Small Business Loans
Thread Capital (NC Rural Center): (919) 212-4950 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Business Administration
Self-Help Credit Union: (800) 476-7428
Carolina Small Business Development Fund: (919) 803-1437
NC Community Development Initiative: (919) 828-5655
Urgent Child Care
If you are in need of childcare resources, and your child has fallen through because of COVID-19 closures, please call 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with a representative to assist you. Available weekdays between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST. This service is provided under the direction of Governor Cooper, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the NC Department of Public Instruction, the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Network.
Seniors are the hardest hit by this situation and the Centralina Area Agency on Aging is working hard to advocate for older adults, support providers and coordinate with state and federal officials on critical services and programs. For questions or concerns, please contact them directly at 1-800-508-5777.
• Senior Community Service Employment Program: We have issued guidance to host agencies and are suspending program operations due to the impact of the virus on older adults and our concern for their health. Our team is working to engage program participants in other potential activities to off-set any loss in income due to program suspension.
• Long Term Care Facilities & Ombudsman Program: North Carolina has suspended volunteers and in-facility Ombudsman visits to long term care facilities. However, our Ombudsman are still hard at work fielding calls, working cases and advocating for older adults in these facilities. While no face-to-face case work or visits can be conducted, our team is remaining vigilant and doing what they do best. Please continue to forward concerns or cases to our team at 1-800-508-5777.
• Nutrition, Congregate Dining Facilities, In Home Aid and Other Services: We are in contact with local governments and service providers to track opening status by county across the region.
We know these are uncertain and disruptive times. The Centralina Workforce Development Board is here to support our local governments as they respond and help to share information about our region’s response.
The Centralina WDB has complied the following status chart regarding COVID-19 related information at the county level. Data was updated March 31. See the NC Stay at Home order here.
COVID-19 Service Guidance for State Funded Behavioral Health Services
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is actively working on service specific guidance in response to the COVID-19 virus. The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (DMHDDSAS) is coordinating with the North Carolina Division of Health Benefits (DHB) to support flexibility in service delivery to support the continuation of quality, medically necessary services and supports for behavioral health consumers and stabilize and sustain provider networks.
Retroactive to March 10, 2020, LME/MCOs may apply the same flexibilities to state-funded behavioral health services as those allowed under the NC Medicaid behavioral health flexibilities to the extent that funding is available. This includes telephonic and telehealth options, along with clinical service flexibilities, consistent with guidance provided by NC Medicaid for the COVID-19 crisis as well as communication bulletins from NC Medicaid and DMHDDSAS. LME/MCOs are encouraged to check these sites regularly.
NC DHHS is collecting specific feedback from provider groups, LME/MCOs and other key stakeholders to inform these policy decisions through the following email: BHIDD.COVID.Qs@dhhs.nc.gov. As policy decisions are made, NC DHHS will issue general as well as service specific guidance. DHHS supports providers coordinating with their LME/MCO to determine what accommodations can be made to ensure there is no interruption in service access and delivery while this official guidance is being developed. If you have any questions, please contact Renee Rader at 919-715-2027 or e-mail email@example.com.
NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.