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  • Finding a job might require you to go back to school. But will you qualify for unemployment benefits if you do?

    North Carolina has an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent of its active population. That puts it in 15th place of the league of states with highest unemployment rate. That equates to to 427,000 unemployed people which are able and willing to work. If you are one of those 427,000 unemployed workers, chances are you have questions about unemployment benefits. This website seeks to answer questions you might have about unemployment benefits and the Employment Security Commission in North Caroline. This article will reply to a question we get asked a lot. The question comes from Mrs Elder. She asks: Can I continue receiving unemployment if I go back to school for retraining?

    This is an excellent question as many unemployed workers look to retrain in a new career, or improve their qualifications in their current one, when they are laid off. However, finding an income while returning to school can be a challenge.

    Can you continue receiving unemployment benefits while attending class? The answer is it depends. If you are attending a training course approved by the Department of Labor of North Carolina then you can continue to receive unemployment benefits. In fact, you may qualify for extra unemployment benefits and are not required to look for work during training. Interestingly, if you do not attend and complete Approved Commission Training you may not qualify for unemployment benefits.  However, the key point to focus on is that only courses and programs approved directly by the North Carolina Employment Department are eligible. If you simply decide to attend a college, university or school of your choice without going through the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina you will probably no longer qualify for unemployment benefits. This is because in order to receive benefits you must be both fit and able to work. If you are attending school full-time you might not be able to start work if the Employment Security Commission finds you a job.

    However, if the course you enroll in allows you time to work and you can attend the additional training programs offered by the ESC you can continue filing for benefits. Visit your local Employment Security Commission office and ask for details on retraining programs available before making a decision. The ESC can offer free retraining programs in areas where trained workers are in demand and increase your benefits period and allowance during training.

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