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South Carolina Unemployment Eligibility

In order to be eligible in South Carolina, you must meet all the requirements stated below.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must be seeking full-time employment, able to work, and available for work
  • You must register for work with DEW (Department of Employment and Workforce)
  • You must regularly report to your local SC Works center. You could lose benefits if you fail to report. Failure to report jeopardizes your benefits
  • You must quit or get fired for “good cause” connected with employment

Monetary Eligibility

To be monetarily eligible, you must:

  • Have at least $1,092 in covered employment during the base period’s highest quarter
  • Have earned at least $4,455 from covered employment during the base period
  • Have total base period wages that equal or exceed 1.5 times the high quarter wages’ total

Base Period wages typically establish monetary eligibility for unemployment benefits. The “standard base period” comprises the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding a claim’s starting date.

Alternate base period helps claimants who don’t qualify for unemployment compensation using the standard base period. The alternate base period includes the four most recently completed calendar quarters, including “lag quarter” wages—the most recently completed quarter preceding a new claim’s effective date.

Note: To use the alternate base period, no wages from federal, military, or out-of-state employment can be missing.

Eligibility Questions

What happens if I am fired in South Carolina?

Even when sufficient wages qualify you for benefits, you can be ineligible for benefits if you are discharged for misconduct connected with employment. This might include chronic lateness, insubordination or theft.

If you are found to have been discharged from your most recent work for misconduct connected with employment, you will be disqualified from receiving benefits for full 20weeks.

When you file your claim, you’ll have to disclose your job separation reason to the state labor office. Then they’ll contact your former employer for their side of events. The process varies depending on the state, but you’ll often be given the opportunity to present your evidence that your termination was against labor laws during an investigation process. If your claim is denied, you have the right to request an appeal hearing. There you can present your evidence in depth in front of an administrative law judge who will make a determination based on it.

Can I draw benefits if I am laid off?

Usually, in South Carolina you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. It simply means that the company in which you worked doesn’t have enough work and could no longer afford to pay you for the job.

Once you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

Am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I quit?

It is possible to collect unemployment benefits if you quit your job, but these benefits are not guaranteed. You must be able to demonstrate that you made a genuine effort to preserve your job and the conditions at the job interfered with your physical or emotional well-being. As the party who initiated the change, you are faced with the burden of proof for demonstrating that your unemployment claim is legitimate.

If you voluntarily quit your job, without good cause connected with your employment, you will be disqualified for the duration of your unemployment until you have returned to work, earned at least eight (8) times your weekly benefit amount in employment, and become unemployed again through no fault of your own.

If you apply for unemployment benefits when you quit your job, your state unemployment agency will conduct a fact-finding interview. They will ask you questions over the phone, and they will also contact your former employer to hear their side of the story. The agency will issue a decision as promptly as possible and, if they find in your favor, you will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

If DEW finds out that I failed to properly report my earnings, what will happen to me?

You will be held overpaid and be required to repay the amount to DEW. If it is determined that the act was deliberate, you could be take into court and fined a maximum of $100 or sentenced to 30 days in jail for each week you fail to properly report your earnings. You could also be disqualified from receiving future benefits for a minimum of 10 weeks up to a maximum of 52 weeks.

If I go back to work with my former employer but work fewer hours, am I eligible for benefits, and do I have to report my earnings?

YES. You may be eligible for benefits if you do not earn more than your weekly benefit amount and accept all available work. You must report your gross earnings so that your claim can be adjusted accordingly. You must also continue to make an active search for work.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

Questions & Answers

  1. Kim says:

    had to resign for health issues that was causing me to unable to perform my duties accurately

    • Sam says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

  2. Alfreda Jones says:

    Hi, I have been working for a company for 2 months and 3 weeks. I have a 90 day probation period. I was pregnant when I was hired. I have had complications and have been missing days at work. All of the days have doctors excuse. My supervisor called me today and told me that I needed to resign so that I didn’t have a fired on my record because they couldn’t hold my job. I don’t know if I should resign or let them fire me. I told her I would be back to work Monday after seeing my doctor but that won’t work for them. What do I do? I need this job. I will be a single parent and no other income.

    • Sam says:

      I am sorry to hear about the situation. Your rights are determined by the prevailing labor laws in your state.

      Before making a decision on your employment, please call the Unemployment Office to discuss.

  3. Albert says:

    I am going to be laid off at the end of the month due to a reduction of force. I am wanting to enroll into my local technical college for some classes. Can I receive unemployment while I go to school?

    • Sam says:

      Depends. If it’s an approved/part-time course, you can be eligible. It should not affect your prospect of getting into employment.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  4. Catherine says:

    The plant will be closing and I will be laid off. I will receive a severance package. Will I be able to receive unemployment since I won’t be working or do I have to wait for my severance package to be paid?

  5. Bill K says:

    I have been disqualified from receiving further UI benefits. I received the notice for a RESEA meeting and knowing I would be out of town on that date, I followed the directions and called the 800 number to reschedule the appointment. Although I was out of town, I continued to look for work using the SCWORKS.ORG website. I was available and willing to work. Professional level jobs that I am seeking require multiple interviews over 8 to 12 weeks. If the meeting had not been scheduled that week they would never have known I was out of town. What’s the likelihood of being successful on appeal (which could take 10 weeks to get a hearing)?

    • Sam says:

      It all depends on the facts and the way your present them. Make sure to present facts and documents that support your stance.

      Best wishes!

  6. Vance Kibe says:

    I work for an employment agency and am currently assigned to a college in SC. This is my second assignment with the college, and the agency was under the impression I would be hired by the college, but it does not appear to be the case. When my assignment ends, I will have been at the college about one year. Am I eligible for unemployment if the agency does not have another assignment for me?

    • Sam says:

      Well, it looks like you had a job on contract and such job assignments do not generally qualify.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office by calling them.

  7. James says:

    I’m being laid off for 9 days due to the plant site I work shutting down for the holidays and maintenance.
    Do I qualify for unemployment?
    Thanks for your reply in advance.

  8. Tania says:

    I will be attending school next year and possibly quitting my job to attend school and care for my 3 kids. At that time I will have no one to care for my kids. Will I be able to receive benefits while attending school?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, voluntary reasons are generally not considered. You will not be eligible to draw UI benefits on family grounds.

      You may want to check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  9. SP says:

    Husband worked at very large church in Columbia that bragged about not paying into unemployment. They decided to hire an outside service to perform the duties that he did. He was involuntarily fired at the age of 61 after nearly 20 years with that place. Since Shandon BC did not pay into unemployment, is there any help available for my Husband? So unfair, unchristian and heartless what they have done.

  10. Thary says:

    I am now working 12h, 6 to 7 day per week. I want to quit my job because my leg so painful not able to stand that long anymore. Will I eligible for UI while looking for another suitable job?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. You will not be eligible to draw UI if you quit voluntarily.

      Please check further by calling the Unemployment Office.

  11. Andrea Harry says:

    I am currently pregnant and would have to quit my job in March when I am due. My job does not offer maternal leave. I am in SC. Would I be eligible for Unemployment benefits??

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. C brown says:

    15 years w company and owner finds Jesus, changes mission statement, praying chaplains, bible study….I do not share their faith and feel like Anne Frank. if I quit, can I be eligable?

    • Martin says:

      Strange situation. Not sure if you can be eligible to quit and draw under such circumstances.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  13. Annonymous says:

    Hi I currently work for a cell phone company that I believe is doing unlawful things. Money is being deducted from my payroll for things I did not do. I am constantly being clocked out when I’m still in the store. I feel this is not right. They are over charging customers for activation few. And they MAKE us do it when the sign clearly says NO ACTIVATION FEE!!! Will I be eligible for unemployment always until I find another job?? Thanks!!

    • Martin says:

      Yes, you can be eligible to quit and receive UI benefits under hostile work conditions.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision on your employment.

  14. Hali says:

    I just started a new job. October 10-24 they will be doing inventory and the plant will be on shutdown. Everyone here gets unemployment benefits on our shutdowns, (we have 10 weeks throughout the year we shutdown) I don’t understand how it works. would I be eligible just starting? would I be able to get started with the process before we shutdown? someone said something about maybe getting benefits from my previous employer?

    • Martin says:

      Seasonal jobs and temporary shutdowns do not generally qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  15. Courtney says:

    IF I put in my two weeks notice due to not being treated fairly cause im 28 weeks pregnant, do I qualify

    • Martin says:

      Well, Unemployment Insurance is only provided to those who’re able and available for work.

      Since your pregnancy puts you off work for some time, you will not be eligible.

  16. Kelley says:

    i had to resign from my job because my husband got transferred across country and the company I worked for did not have any positions for me available in the areas. Am I eligible for unemployment? If so, would I apply in the state I left or the state I moved to if my previous employer has locations in both states?
    Thank you

    • Martin says:

      Voluntary reasons such as resignation does not generally qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office of the state where your employment was based.

  17. Keenya Glover says:

    My mom had a stroke and cannot work. Can she file for unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health are not considered. She will not be eligible to draw Unemployment Compensation.

  18. Liz Lee says:

    Hi, Can I file for unemployment if I am a substitute teacher and will be back in August? Please let me know. Thank u 🙂

    • Martin says:

      Seasonal employment does not generally qualify.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  19. Sanders says:

    Can i collect Unemployment if i’m not working a full 35-40 hours a week?

    • Martin says:

      Yes, you can be eligible for a reduction in the standard work hours.

      Please consider applying for benefits.

  20. scott says:

    my wife has been working at her job for 11 months and its been turning into a hostle work place as some of the other employees don’t or wont do there jobs and leave early, my wife has brought it to management but they refuse to do anything about it. these employees have found out that it was her that reported it and are now making thearts against her. she told her boss to no avail. if she quits is would she be unavailable for benefits. she works with the elderly and cant stand to see them left in soiled diapers for long peirods of time as these employees just don’t care at all…

    • Martin says:

      She can be eligible if she quits due to hostile working conditions.

      Please ask her to keep supporting documents handy if there is a dispute from the employer.

  21. anthony mintz says:

    May I drive part time for Uber without affecting Social Security benefits?

    • Martin says:

      This forum only provides expert advise on Unemployment Insurance benefits.

      Please check with the SS department in your state.

  22. Gail T Nealy says:

    ok, this doesn’t seem legal. I file an insurance claim for benefits. I’m told I have $6,600 in my account to claim…however, I’m concerned ineligible for 17 weeks (after working over 18 years on a job and get fired within 8 month of a new manager)…I must continue to file a claim online and search for weeks until the waiting period is over….however after 17 weeks, the money is gone! There’s only $960 left. WHERE did it go? What happen to money? Unemployment paid themselves everytime I file a claim?? this is so wrong on so many levels

    • Adrian says:

      Please get more clarity on this either by checking your account details online or by calling the claims center.

      If you’ve a dispute, you can raise it through the right channels and get the issue resolved.

  23. debra says:

    can I collect if my mother died and I had to move out of state

  24. Kim says:

    I quit my job to trend to my sick daughter, born 16 weeks early and was born with a lot of complications. She’s doing better and her doctors give me the ok to return to work, so I applied for SSI and was ineligible because I quit to stay home with my daughter, they didn’t take into consideration my daughter’s health conditions. How can I appeal this decision?

    • Adrian says:

      Unfortunately,personal reasons are not considered.

      Please check for procedure for appeal on the website of the labor dept in your state.

  25. Monica Anderson says:

    Can I get help since I quit my job due to being robbed? I’m really scared to go back.

  26. Mike Flowers says:

    What about folks whose unemployment benefits have expired or have been used up? Are there any extensions available?

    • Adrian says:

      Currently,there are no federal extensions available.Please contact the labor department in SC to check for any additional benefits.

  27. Julie Coggins says:

    Can someone working as an overseas government contractor in Afghanistan collect unemployment benefits upon return to the states if they quit to come home? This person has been working for several years overseas. The company’s headquarters is Texas, but he was hired through the SC office. Not sure which state he would apply, but lives in NC, which I think doesn’t matter in this case.

    • Adrian says:

      The foremost eligibility criteria for receiving unemployment benefits is that you should have been unemployed due to no fault of your own.If one quits voluntarily,then it may a challenging situation while applying for benefits.You may apply from SC-office of payroll.

  28. Anne says:

    If I have been given a 90 day quota and am fired because I didn’t meet that quota am I eligle for unemployment in SC.

    • Adrian says:

      You will mostly be,provided you meet other eligibility criteria.If you were fired for no fault of your own,please go ahead and file application.

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