South Carolina Unemployment Benefits
The South Carolina Department Of Employment And Workforce (DEW) offers Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to help people who have lost through no fault of their own. The South Carolina UI program offers only temporary assistance and includes several eligibility requirements which you must meet in order to receive benefits.
On this page, we will tell you all about South Carolina unemployment benefits including the eligibility requirements, application process, weekly claims, and many more.
Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In South Carolina
You must meet eligibility criteria like monetary requirements, job separation, etc. to receive unemployment benefits in South Carolina.
To be monetarily eligible to receive South Carolina unemployment benefits, you must:
- Have earned at least $4,455 from a covered employment during your base period
- Have total base period wages that are equal to at least 1.5 times the wages in the higher quarter of your base period
- Have at least $1,092 in a covered employment during your highest quarter of your base period
Note that the base period is nothing but wages earned during 12 months of insured work. Base period wages not just establish monetary eligibility but also pay a key role in determining your benefit amount. Base period is of two types: the standard base period and the alternate base period.
Standard Base Period– In South Carolina, the base period is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters before the start date of your unemployment claim.
Alternate Base Period– It is the last four completed calendar quarters preceding the first day of your benefit year.
If you don’t have enough wages in your standard base period, the wages in your alternate base period will be considered. Note that only DEW will decide under which base period system your situation falls and you cannot determine it yourself.
The reason for separation from the previous employer is another important eligibility requirement for qualifying for Unemployment Insurance in South Carolina. The requirements include:
- You have lost your job through no fault of your own
- You lost your job in Reduction-In-Force
- You quit your job due to unsafe working conditions
- You quit your job due to violation of employee contract
- You had medical condition and were unable to work
- DEW may contact your employer to determine the actual reason for your job separation. If the reason given by your employer differs from yours, the Department will put your application on hold or disqualify you from receiving benefits. Therefore, keep DEW informed about the actual reason for job separation.
- If you are determined to be monetarily eligible for benefits, you must serve a waiting week for which you will not receive benefits. You must be totally or partially unemployed during this waiting week and meet all other eligibility requirements of the law.
Your responsibility doesn’t end with filing an initial unemployment claim in South Carolina. You should maintain eligibility requirements throughout your benefit period to continue to receive benefits.
- You must be able to work and be available for work
- You must be willing to take any suitable job
- You must actively seek employment each week that you file an unemployment claim
- You must report to your local comprehensive SC Works center whenever required
- You must complete at least two work searches through SC Works Online Services each week that you file an unemployment claim
Note– If you have worked the majority of your weeks in a part-time job during your base period, you will have to look for a part-time job during your benefit period, provided the South Carolina DEW approves the same.
How To Apply For UI Benefits In South Carolina?
To apply for South Carolina unemployment benefits, you need the following documents:
In South Carolina, you can apply for unemployment benefits only through the MyBenefits portal. However, if you need any assistance with it, you can contact claims representatives at 1-866-831-1724. Note that the benefit weeks begin on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and end on the following Saturday at 12:00 a.m.
How To File Weekly Claims
A weekly begins Sunday and ends the following Saturday. If you have worked during the week, you must report your gross earnings (even if you have not been paid yet). You may file your weekly unemployment claim through the MyBenefits portal. If you face any trouble while filing a UI claim, call the representative at 1-866-831-1724 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
UI Benefits Amount
In South Carolina, the weekly benefit amount is approximately 50% of your average weekly wage. The maximum weekly benefit amount you can receive in the state is $326 and minimum is $42.
Use the benefits calculator to determine your estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.
Things To Know After Filing An Application
There are several aspects that you must know to get through your benefit year without any trouble.
Overpayment And Fraud
Sometimes, you may receive overpayments due to various reasons, including an administrative error, fraud, or a hearing officer reversing a previous award. If you receive an overpayment due to administrative error or other non-fraudulent reasons, you will be required to repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. If you fail to repay, the Department may withhold the amount of the overpayment from your state tax refund through the South Carolina Department and through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by withholding the amount from your federal tax return.
Fraud/ Willful Misrepresentation
If you receive overpayments due to false intentional misrepresentation or statement, you will be ineligible to receive benefits for a period of not less than ten nor more than fifty-two weeks. You may also face criminal charges or be required to pay a fine.
The state of South Carolina provides benefits extension when the unemployment rate is too high or there is an economic crisis. Visit South Carolina DEW to know more about the benefits extension programs.
Job Training Assistance
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) through certified training providers help jobseekers with education and skills required for in-demand jobs. Visit jobs.scworks.org to get a list of training providers.