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Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$326
Max. Weeks of Benefits
20
Current Jobless Rate
4.2%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$326
Max Weeks of benefits
20
Current Jobless rate
4.2%

Updated : August 12th, 2021

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.

Monetary Eligibility

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.

Job Separation

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

Note –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Eligibility requirements – overview


Maintaining Eligibility

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.

Find out on job search requirements

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.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

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.

Benefits Calculator

Use the benefits calculator to determine your estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
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Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator


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.

Benefits Extension

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.

Know more job training opportunities in SC

South Carolina Phone Numbers

Find the below-listed fax and phone numbers of unemployment offices in South Carolina:

SC Unemployment Office Numbers

SC Works Center 1-866-831-1724
TTY/TDD Service 1-800-735-8583
Claim Appeals Fax: 803-737-0287
Unemployment fraud Hotline 1-855-723-7283 (1-855-SC-Fraud)

Locate your nearest unemployment office



Frequently Asked Question

Q. How will I receive my payments?
You can receive your benefits by direct deposit to your bank. Alternatively, you can also choose to receive them through your Bank of America debit card.
Q. Can I quit my job if I know I will be laid off soon?
Depends. You will be disqualified from receiving benefits if you quit your job while your employer still has work available. But if the employer doesn't have any work available, you may quit your job.
Q. When I begin filing weekly claims?
You should file weekly claims on Sunday after filing your initial claim. You can file your weekly claims through MyBenefitsPortal. Note that you won't receive benefits for weeks that you don't certify.

Questions & Answers

  1. I have a friend that had to quit work due to a serious health issue and will be unable to work again. Can she file for unemployment in SC?

    1. Cookie,

      Unfortunately, the system only considers claimants who’re able and available for work. If the health condition is work-related, they can claim benefits under workers comp.

  2. My daughter has been waiting for 2 months n still has recieved her lump sum why is it taking so long she has a child she needs her money she called several times thet keep telling her to wait. Why is that.

    1. Chasity,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  3. If my company offered an early retirement initiative and I have taken it… Does that allow me to qualify for employment while I try and find another job? says:

    If my company offered an early retirement initiative and I have taken it… Does that allow me to qualify for employment while I try and find another job?

    1. Please note UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. You can call the Unemployment Office to check about eligibility.

  4. I was in a wreck not my fault had to quit my job because I couldn’t do what I was doing
    can I draw unemployment

    I was in a wreck not my fault I had to quit my job because of injuries I was on my job for over 8 years can I get unemployment

  5. If you receive severance after being terminated on a bi weekly basis, when can you apply for benefits? I thought in SC that severance doesn’t affect unemployment.

    1. Carolyn,

      As far as I am aware, you can apply for UI benefits once the severance payout is complete.

  6. hello , I have just recently filed for some benefits, after steady looking for work for over a year but didn’t find any , so that’s why I,m fileing now 1/3/2018 and it said in the letter that I ‘m eligible for 0.00weekly/ 0.00maximum etc. as if to say that i did not work at all. what is the best thing do

  7. I applied for unemployment on 11/2/17 and my case is still pending resolution. What is the allowed time frame for a determination?

  8. I have worked for a resort for 2 years. they are closing the restaurant that I managed. I may work for them in other areas for 3 days a week. this is not enough to live on. can I get unemployment and work part time?

  9. Can employers in SC enter terms for an employee accepting a severance payment to waive the employee’s right to unemployment benefits?

  10. I worked all 2015 until Dec 20, & I received unemployment benefits Feb.2016 & half March. I still had $1800 I in my account or was eligible to receive. I started school back and a part time job were no taxes were taken out through Oct. 2016. Can I Reopen my claim and receive the remaining balance of $1800 I had ledt???

    1. It depends on multiple factors. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can do so and apply for benefits accordingly.

  11. I was laid off because they said I was doing the job to the satisfactory due to my fractures shoulder and hurneated disk.

    1. If you were laid off due to voluntary reasons, you will not be eligible.

      If the injury is work-related, please explore the benefits under Workers Comp. scheme.

  12. I worked as a sales consultant for a national home builder and was recently fired due to circumstances beyond my control. The builder is headquartered out of Houston, TX (where my W-2/pay came from). I was hired and managed by our NC Division, but worked in a new home community located in SC. Would I file for unemployment in TX, NC or SC? Thanks!

    1. Please apply from the state where your payroll was based.

      You may want to contact your employer and confirm before applying for benefits.

  13. I am working on a Outage in NC I have a week left, prior I was working in Florida and still have a lease on a apt that I must finish up before I can move back home to SC. Where will I be able to draw my unemployment from?

  14. I work as a teacher in a child care center in Columbia SC. The flood disallowed working for one week. Is it true that I , like others,can apply to scunemployment for / to get some of lost wages?

  15. My position of over 14 years was eliminated on May 23rd. Thus, I was forced into early retirement. I do not want to fully retire and am able to work. I will be filing for unemployment as I will need income. My questions are:
    – Do I have to accept any job that is offered – real question is do I have to accept full time jobs at substantially less than my previous job?
    – If I go to work part-time during the interim, does that count against my benefit?

    Thank you for your help1

    1. 1) You have to accept any suitable job offer that come your way.

      2) You can work part time,your benefit will be reduced.

  16. Due to medical conditions I am not fit to continue with the career that I have been doing for the past sixteen years. I have been advised by doctors and specialists that my condition will continually progress. Am I eligible for benefits while I am seeking another career path; since I will have to leave the company I am currently working for?

    1. Depends. UI is extended to those who are able and available to work.

      If you quit your current job and decide to look for one that suits your health condition,please consider applying for benefits

  17. I worked for Safe-Ports Inc. for the past 3 1/2 years. I was working on a project in Afghanistan. Safe-Ports is based in South Carolina and I they did pay unemployment benefits. am currently in the Philippines. I am trying to apply on line for my benefits. I am unable to access the server from here. What do I need to do to be able to sign up for unemployment? I am a naturalized American Citizen born in the U.S. How can I access the benefits portal to register from here?

    1. Some of the state Labor websites are accessible only from a server in the US which means that if you’re outside,you will not be able to log on.

      You can perhaps ask a family member or a friend residing in the US to file on behalf on your behalf.

    1. 1099G is a document providing details of unemployment compensation disbursed for taxation.Please call up the claims center immediately if you’ve not received the mentioned amount.

  18. I work as a Reservist for FEMA. I must be on call at all times. I worked Jan/ Feb and then again Sept/ Oct. Am I eligible for UI when not working. I can not seek a job because of the new rule of being on call.

  19. I work a seasonal job in s.c. where I work 5 months of the year and draw unemployment the remainder. This year i am being told I must exhaust the federal EUC benefits from the prior year before I can receive regular employment benefits. It has been 3 weeks and I still have not received any payment. I have spoken with DEW CSR several times and still cannot get resolve. The benefits from the prior year are over $100.00 less a week than I should be receiving. Help. Is this correct?

  20. 20 yr old grandson quit work yesterday because owner shoved him and called him “a piece of sh$$”. The owner was very drunk. There were witnesses. Grandson had worked there for 6 1/2 months. Is there anything my grandson can do? Is he eligible for unemployment?

    1. Hi Dee,

      It is important to have worked under covered employment and earned sufficient wages in the base period to receive unemployment compensation. Your grandson may be eligible for the compensation if he fulfills all the requirements.

  21. I have been working in SC since January 2013. I lost my job – laid off – and do not have any other income from 2 years past as I am awaiting a disability hearing and was healing from back surgery. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

  22. This is obsurd! My husband has filed for unempliynent been approved he has received one check still waiting on two checks the bad thing is no one picks up phone or when we leave message no one calls back . Left email no response .
    When we went to office they said matter resolved . But yet no money deposited .
    Is there a another contact. Besides charleston office . I need money and know one is helping
    We qualified for unemployment. Please some one help with this matter
    Thank you

  23. I work for a retirement planner and we are trying to help a client who has recently lost her job. Can you please explain how drawing retirement payments can affect her unemployment payments?

  24. Was working as contract RN @ Village Hospital Greer SC since Feb 4, 2013. Contract was terminated because did not feel I was learning job quick enough. Am 61 yr old & do have vision & other health issues. I have no income & need help. Can not pay rent this month, can not pay utilities this month, need prescription medications, & have no food. Please help me! I am about to become homeless. Have always worked & never received assistance. HELP ME PLEASE!

  25. If my company shuts down for two consecutive weeks am i able to receive unemployment benefits for these two weeks.thanks….keith

  26. I was fired today because corporate forced my boss today I had worked at Harris teeter for the last 20 years

  27. If in case you were eligible and obtaining the unemployment benefit then you will be able to get the benefit in the relocated state also…

    As a basic criteria to get the unemployment benefit you should not have been left your earlier job without good cause… if not you will not be eligible…

  28. If I move from another state to relocate in South Carolina, Can I collect unemploymet? I would leave my job now on my own.

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