This site is privately owned and is not affiliated with any government agency.

South Carolina Unemployment Eligibility

In order to be eligible For UI 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

  1. I work at a restaurant in myrtle beach that is mostly seasonal because of its location in a hotel. when they close for the season, i will be laid off. however, i’m still in high school. would i be eligible?

    • Sierra,

      Seasonal workers are generally not eligible to claim UI benefits since no UI taxes are paid. Please check with your employer for more.

  2. I was employed for 8 consecutive years, I was laid off in January due to do lack of work because during the pandemic. SC Unemployment says I’m MONETARY INELEGIBLE. I’m not sure how? can anyone relate or explain how could this happened? I just appealed and sent proof of wages for the past 2 years.

  3. Recently diagnosed with cancer, have been put out of work for 6 months by the Doctor. I have no leave time and have no income but I am using FMLA. Can I qualify for unemployment, I know its a long shot but I am really desperate.

    • Can I apply for unemployment if I no longer have transportation to and from work due to my vehicle breaking down?

      • Loraine,

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

    • Stacy,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

      Hope you get well soon!

      • I was laid off August 28th. Filed for unemployment. I live in south Carolina but worked in Tennessee and GA. I worked during the shut down now they say I didn’t work in south Carolina so I’m not eligible. I’ve made over 100,000 this year but need help please tell me what I can do. It’s not right.

  4. I am a union electrician working in South Carolina. I am from Indiana. There is now work in Indiana but I need to be there to sign the union books before I take a job. My present employer will not give me a lay off. This has never happened in the 30 years I have worked. Each employer has always given travelers a lay off to go back home. Can I still file for unemployment in South Carolina if I quit?

    • Douglas,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  5. My husband will be relocating VA to SC and I will have to quit my job in Va, will I Qualify for unemployment benefits? I know some states have the Trailing Spouse Provision

    • Lauren,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  6. I just moved to SC and my employer had a Reduction in Force. My virtual office was in NH for 2017. As I now live in SC do I apply for benifits in SC?

    • Christine,

      Please apply from the state where your employment was based. You can call your employer to confirm where they paid unemployment taxes.

  7. I was hired in March of 2017 to run a small veterinary hospital. turns out Owner of practice and i have opposite management styles which will not work. Owner is letting me go, however agreed to let me stay until Jan. 19 and pay 30 days severance. I have a letter to that effect. Will i qualify for unemployment?

    • Theresa,

      If the separation is considered voluntary, you will not qualify. If otherwise, please consider applying after the expiry of the severance payout.

  8. My restaurant is about to shut down for 1 week for repairs. Due to the fact that it involves structural damage I think it will take longer to fix. Should/can I file for unemployment while we are on furlough?

  9. If I was disqualified in January due to losing my job due to my own fault, then I went to work somewhere else and now in December I have lost my job because the work has ended can I draw unemployment now.

    • Deb,

      I am guessing you should be eligible on the basis of your last job if you were on permanent rolls. Please check with your employer before applying.

  10. I unfortunately found out that I acquired MRSA and due to a boil on my neck that is currently discharging pus and bacteria constantly my doctors orders say if the boil opens and pus occurs to keep it clean dry and to keep my topical antibiotic cream on it and to avoid causing broken and our irritated skin around the infected site so followed my doctors instructions and decided I’d skip shaving for today not want to get the to transfer to other areas on my face well after cleaning the wound and dressing my wounds keep in mind it’s extremely painful and litterally have chunks of puss that must be removed and then the actual liquid pus can drain I informed my supervisor that I would be late due to unforseen events cause theirs no way id know when the boil was gonna burst packed up a small med kit my ointment bandages my prescriptions and alcohol pads and other odds and ends I would need to tend to the wound as instructed I headed to work I got their and my supervisor litterally flipped out on me about being late even though I had informed his boss that I would be late once it was confirmed that I had notified his boss about me being late he decided to attack me over not being 100% clean shaving even tho he’s fully aware of my medical constraints I informed him that the boil had ruperted and that I’m not supposed to cause irritation or damage the skin around the wound while it’s open to avoid the baterica infectioning other hair follicles and he immediately started cursing me out threatening me and when I asked to speak to the store manager he told me if I do not get out of his building now he’s calling the cops well I can not drive on my medications so I clocked out and proceeded out of the building I was sitting in the parking lot awaiting my ride I had been outside for maybe 15 mins my grandmother who is my trasnportation right now live 30 mins from my work well my supervisor proceeded to follow me out into tge parking lot and began threatening me and cursing at me again asking why are you in my F-ing parking lot to witch to witch I replied I am waiting on my ride I cant drive will on my meds well he proceeded to threatening me again told me to get f out of his GD parking lot or he was calling the cops I said okay give me one second to contact my ride while in Wi-Fi range to witch he said no I said thats fine can I collect my personal belongings to witch I was told if I stepped back inside for any reason he have me arrested I informed him my meds where in the building in my hoodie pocket witch he refused to allow me to get and refused to let me ask another employee to get them well I ended up having to walk 2 parking lots away before he stopped following me and had to walk another 15 mins to find Wi-Fi to tell my ride where I was at keep in mind 2 of my medications say avoid exposure to the sun so now I’m in the middle of a very bad neighbourhood I can barely stand due to the dizziness pus dripping down my face my grandma is 89 years old and had panic attack when she could not find me or get in contact with me due to the area and the fact of me being weakend from my meds and that I’m supposed to be avoiding exposure to sunlight luckily an elderly gentleman saw me fading in and out and came and helped me over to his porch got me water and allowed me to use his phone well I’m terrified to return to work if this where to happen again I might not get as lucky next time not to mention I felt like he had less the honorable intentions following three 2 other parking lots across a 4 lane road I really think he was gonna try and hurt me if I dont go back can I get unemployment or not because I’m choosing not to return my health and safety are being put at risk MRSA can be deadly if not treated correctly I don’t wanna quit but I don’t wanna risk death or permanent injury either

    • Louis,

      I can understand what you went through. If you think you’re working under hostile work conditions, you can quit and be eligible to claim UI benefits. Before you do so, make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute during the claims processing. Also, please consult the Unemployment Office in your state by calling them.

      Best wishes!

  11. i was let go from my job from being sick and was admitted to the hospital for a week and missed work. i returned back to work and was let go. will i still receive benefits?

    • Kim,

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

      Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  12. My boss keeps loading more work on me and she doesnt make my co workers help me with the extra work. They leave the office 4:30 and 5. I don’t leave around 6:30 or 7. Then she told me that it was my fault that they don’t follow instructions. Will I be eligible for unemployment if I quit?

    • Leigh,

      If you quit voluntarily, you may not qualify under such circumstances. Please call the Unemployment Office for confirmation.

  13. Boss constantly cursed at me and other employees. He cursed me so bad one night even customers heard. I asked him to stop or I could finish my day but then take me off the scedule. He then told me to clock out and go. Never called me back. Another employee walked out too for being cursed out as well that same night for running out of food because we became very busy. Can I draw unemployment?

    • Yes, you can be eligible to claim under such circumstances, provided you meet all other eligibility conditions.

      Make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  14. My employer is relocating out of state. I was offered to remain in my position and relocate with them but cannot due to family obligations. As a result, the company will classified my departure as a voluntary termination. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Unemployment Benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Having said this, there are exceptions.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check your eligibility.

  15. If I accept a severence agreement from my employer as I feel discriminated against- and in the agreement it states that I voluntarily resigned in good standing, do I qualifiy for unemployment benefits?

    • If the paperwork says voluntary resignation, you will not qualify to claim UI benefits.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

    • 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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.

  17. 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?

    • 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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)?

    • 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!

  20. 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?

    • 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

    • 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

    • 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.

  25. 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??

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

  26. 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?

    • 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.

  27. 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!!

    • 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.

  28. 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?

    • Seasonal jobs and temporary shutdowns do not generally qualify.

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

    • 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.

  29. 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

    • Voluntary reasons such as resignation does not generally qualify.

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

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

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

    • Seasonal employment does not generally qualify.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

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

      Please consider applying for benefits.

  31. 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…

    • 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.

    • This forum only provides expert advise on Unemployment Insurance benefits.

      Please check with the SS department in your state.

  32. 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

    • 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.

  33. 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?

    • Unfortunately,personal reasons are not considered.

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

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

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

  35. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *