Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina eligibility for unemployment is based on whether an applicant meets the required circumstances to receive unemployment insurance benefits in the state. For unemployed workers wondering, “What are the requirements to get unemployment insurance (UI) in the state?” understanding the guidelines of the unemployment insurance program is beneficial when filing a claim. When unemployment insurance eligibility has been determined, an applicant can estimate the amount of benefits available and begin an application to collect unemployment insurance benefits as soon as possible after losing a job. All qualifications for unemployment must be met in order for a worker to receive unemployment payments. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) assesses who qualifies for unemployment after an application is submitted. Learn how to qualify for unemployment after working in South Carolina by consulting the following information.

Where To Apply For Unemployment Insurance in South Carolina

Eligibility for unemployment varies among states, and unemployed workers who have worked in other states besides South Carolina should take careful consideration when choosing where to file a claim. Unemployment insurance eligibility in each state depends on the specific rules for the state unemployment program. Just as the qualifications for unemployment vary, so do the maximum benefit amounts offered by each state. Applicants should file in the state that offers the highest benefit amount if they need to file a claim and worked in multiple states. For example, if an applicant has also worked in California, applying for UI benefits through the Employment Development Department (EDD) may result in higher benefit payments than applying through DEW. Eligibility for EDD benefits will also differ from the eligibility for DEW unemployment benefits. Applicants should keep in mind that even if they qualify for unemployment benefits in more than one state, they can only complete the unemployment application process and receive benefits from one state.

Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements in South Carolina

Unemployment insurance eligibility in South Carolina requires claimants to be physically able and available to accept employment. Eligibility for unemployment may be affected by any situation that makes a claimant unavailable to obtain employment, such as illness or injury, attending school, receiving career training or being incarcerated. These situations must be reported to South Carolina DEW. Being available for work in South Carolina means actively searching for stable employment while collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment benefit qualifications require UI beneficiaries to register with the South Carolina Works Center and seek full-time or part-time employment. Any offer of employment should be accepted in order to maintain eligibility.

Another requirement for unemployment insurance in South Carolina is being separated from the most recent employer through no fault to the worker. To meet qualifications for unemployment insurance, being unemployed or underemployed at no fault means losing a job for reasons such as a business closing or lack of work. Unemployment insurance eligibility may be affected if an applicant was fired from a job because of workplace misconduct or violation of company policy. Disqualification of unemployment benefits may happen if an applicant voluntarily quit a job without good reason, lost a job because of a labor dispute, voluntarily retired or did not accept an offer of work. South Carolina DEW makes the final determination on whether the reason for unemployment on an initial claim form grants eligibility to receive benefits. An applicant’s former employer will be contacted when DEW receives an initial claim form to verify the reason for unemployment.

You may be eligible for unemployment insurance if you do not have full-time employment. This can mean being unemployed or being underemployed as a part-time worker. While part-time employees may qualify for unemployment benefits and earn a salary, all wages or income earned while receiving unemployment insurance benefits in South Carolina must be reported in weekly claim forms.

Qualifications for unemployment in South Carolina are based on the financial and previous employment situation of an applicant. The first four of the last five calendar quarters before a claim is filed is called the “base period” of employment. To be eligible for unemployment, wages incurred during the base period must meet a qualification amount determined by South Carolina DEW. Certain employers, such as some farm labor and domestic service jobs, are not eligible to be used for a base period wage determination. If initial eligibility for unemployment requirements has not been met by the wages in the base period, then an alternate base period may be used. South Carolina DEW will notify an applicant if he or she is eligible to use an alternate base period during the unemployment insurance application process.

Unemployment insurance eligibility requires all extra payments to be reported to the South Carolina DEW UI office. This includes extra income received when an applicant was previously employed and any anticipated payments that will be collected while an applicant is receiving unemployment benefits. Sick, severance, holiday, bonus and vacation pay must be reported on benefit claim forms. Eligibility for unemployment benefits also requires government payments such as Social Security and worker’s compensation to be disclosed when applying for benefits.

When unemployment benefit eligibility has been determined using the previous information, the UI applicant can file a claim form. However, acceptance of an initial claim form is just the beginning of how to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. Claimants should understand the eligibility after their initial claims have been approved. Learn more about eligibility requirements by downloading our comprehensive unemployment guide.

Maintaining Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in South Carolina

To maintain eligibility for unemployment, UI beneficiaries must retain their status as an unemployed or underemployed worker in South Carolina by meeting the unemployment insurance program guidelines while collecting benefit payments. Unemployment qualifications state that claimants must adhere to the following requirements to continue receiving benefits:

  • File weekly claims online or by phone
  • Enroll in the South Carolina Works Center for job assistance
  • Report gross earnings during benefit weeks
  • Complete weekly job searches

Claimants must file a weekly claim with the South Carolina DEW UI office by telephone or through the UI website. Claim forms ensure qualifications for unemployment are met by proving an applicant is still unemployed, is able and available to accept work and is actively searching for employment. To maintain eligibility for unemployment as an unemployed or underemployed worker, job search information and income earned from jobs or any other source must be reported on claim forms. Questions are also asked about the unemployment status of an applicant and if any job offers were refused or denied. Download our detailed unemployment guide for more information about weekly insurance claims.

To meet unemployment eligibility requirements by filing a claim online, UI recipients should go to the South Carolina UI website and submit a claim form through the MyBenefits platform. A protected account must be created where claimants can log in and submit claims, check on the status of a previous claim and view benefit payment information. Eligibility for unemployment may also be met by filing a claim through the South Carolina UI office automated phone service, called TelClaim. To complete an unemployment eligibility claim form by telephone, UI recipients should call the number using a touch-tone phone and log in with a Social Security Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN). When the claim form is properly submitted, the phone system will state that the claim has been accepted.

Lastly, qualifications for unemployment require UI beneficiaries to enroll in the South Carolina Work Center and search for work while collecting unemployment benefits. The Work Center helps unemployed workers find stable employment by providing job contacts and career training services. Two work searches must be made through the SC Work Center for a claimant to continue receiving benefits.