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    The Claims Process

    The Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims process is made up of three steps. Before you file a claim, make sure you understand each step so you can decide which method of filing works best for you. The below information is a general guideline; therefore, the ultimate outcome of your claim is subject to your specific situation.

    The information you provide the DEW when filing a claim for UI is held confidential but may be shared with other state and/or federal agencies administering the unemployment insurance programs or other government programs.

    Filing from out-of-state? Click here.

        Step 1 | Apply For Benefits

    You must submit an initial claim in order for DEW to determine if your circumstances meet the eligibility requirements of the UI program. Filing a claim is the only way for eligibility to be determined.

    Initial claims are filed online through the MyBenefits portal. Learn more about using the portal here.

    If you don't have computer access, you can apply online at one of many service locations across the state.

    If you need assistance applying for benefits, claims representatives are available through Telclaim at 1.866.831.1724 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

    Filing your claim will go faster if you have the following important information handy:

    • Your Social Security number
    • Your work history for the past 18 months including:
      • Employers’ business names
      • Employers’ addresses
      • Employers’ phone numbers
      • Your salary for each employer
    • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number and documentation.
    • If you served in the military in the past 18 months, DD-214 Form (Member 4 copy).
    • If you are a federal civilian employee, SF-50 or SF-8 Form.

    When applying for benefits, you will choose to receive benefit payments via debit card or direct deposit. For more information, please visit our payment page.  Please note that you are required to pay taxes on UI benefits.

    You should also make sure to download the Claimant Handbook and read it thoroughly.

    Once you have submitted your application, DEW will review your claim and determine if you qualify for benefits.

    Within a week after applying, you will receive a Monetary Determination by mail outlining your potential weekly and maximum benefits amounts. The maximum weekly benefit amount in South Carolina is $326 before taxes. A Monetary Determination only outlines your monetary eligibility, and does not mean that you meet all eligibility requirements.

    You may be asked to submit certain types of information to DEW in order to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits; this information can be submitted by mail, fax or drop-box. Click here to view submission options in your area.

    You should receive a final eligibility decision by mail within 21 days of receiving the Monetary Determination. If you are deemed eligible, please note that you will not be paid for the first week of eligibility in each benefit year; this is considered a waiting week.

    You may check your benefit status via MyBenefits or TelClaim.


        Step 2 | Register For Work

    Within two weeks of submitting your initial claim, you must register for work on SC Works Online Services. This includes creating a username and password within the system. If you fail to do so, you won’t receive payment.

    Note: You must update your resume on SC Works Online Services every 90 days to continue receiving payment.

    You can register for work:

    • Online— If you file your initial claim on MyBenefits, the confirmation page will provide you with a username and password for SC Works Online Services. Use this information to log in and create a resume. Once you have an active resume on file, you are officially registered for work.

      If you are not given a username and password, you will still have to register for work on SC Works Online Services. Just click on “Not Registered?” and the system will take you through the process. Once you have a username, password and an active resume on file, you are officially registered for work.


        Step 3 | File Your Weekly Claim and Search for Work

    Once you have filed an initial claim for unemployment benefits and registered for work, you are required to file a weekly claim and search for work each week thereafter; even while you are waiting to find out if you are eligible.

    File a Weely Claim

    Filing a weekly claim involves answering questions about whether you worked, earned any income and whether you were able, available and looking for work. This information certifies that you are paid accurately and timely.

    A standard claim week begins Sunday and ends the following Saturday. When you file a weekly claim, you are submitting information about the previous week; the earliest day to file is on Sunday. The earlier you file and certify eligibility the quicker you receive payment. Failing to file, or filing late will affect your payment.

    If you physically worked during the week, you must report your gross earnings—which is the amount you earn before taxes or any other deductions; even if you have not been paid yet. Unsure of what earnings to report weekly? Check out the Earnings Worksheet or the Reporting Your Wages video tutorial.

    You may file weekly claims:


    Search for Work

    To remain eligible for benefits, you must search for work each week. Your work search must include at least four job contacts each week and must be documented using the Work Search Form (UCB-303)

    At least one of your four searches must be done on SC Works Online Services. If you do not use SC Works Online Services for at least one weekly job search, you will not receive payment.

    In order for your online job search to be counted in our system, you must log on to SC Works Online Services with the original username you received when you registered for work as part of filing your initial claim.

    If you forget or lose your original username, you can call your nearest comprehensive SC Works center and select the employment services option.

    If you need to reset your password for your original username, click on the “Forgot username/ password?” link on the SC Works Online Services page.

    Your work searches and accompanying documentation are subject to random Eligibility Reviews and verification by DEW. If you do not adhere to the work search policy, you will lose benefit payments.




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