Click here for questions related to the Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

If your work is affected by COVID-19, you can apply for Unemployment Insurance. This process and these benefits are the same as applying for benefits if you lose your job through no fault of your own. Below you can click through instructions that walk you through the registration and application portal.

If you need assistance applying for benefits, claims representatives are available at 1-866-831-1724.

Applying for Benefits

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a nationwide program created to financially help eligible individuals (also referred to as claimants), who are unemployed through no fault of their own, while they actively search for new work. NOTE: Weekly job search is currently suspended through the duration of the State of Emergency, declared by Governor Henry McMaster. 

In South Carolina, a UI claim can provide up to 20 weeks of benefits. The average weekly benefit amount is $236. The maximum weekly benefit is $326.

Application Process

Unemployment insurance is a 100% online process. Claims are filed through the MyBenefits Portal.

Eligibility for benefits can only be determined after you have filed a claim for benefits.  There are several factors that affect your eligibility for benefits.  They include but are not limited to your wages during the base period, your reason for separating from your employer, your availability to work, and more. 

There are four basic steps to the application process for individuals:

Step 1. Create a username and password
Video Instructions
PDF Instructions

Step 2. Register for an account
Video Instructions
PDF Instructions

Did you forget your password? You can now reset your password by text, email or answering security questions. See detailed instructions here.

Step 3. File a new claim
Video Instructions
PDF Instructions

This would complete the application process.

Visit Claims Process to read more about what to expect once the claim is submitted.
Go visit the Weekly Claims page to learn more about your weekly expectations. You may also look at the tutorials below.

Step 4. Weekly Certifications.
You are required to certify each week so we know if you're still unemployed. Payment can not be released if this is not completed weekly. 
Video Instructions
PDF Instructions

Federal Programs

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program available through the CARES Act. This program expands eligibility for unemployment assistance for individuals who may not be covered under regular unemployment insurance.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) FAQ
PUA Claim PDF Tutorial
PUA Filing Process Video Tutorial
NEW Weekly Certification Question Added for PUA Claimants

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a temporary program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) FAQ
PEUC Application Process PDF Tutorial

PEUC Filing Process Video Tutorial

Extended Benefits
Eligible claimants must exhaust both their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits of 20 weeks and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits of 13 weeks before becoming eligible for 10 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB). 

UPDATED November 2020: By law, EB triggered on when the three-month average unemployment rate in a state is above 6.5%. DEW has been informed that South Carolina will trigger off of EB after claim week ending December 12, 2020, due to a lower than 6.5% three-month average. Starting December 13, 2020, EB benefits will no longer be available.

If you are found eligible for a previous claim week when EB was still in effect, eligible claimants will be paid for that claim week or weeks. 

What’s Next after I exhaust Extended Benefits?

After exhausting the Extended Benefits (EB) program, you may be eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if you are still unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.

Which scenario do you fall under?
Scenario 1: Once you run out of eligible weeks for EB, you will need to apply for the PUA program. You will see a link on your Customer Menu page of your MyBenefits Portal asking you to apply for PUA. See PUA section above for resources and tutorials on how to apply for PUA.

Scenario 2: If you previously applied for PUA and have an open or pending resolution on that PUA claim, DEW staff will be reviewing your account to see if you are eligible to begin receiving PUA benefits after exhausting the EB program.

You will not need to reapply for PUA, however, you may be prompted with additional questions within your MyBenefits portal, so please continue to monitor daily.

EB Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Lost Wages Assistance
The Lost Wages Assistance Program will provide $300 per week, in addition to a claimant’s weekly benefit amount. The presidential memorandum outlines that an “eligible claimant” is someone who is eligible to receive $100 in either state or federal weekly benefit amount, someone who completes the weekly certification process and someone who is unemployed as a continued result of COVID-19. 

The weeks a claimant may be found eligible for the additional $300 per week is claim weeks ending August 1 - September 5, 2020. The maximum a claimant can receive is $1,800 for those six weeks. 

If you are found eligible for LWA benefits, there will be a payment notice on your portal homepage. However, if it has been several days and you have not received your mailed check, it may have been returned to our agency.

You should log into your MyBenefits portal, look for the “Change Personal Info” tab and confirm your address is correct. It is the claimant's responsibility to update contact information if it changes.

If you are having your mail forwarded to an address not in your MyBenefits portal the check WILL come back to the agency. Due to fraud integrity measures, checks cannot be forwarded. You will need to update your new address in your portal to receive your re-issued check.

If you were notified by our agency that your check was returned to DEW, and you have already requested a new check, it will not be reissued until you have updated your address in the system.

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) FAQ
ID Verification Process Guide
CSS Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Guide


Follow these links to learn more or click the video link below to view a tutorial.

1. The claims process.
2. Register for work.
3. Search for work.

Video Resource

MyBenefitsVideo Tutorial | Learn how to create an account, apply for benefits and file a weekly claim.


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803.737.2400,  711 (TTY)

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