Thousands At Risk Of Losing Unemployment Insurance Benefits In South Carolina: What You Need To Know
COLUMBIA, S.C. Thousands of claimants in South Carolina are at risk of losing their unemployment insurance benefits.
Leaders with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce say thousands of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance recipients have not satisfied a federal documentation requirement that was outlined in the Continued Assistance Act.
The deadline for most PUA claimants is coming up on May 5.
DEW leaders say legislation clearly defines that anyone receiving PUA benefits had to show proof that they were either employed, self-employed, or had planned employment .
The agency does not want to turn off someones unemployment benefits, but if we do not receive that document by the May 5th deadline, we are actually federally required to stop payment on that individuals claim, and, in addition, we would have to collect any money that theyve received since the beginning of this year, said Heather Biance, DEW Spokesperson.
For some, that could be more than $10,000 they would have to pay back to DEW as an overpayment.
Claimants were given 90 days to provide an employment document if they filed for unemployment before January 31st of this year. That means for almost all of our PUA claimants, May 5th will be the 90-day deadline. So, claimants really need to get us these documents as soon as possible, Biance said.
To learn more about the requirement and what you need to submit to the SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce by .
What To Do After Submitting Your Ui Benefits Claim
After you apply for unemployment benefits in your state, you will be required to complete several additional tasks before you start receiving your weekly or bi-weekly UI paychecks. These mandatory tasks vary from state to state. Generally, the standard procedure requires you to register for work through a local workforce center, as you must be actively seeking employment to qualify for unemployment benefits. In addition, certain states, such as Colorado, will also ask you to verify your identity by completing a Verification of Personal Information form.
Covid + Credit: Unemployment And The Covid Pandemic
What to know if youve recently found yourself permanently or temporarily out of work because of COVID-19.
Reading time: 3 minutes
As of March 2020, the US is facing a sudden spike in unemployment benefits applications as the Covid pandemic forces many Americans into self-isolation and many businesses across the country to furlough workers or even shutter their doors. In light of these extraordinary events, the majority of states have temporarily expanded access to unemployment for those out of work because of the virus.
There are two main types of benefits available: First, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance covers those Americans unable to work because of the Coronavirus, including independent contractors, gig workers, sick people, and those caring for someone who has the virus. The second category is an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits through July 2020, for those who qualify for unemployment assistance in their state.
In addition, most states have expanded their unemployment assistance programs to provide for more Americans directly affected by the Covid pandemic quarantines and closures. If you have been kept from work due to one of the following circumstances related to the pandemic, you may be eligible for unemployment in your state:
If you have been kept from work due to the following circumstances, it’s possible that you will be eligible for unemployment assistance. However, access will vary by state and individual circumstance. You may qualify if:
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How To Qualify For South Carolina Unemployment Benefits
To meet eligibility requirements, the following must be true in most cases:
- The claimant must be unemployed or working less than full time
- If the claimant is working at some level, she must earn less than the weekly benefit amount
- The claimant must be willing, able, and available to accept suitable work when its offered
- The claimant must confirm eligibility for benefits each week, along with completing two job searches per week, which will need to be entered into the SC Works online portal for each week a claimant wants to receive benefits
I Was Turned Down For Benefits How Do I Appeal This Decision
Your appeal must be in writing, and it must be submitted within 10 days of the date the decision for denial was mailed to you. It may be submitted by mail, by fax or online through your MyBenefits account. Also you must keep filing your weekly claims regularly because you will only be paid for weeks you filed if you win your appeal.
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Unemployment Benefits Appeals In South Carolina
You must do things to make a claim for unemployment benefits. You must:
DEW’s website has information about each of these steps. If you do not follow these steps carefully, your benefits may be delayed or denied.
Apply for benefits
The first step to determining whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits is to apply through DEW’s MyBenefits portal. You will be required to answer a series of questions and given important log-in information.
Register for work
When you apply for benefits, you will be given log-in information for SC Works Online Services.You are required to log-in and create a resume on that website.
Search for work
You are required to conduct at least two work searches each week using SC Works Online Services. If you do not conduct the required two work searches using that webiste, DEW will stop your benefits for that week.
File weekly claim
For cases on appeal
If you have been denied benefits and are in the process of appealing your claim, you must continue to file weekly claims and conducting the required two work searches a week. If you fail to do these things, then even if your appeal is successful, you may not receive benefits.
Changes To Support You During Covid
Temporary changes have been made to the Employment Insurance program to help you access EI regular benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 2021, and could apply to you:
- the waiting period may be waived
- a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada
- if your regions unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, well use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits
Sections on this page impacted by these temporary changes are flagged as;Temporary COVID-19 relief.
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I Quit My Last Job Can I Still Receive Benefits
If you quit your last job, you are probably not able to receive employment benefits.However, if you can show that you left your job for good cause, you may still be eligible.Good cause means that you had a significant reason to leave your last job. Some examplesare racial or sexual harassment at work, large decrease in wages, or major changes inworking hours. If you can demonstrate that you left your job for a good reason, you may stillbe able to receive benefits.
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The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce has taken the following measures to help facilitate the Unemployment Insurance process for individuals and employers who have been affected by COVID-19.
2. The deadline to pay first quarter contributions has been extended from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020. Important: Employers will still need to submit their wage reports by the April 30, 2020 deadline so that the state will continue to have current data to evaluate workforce needs in South Carolina.
Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey said, These are just some of the many ways that our agency is working to react quickly and appropriately to this unique crisis. We ask for the publics patience as we continue to respond. Our agency has seen a 400 percent increase in claims filed this week and answered more than 4,000 phone calls from claimants yesterday alone. We will continue to identify changes and additions to our process that will address the increased needs of South Carolinians during this time.
Here is how these waivers have changed the process:
General Information about UI Benefits and How to File:
If you are uncertain about your eligibility, you are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.
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What Do I Have To Do While Receiving Benefits
You must remain able and available for work and register for work two weeks after yousubmit your initial claim. You may report your job hunting contacts by telephone throughthe TelClaim number at your local office or online via MyBenefits Portal each week. Update your résumé every 90 days. SC Works will help you with your job hunt and has job listings. You are responsible forseeking work on your own behalf, at least twice a week.You must accept any reasonable offer if the job is similar to the one you just lost. You mustreport any part-time or temporary work.
How To Apply Apply For Unemployment Benefits
To file a claim online, you must create an account on the UI Online portal. Please follow the steps below to create your UI Online account. For additional tutorials, please;
If you have previously filed for unemployment benefits and forgot your password:
1. Follow these instructions to reset your UI Online password.
You can also apply for unemployment benefits or get help with your application by calling the TeleClaim Center. The number you call depends on your area code:
- 626-6800 from area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978
- 626-6800 from any other area code
- 711 for Voice Relay
The TeleClaim Center hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.;
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I Was Fired From My Last Job Can I Still Receive Benefits
If you were fired from your last job, you may not be able to receive employment benefits.This means if you lost your last job through excessive absences or tardiness, you might notbe able to collect unemployment benefits. However, if you were fired, you should still applyfor benefits if you need them. In order for you to become ineligible, your former employermust have had good reason to fire you. While you may be found to have been fired for causeyou may be eligible for benefits after you serve a period of disqualification. If your employercannot prove this, you may still be eligible for benefits.
How Long Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits
As long as you meet the requirements outlined above, you can renew your unemployment claim each week, for a maximum of 20 weeks.
TheCARES Act included a provision to extend the maximum unemployment benefit period by as much as 13 weeks, so if you’re applying for unemployment in 2020, the maximum benefit period could be significantly longer.
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Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work
To maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for employment. If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. For the initial unemployment period, whether a position is suitable depends on several factors, including the level of skill and training required, the similarity between the work and your previous employment, how much the position pays, and the distance between the job site and your residence. However, as time goes on, you will be expected to modify your standards and consider accepting work that requires less skill or that pays lower wages.
You must conduct a reasonable search for work, which means contacting at least four employers each week. You should keep a record of your job search efforts, including the employers you have contacted, the dates you made contact, and the outcome. The DEW may contact you or your employer contacts to verify your efforts.
How Do I Apply For Benefits
As soon as you lose your job, you should go to your local Department of Employment andWorkforce or DEW Office. Look on DEWs website for the application through theMyBenefits Portal. You will fill out an application and may talk to an interviewer who willask questions to see if you qualify. You will need your Social Security number and the namesand addresses of your last employer.The interviewer will also talk to your employer and ask why you are no longer working. Amonetary eligibility decision will mailed to you, followed by a written decision. Theapplication process will probably take about three weeks.
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Who Is Eligible For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance :
The federal PUA program was created through the CARES Act to expand eligibility to those who are self-employed, 1099, gig workers, contractors, and those who lost their job as a direct result of COVID-19, but were not eligible for regular UI under South Carolina state law. The program also includes individuals who are unable to work as a direct result of one of the following COVID-19 reasons:
- They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
- A member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- They are providing care for a family member or a member of their household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- They are the primary caregiver for a child who is unable to attend school or daycare because the school or daycare has closed due to COVID-19, and the school or daycare is necessary for them to work;
- They are unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19;
- They are unable to reach the place of employment because a healthcare provider has advised them to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
- They were scheduled to start employment and could not or are unable to reach the new job as a direct result of COVID-19;
- They have become the breadwinner or major support for their household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19; or
- Their place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits
You may be eligible if: you earned enough wages to qualify; you are able and available to work and were unemployed for one week before applying; your job was covered by the state unemployment fund; you were laid off or unfairly fired; you quit for a good reason connected with your work. There are only a few reasons thatqualify; therefore it is important to get early advice.
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South Carolina Unemployment Application
You must submit your first, or initial, claim in order for DEW to start the process and determine if your circumstances meet eligibility requirements.
You can file this claim online through the MyBenefits portal, which you can access 24 hours a day anywhere there is Internet service including SC Works centers.
If you are filing a first-time claim with MyBenefits, you must create an account. All you will need to start the account is a valid email address.
The other way you can file is at a local SC Works center.
Applying will go fasterif you have the following important information handy:
1. Your Social Security number
2. Your work history for the past 18 months including:
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation
What It Is: $100 weekly add-on benefit for those who are eligible for regular UI benefits, but also earned self-employment income.
How It Is Changing: Beginning June 27, 2021, MEUC will no longer be available in South Carolina. Any claims for benefits for weeks of unemployment filed prior to June 27, 2021 will include MEUC benefits if an individual is eligible.
Beginning June 27, unemployment benefits in South Carolina will return to pre-pandemic policies. Individuals are eligible for state Unemployment Insurance if they:
- Are unemployed through no fault of their own.
- Have served their one-week waiting period after filing an initial claim.
- Are monetarily eligible, or have enough wages from past employers to qualify.
- Are able to work.
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After I Start Receiving Benefits What Do I Have To Do To Remain Eligible
You must econtinue to file weekly either online using your MyBenefits portal or by telephone. You must actively seek appropriate, full-time work. You must regularly report to your local Workforce Center. Also, you must make four employer contacts each week, keep a record of these contacts, and two of these contacts must be through SC Works Online Services.
If I Am Denied Benefits Or Dont Get As Much As I Think I Should Whatcan I Do
The two most common reasons for denial of UI benefits are misconduct and quitting yourjob. If you quit, you will generally lose all benefits. You have the right to appeal any decisionmade concerning your unemployment benefits. This appeal must be made within 10 days ofthe decision. If an appeal is made after 10 days have passed, it will not be considered.Forms for filing an appeal are available at the office where you made your initial claim.There is no charge for any appeal.
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