Unemployment Office

The unemployment insurance (UI) program provides temporary financial support for unemployed individuals, and it serves as an income protection for individuals who are seeking employment. The UI program is managed by the South Carolina Employment Security Commission (SCESC).


Eligibility & Benefits

The UI program can provide you with some compensation for loss of wages due to unemployment, as long as you are unemployed through no fault of your own. Similarly, you can benefit from this program as long as you have earned wages in the state of South Carolina over the last 12 to 18 months. Moreover, both you and your last employer will need to complete a questionnaire regarding your reason(s) for separation from employment. Therefore, you need to be honest, accurate, and detailed in your responses and UI claim, as your employer must confirm the information you provide to the SCESC.

Aside from these specific requirements, you must meet some basic eligibility requirements. For instance, you must be willing to work, available to work, and physically able to work. More importantly, you cannot refuse work if it is offered to you through a reemployment service program (RES). As part of continued eligibility, you must submit a work search record to the SCESC at least once per month; it will be used to prove that you are actively seeking employment while receiving UI benefits.

As previously discussed, your earnings must have come from the state of South Carolina; this is because your earnings will be used to determine your monetary eligibility for UI benefits. Your weekly and maximum benefit amounts will also be dependent upon these earnings. A specific 12-month period will be used to determine your earnings and monetary eligibility; this period is known as your “base period.” In specific, the base period is made up of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters of the calendar year.

In South Carolina, the maximum benefit amount that you can receive is $326 per week, and the minimum amount is $42 per week; however, most claimants will receive an amount that falls within this range. In addition, the maximum number of weeks that you can receive UI benefits will range between 15 and 26 weeks, depending on the earnings in your base period. In any case, you will need to serve a one-week waiting period before you can begin receiving payments; this week will not be paid, but it must be claimed in your benefit year. You also cannot work during this waiting period.

How to File a Claim

You must reside in the state of South Carolina to apply for UI benefits; therefore, it is recommended that you apply in person at any local SCESC office. For the application process, you will need your Social Security Number (SSN), current address, phone number, and an additional piece of identification to prove your date of birth. Furthermore, you will need the details of your employment history from the last 18 months, such as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your previous employers. You must also include the reasons for separation from all the positions mentioned in your claim. For more information about the UI program, you can visit the SCESC website.

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Department of Employment and Workforce 1550 Gadsden St Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 737-2400 View Website Unemployement Claim File