Employment and workforce waives the weekly search requirement for individuals who are unemployed due to Covid-19 and extends the tax deadline for employers.

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.

For claimants:

  1. The weekly work search requirement for claimants out of work due to COVID-19 has been suspended for claims filed March 15, 2020 through April 18, 2020.

For employers:

  1. 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 public’s 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:

  1. In order to maintain eligibility for UI benefits, individuals must be actively seeking work, which means they must conduct two job searches in the SC Works Online Services system each week. This activity helps decrease a person’s time from unemployment to reemployment. However, given the effects of COVID-19 on our state’s workforce, we are temporarily waiving this requirement to make it easier for claimants to receive benefits.
  2. Moving the tax deadline for employers helps alleviate the potential monetary burden on employers whose business has slowed or been temporarily shut down, but the wage report is still required. We are automatically applying this tax relief for all employers; employers do not need to take any additional action.

For general information about Unemployment Insurance benefits related to COVID-19, go to: https://dew.sc.gov/covid-hub.

General Information about UI Benefits and How to File:

For individuals who are sick and cannot work, out of work due to a school or daycare closing or caring for a family member with a COVID-related illness, but their employers is open – sick leave or paid time off, according to the company policy, would be the appropriate resource for this time away from work.

If a person is out of work due to a business closing, layoff or reduction in hours related to COVID-19, those individuals should file for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Moreover, there may be additional sources of funding for workers and businesses in the federal house bill HR 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

If an individual is uncertain about eligibility, they are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

How do I apply for benefits?

The Unemployment Insurance process is completed through a self-service online portal that can be conducted on any computer with internet connection.

A claimant must first file a claim for state unemployment benefits by visiting www.dew.sc.gov and clicking on the “MyBenefits Login” located at the top right corner of the home page.

  • If a claimant has previously filed for unemployment benefits and remember has credentials, login with the assigned username and password.
  • If a claimant has previously filed for unemployment benefits and does not remember their credentials, click “forgot username/password” link.
  • If this is If a claimant’s first time filing for unemployment benefits, click the “I am new here. I need to register now” link.