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The Process to Claim Unemployment Benefits in South Carolina

You may want to learn how to claim unemployment benefits in South Carolina if you are recently out of work. If your initial unemployment benefits claim is approved, the state will send you funds for each week you meet the requirements of the program. Although the amount of your unemployment benefits cannot replace your paycheck, it can help temporarily while you look for another job.

We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in South Carolina on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in South Carolina by reading below, checking out our South Carolina FAQs, and reading our free guide.

Learn About Unemployment Benefits in South Carolina

Businesses employing more than one person are required to pay into the state unemployment insurance fund, but certain types of farm labor and domestic services do not count as “covered” employment. If you are unsure about whether your employer paid unemployment insurance, you may need to contact your previous place of employment before attempting to claim unemployment benefits.

Your weekly benefit amount is calculated using the wages you earned during the most recent work year (base period). Although the amount you receive on a weekly basis will be based on your previous earnings, it will likely be less than you are used to earning.

The maximum weekly benefit is $326, but the average weekly benefit amount is $236.

If you claim unemployment benefits in South Carolina, you are allowed to work part-time. The state even encourages working and receiving benefits at the same time. Your federal unemployment benefits will not be reduced if you earn 25 percent or less of your weekly benefit amount.

But all recipients are obligated to report their gross earnings each week, even if they have not been paid yet. Failing to report your earnings can result in the department charging beneficiaries with unemployment insurance fraud.

If you are charged with fraud, you will be barred from receiving benefits for up to one year. In severe cases, you can face jail time and fines. You will also have to pay back any money you have been overpaid if you do not report your earnings.

Learn About Filing a Claim in South Carolina

You can file your initial and weekly claims for unemployment benefits online by creating a MyBenefits Portal account. Some information you may want to have on hand for the unemployment application process:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your work history for the past 18 months including:
    • Employers’ business names,
    • Employers’ addresses,
    • Employers’ phone numbers and
    • 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 (PDF) or SF-8 (PDF) Form.

Before you can claim unemployment benefits in South Carolina, you will need to choose a method of payment. One option is to have the state send your funds in the mail on an electronic Visa debit card.

You can use your card anywhere Visa is accepted, and you are allowed to withdraw cash from ATM machines and get cash back from stores. There are no fees associated with the card, but it will take you longer to receive your SC federal unemployment benefits if you choose to utilize this method.

The most common payment method for individuals claiming benefits for unemployment is direct deposit. When filing your claim for federal unemployment benefits, you will provide the account and routing number to your bank account, and once the account is verified, you will receive your payment two to three days later. Your bank account must be based in the United States in order to set up direct deposit.

Unemployment beneficiaries will need to claim unemployment benefits in South Carolina on a weekly basis. The amount a beneficiary receives will remain the same unless he or she chooses to seek part-time employment.

How Long You May Receive Benefits in South Carolina

In South Carolina, your claim can provide up to 20 weeks of benefits.  If you have not found employment, you may file for benefits until you reach your maximum benefit amount. Below is some important information about your maximum benefit amount:

  • It is the maximum amount of compensation you can receive during the year.
  • If you exceed this amount, you must wait until the following calendar year to file a new claim.
  • There are times when you can file for an unemployment benefits extension in SC if you meet or exceed your maximum amount.

You must stop receiving federal unemployment benefits in South Carolina once you accept an offer for suitable work. To stop claiming unemployment benefits, simply stop filing claims and accept your new job.

Learn About South Carolina Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes

Beneficiaries who are claiming benefits for unemployment in South Carolina will need to pay taxes on those benefits. Unemployed individuals can pay taxes in two ways, and the taxes must be paid in full by the usual tax season. The government does not automatically withhold funds from your unemployment benefits, so you can estimate the amount of taxes you owe and pay them four times during the year. Paying estimated taxes can be difficult, and if you underestimate the amount you owe, you will be forced to pay the following year.

If you filed an unemployment benefits claim and you don’t want to worry about paying quarterly estimated taxes, you can request to have a certain portion of your benefits withheld for tax payment each week. The amount you have withheld should be based on your benefit amount. This method is relatively easy, and it can ensure that you do not owe taxes on your SC federal unemployment benefits.  You can report your benefit payout on tax form 1099.

Last Updated: October 12, 2022