South Carolina Unemployment Eligibility Information

Are You Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in South Carolina? 

Your eligibility for unemployment in South Carolina will be determined by the Department of Employment and Workforce. This department is responsible for choosing who qualifies for unemployment, and ensuring chosen individuals continue to meet the qualifications on a weekly basis. After losing your job, you may find yourself asking “What are the qualifications to get unemployment?”

By reading the following material, South Carolina residents will gain an understanding of the following issues: 

•    Determining your unemployment insurance eligibility in South Carolina 
•    General eligibility for unemployment in South Carolina 
•    Monetary eligibility for unemployment in South Carolina 
•    South Carolina unemployment insurance eligibility and domestic violence 

Determining Your Unemployment Eligibility in South Carolina

The state of South Carolina can only determine your eligibility for unemployment if you file a claim first. The unemployment insurance fund is sustained through employer payroll taxes, so workers are not obliged to pay for their own benefits. Unemployment insurance eligibility rules and regulations are detailed in Title 41 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. 

General Eligibility for Unemployment in South Carolina  

Learning how to qualify for unemployment in South Carolina can be complicated, but the guidelines below can help unemployed individuals develop a general understanding. Unemployment applicants will meet state qualifications for unemployment in SC if they meet the following criteria: 

•    Are currently unemployed or working part-time and receiving weekly wages that are less than their benefit amount. 
•    Are able to perform work. 
•    Are unemployed through no fault of your own. 
•    Actively search for work and report their efforts to the department. 
•    Report to their local SC Works center, if required. 

An unemployment applicant’s continued eligibility for EDD will depend on their willingness to look for work. You are expected to return to work as soon as possible, and you must provide information about each job offer you receive. If you receive a job offer that pays at least 90 percent of your previous salary during your first eight weeks of unemployment, or you are offered a job that pays at least 75 percent of your previous salary, and you are qualified to do the work, you will be required to accept the position. If you elect to work part-time, you will need to report all of your weekly earnings to the department. 

In addition to the above requirements, your eligibility for unemployment in SC will be negatively impacted if you were discharged for any of the reasons listed below: 

•    You were discharged for performance or conduct-related reasons. 
•    You voluntarily resigned without good cause. 
•    You voluntarily retired. 
•    You refused an acceptable job offer. 
•    You joined a labor dispute or strike. 

If you turn down a job that the state classifies as “suitable,” you will be required to explain your reasoning. If the department does not agree with your decision, your benefits will be discontinued.  

Monetary Eligibility for Unemployment in South Carolina 

There are also monetary qualifications for unemployment in South Carolina. During your time at work, you must have met the following earnings criteria: 

  • Earned a total of $4,455 or more during your most recent base period. 
  • Earned at least $1,092 during your highest-grossing base period while working for an employer who paid unemployment insurance taxes.
  • Your combined base period earnings are greater than or equal to 1.5 times the amount you earned during your highest-grossing quarter. 

In South Carolina, a base period is defined as one year of insured work. The wages you earned during this year will be the primary determining factor in regards to your eligibility for EDD. If you did not earn enough income during your standard base period, then you can request that the department review your earnings from an alternate base period.  

South Carolina Unemployment Eligibility and Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence victims may meet the South Carolina unemployment insurance eligibility standards, even if they voluntarily resigned from work or were terminated. You will be required to provide proof of domestic violence issues to the Department of Employment and Workforce when filing your initial claim. The state will accept documentation such as police reports, medical records, court records, or attorney statements that support your case. If you left your job for any of the following reasons, you may still meet the unemployment insurance eligibility standards: 

•    You needed to relocate to avoid potential abuse. 
•    You feared abuse on your way to and/or from your workplace. 
•    Leaving your employer was necessary for the well-being and safety of your family. 

You may also meet the SC qualifications for unemployment if you voluntarily quit or were discharged for the following reasons: 

•    You suffered from an illness, injury, or disability. 
•    A parent, child, or spouse became ill or disabled. 
•    Your spouse accepted employment in another state, and you were forced to relocate. 

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