Unfortunately, unemployment beneficiaries cannot apply for an unemployment benefits extension in South Carolina. At the end of the benefit year, many individuals find themselves asking “What can I do to extend unemployment?” However, there are currently no unemployment extension programs available. The last unemployment benefits program was enacted by the federal government, and Congress elected to end it in 2013.
Learn About the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program in South Carolina
Unemployment beneficiaries wanting to know how to get an unemployment extension in SC should know that extension programs are only available during times when the nation is experiencing high rates of unemployment. In 2008, the federal government decided to create the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which allowed out-of-work individuals to file claims beyond the usual state-mandated cutoff dates. During the Great Recession, many unemployment beneficiaries asked themselves, “How can I extend unemployment in South Carolina?” Fortunately, many beneficiaries were automatically granted an unemployment compensation extension if they qualified for one. Congress voted to put billions of dollars towards the program, which ended in late 2013.
Normally, states are in charge of overseeing their own unemployment benefits extension programs, but during times of high unemployment, the federal government will enact the EUC program. It is to the advantage of the government to do this because unemployed workers cannot contribute to the economy. If wide-scale unemployment occurs, and no one can contribute, more jobs will be lost, and the country could face severe economic damage. Providing workers with a federal unemployment extension helps to keep the economy afloat and ensures that workers have enough resources to make ends meet.
To qualify for a federal unemployment extension in South Carolina, or any other place, your home state must meet certain federal standards. These standards take the unemployment rate of each state into consideration, and to better understand the national economic climate, states are placed into one of the four tiers below:
- Tier One: unemployed individuals would receive a maximum unemployment extension of 14 additional weeks of benefits, regardless of the state they lived in.
- Tier Two: unemployed individuals would be eligible for up to 14 additional weeks of benefits if they resided in a state with an unemployment rate of at least six percent.
- Tier Three: unemployed individuals could receive up to nine additional weeks of benefits if they lived in a state with an unemployment rate of at least seven percent.
- Tier Four: unemployed individuals could receive up to seven additional weeks of benefits if they resided in a state with an unemployment rate of nine percent or higher.
Usually, the state distributes unemployment benefits, but the EUC program allowed the federal government to intervene.
Learn About the Extended Benefits Program in South Carolina
Workers were not eligible for a South Carolina unemployment extension through the Extended Benefits (EB) program. This program was also created by the federal government, and it allowed workers to extend their benefits until the program expired. The EB program, like the EUC, required states to meet certain standards before it distributed benefits to its residents. However, as the economy improved, Congress no longer saw a need for the EUC or EB program.
Learn About Alternatives to a South Carolina Unemployment Extension
If there is no way to get an unemployment extension in South Carolina, individuals will need to rely on their own funds. This may sound like a daunting task to some, but there are ways to ensure that your needs are met after your unemployment funds expire.
If you have exceeded your maximum benefit amount or your benefit year is coming to an end, try following some of the following tips if you cannot get an unemployment compensation extension in SC:
- Have you tried registering with a temporary employment agency? These agencies help job seekers find temporary employment, and you will be matched to a job that utilizes your particular skill set. Many of these temp positions have the potential to become permanent.
- If you cannot get an unemployment extension in SC, you may need to take a job that pays slightly less. Even though this is not the most ideal option, the job can provide for you and your family until you find a better position.
- State-sponsored career development classes are held at Career Centers across South Carolina. These classes will show you how to find the perfect job, and state representatives can even help you look for work. Attending one of these classes will count as a job contact for the week.