Employment and Workforce to waive the waiting week for South Carolinians seeking unemployment benefits due to COVID-19

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With the announcement by Gov. McMaster this afternoon, Executive Order No. 2020-11 allows the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce to waive the one-week waiting period for individuals who file for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits between March 15, 2020 and April 18, 2020.

Under state law, if an individual qualifies for regular UI benefits they must serve a waiting week for which they will not be paid. However, under Executive Order 2020-11, if a person qualifies for UI benefits as a result of COVID-19, they can expect to receive payment approximately one week faster.

Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey said, “We are grateful for the responsiveness of Team South Carolina and the governor who are allowing us to react quickly and act in the best interest of the people of our great state. We are continuing to look for avenues to support businesses and those individuals impacted by COVID-19.”

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 your 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 you are uncertain about your eligibility, you 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 completed on any computer with internet connection.

You 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 you have previously filed for unemployment benefits and remember your credentials, login with your username and password.

If you have previously filed for unemployment benefits and do not remember your credentials, click “forgot username/password” link.

If this is your first time filing for unemployment benefits, click the “I am new here. I need to register now” link.

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