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SC Department of Employment and Workforce waives job search requirement for losses due to coronavirus

Weekly job search requirement for those applying for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 layoffs suspended, tax extension for employers okayed
Credit: AP
Unemployment graphic

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolinians who find themselves unemployed because of layoffs due to the coronavirus emergency will have one less thing to worry about.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the agency responsible for handling Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, has announced a temporary waiver of the weekly job search requirement for those applying for UI benefits. 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.

Additionally, employers will be granted a tax extension to pay first quarter contributions. Employers will now have until to June 1, 2020, to pay their taxes, although it is important to note that they 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.

In a memo from SC DEW, 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.” 

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. 

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