South Carolina Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program Update
South Carolina is ready to get back to business. Employers statewide are eager to hire the workforce that drives our economy and builds our communities. This includes the large businesses that have made South Carolina home, supporting thousands with competitive salaries, benefits, and on the job training and promotion opportunities, as well as the small businesses that drive the local economies and community character.
SC Works centers around the state have services and resources to help prepare individuals for the job search process, as well as relationships with employers. They are ready to connect job seekers with job fairs, hiring events, referrals, interviews and recommendations.
As per Gov. Henry McMaster’s directive on May 6, 2021, South Carolina will opt out of the federal pandemic programs with claim week ending June 26, 2021. Click here to read the letter from Governor McMaster.
This means that beginning June 27, 2021, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce will return to pre-pandemic, state unemployment operations. Here is a summary of the changes to each federal program and an overview of state UI. The PDF version can be viewed here (Español).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
What It Is: Benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors and individuals who have been unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19. This includes individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or instructed to quarantine.
How It Is Changing: Beginning June 27, 2021, PUA will no longer be available in South Carolina. Any claims for benefits filed for weeks of unemployment ending prior to June 27, 2021 will include PUA benefits if an individual is eligible.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
What It Is: Extension of unemployment benefits for claimants beyond the traditional 20 weeks by an additional 53 weeks. PEUC allowed claimants to extend their time on unemployment where they normally would have expired.
How It Is Changing: Beginning June 27, 2021, PEUC will no longer be available in South Carolina, and claimants who have exhausted their regular UI benefits will no longer be eligible for payments. Any claims for benefits filed for weeks of unemployment ending prior to June 27, 2021 will include PEUC benefits if an individual is eligible.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
What It Is: $300 weekly add-on benefit for all types of unemployment assistance.
How It Is Changing: Beginning June 27, 2021, FPUC will no longer be available in South Carolina. Any claims for benefits filed for weeks of unemployment ending prior to June 27, 2021 will include FPUC benefits if an individual is eligible.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
What It Is: $100 weekly add-on benefit for those who are eligible for regular UI benefits, but also earned self-employment income.
How It Is Changing: Beginning June 27, 2021, MEUC will no longer be available in South Carolina. Any claims for benefits for weeks of unemployment filed prior to June 27, 2021 will include MEUC benefits if an individual is eligible.
Here’s What South Carolina Unemployment Insurance Looks Like Starting June 27, 2021.
To be eligible for state Unemployment Insurance (UI), individuals must:
- Be unemployed through no fault of their own.
- Have served their one-week waiting period after filing an initial claim.
- Be monetarily eligible (have enough wages from past employers to qualify).
- Be able to work.
- Be available for work.
- Actively seek work.
- This is done through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) each week that an individual files a weekly certification for unemployment insurance benefits.
- Not refuse suitable work, if offered.
- South Carolina regulations allow claimants to receive up to 20 weeks of UI benefits.
- Eligible claimants will receive a weekly benefit amount ranging from $42 to $326 per week, based on their previous earnings.