When you file for unemployment benefits, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) investigates the claim. The agency will contact you and your former employer and then issue a letter detailing its initial finding on your eligibility for benefits. The letter will list any points of law it considered in making the determination.
If you disagree with the determination, you have the right to file an appeal. Each determination letter contains detailed appeal rights and information; make sure to read this information thoroughly. Your former employer, or any employer whose unemployment insurance tax account is affected by your claim, can also appeal the decision.
And if you disagree with the decision after the initial appeal, you can file a subsequent appeal to the Appellate Panel. This must occur within 10 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the Appeal Tribunal decision.
It is important that you continue to file your claim for benefits while an appeal is pending. Continuing to file for weekly unemployment benefits gives you credit for weeks between when the appeal was filed and the decision. Failure to file weekly claims may result in the loss of benefits, even if you win the appeal.
Appeal Hearing Notice
Claimants and employers will receive a hearing notice notifying them of the date and time of the telephone appeal hearing. If you receive this notice and the phone number listed is no longer the correct or updated number to reach you for the hearing, it is your responsibility to notify our staff of the change.
Failure to provide an updated phone number for the hearing and failure to participate in the hearing may result in dismissal of the appeal or your interests being considered abandoned.
You can provide your phone number simply by clicking the button below and following the prompted steps.
Step 1: Click register if this is your first time using the online service for this Appeal Number (as indicated on the hearing notice).
Step 2: Click update if you have already registered for this Appeal Number, have received a confirmation number and need to update the phone number previously provided for this appeal hearing.
How to file an appeal?
You may file an appeal one of three ways:
- Online by clicking on the Determination History tab in the MyBenefits portal and selecting the Eligibility Determination you wish to appeal. Important - Uploading a document on the portal will NOT take the place of completing the appeal filing process.
- By completing and mailing a Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal Form (APP-100) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include your name, Claimant ID or Social Security number, and your handwritten signature.
- By completing and faxing a Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal Form (APP-100) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include your name, Claimant ID or Social Security number, and your handwritten signature.
By law you must file your appeal within 10 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the determination. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or recognized holiday, the appeal period extends to the next business day.
All appeal documents (APP-100, APP-107 [CM1] and APP-111) must contain the handwritten signature of the party completing the document before they will be accepted. After completing the appropriate document please print, sign and return it to DEW’s Appeals Division via fax or regular mail at the address or number provided on the form and below.
S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
P.O. Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202
Appeals Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens after I mail my appeal?
Once DEW receives your appeal request, there are several actions that are taking place before the hearing, including:
- Attaching the appeal request to your claim.
- Determining whether the requirements for filing an appeal have been met.
- Reviewing information in your claim file to determine the issues under appeal.
- Determining an available date/time to schedule your hearing.
- Reviewing the evidence submitted in advance of the hearing by all parties.
- How long does the appeals process take?
It could take 60-120 days from the date you send in your appeal request to receive a decision on your appeal.
- What can I do to prepare for my hearing?
- Read the hearing notice carefully.
- Read all documents that came with the hearing notice to know what has been said about the case. This will help you decide which witnesses should testify in the hearing.
- Gather all documents, recordings and other evidence that support your case.
- If you intend on providing evidence in the appeal, this information must be provided to DEW and the other party at least 24 hours before the hearing date. If you do not do this, the hearing officer may not take that evidence into consideration when making a decision in the case.
- Choose your witnesses and arrange for them to be available for the hearing.
- Make sure your primary phone number is current in the MyBenefits portal. Failure to provide an updated phone number for the hearing and failure to participate in the hearing may result in dismissal of the appeal or your interests being considered abandoned.
- If you receive a hearing notice and the phone number is not the correct number to reach you for the hearing, it is your responsibility to notify the agency of the change.
- You can do this by clicking the “Update Your Phone Number For Your Appeal Hearing” button located above.
- How are hearings scheduled?
The appeal tribunal schedules hearings in the order in which appeal requests are received. The appeal tribunal will mail a written hearing notice detailing the date, time and location as well as the specific issues to be covered in the hearing. The notice will be mailed no less than seven days prior to the hearing.
- Where are hearings held?
Most hearings are held via telephone and some are held in person at a DEW office or SC Works center in very limited circumstances.
- How are hearings conducted?
An administrative hearing officer conducts the appeal hearing by placing all witnesses under oath and taking relevant testimony.
During the hearing all interested parties have the opportunity to ask questions of witnesses and submit any relevant evidence in order to make a fair and informed decision.
- Who is the administrative hearing officer?
The administrative hearing officer is an unbiased professional that fairly develops the record with equal consideration to all parties present and has no vested interest in the case’s outcome.
Administrative hearing officers serve as impartial judges of the facts presented and issue written decisions after the hearing.
- Do I really need to participate in the hearing?
Yes. The appeal hearing is the only opportunity you will have to present testimony and evidence to support your case. The record developed during the hearing will be the only record the department will use when making a decision on your claim during the appeals process.
If you are the appellant and you choose not to participate, your appeal may be dismissed.
If you are not the appellant and you choose not to participate, the department will hold the hearing without you and make a decision based on the appellant’s testimony.
- What if I can't participate in my hearing?
If you cannot participate in the hearing, notify the appeal tribunal at 803-737-2520 as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the appeal tribunal may postpone your hearing upon receiving faxed documents confirming a scheduling conflict. Postponed hearings will be rescheduled for telephone hearings only.
- Do I need evidence or witnesses?
Because the appeal hearing will be your only opportunity to present your case, you should bring any evidence or witnesses that support your case.
Witnesses with firsthand knowledge are very important in your appeal presentation. Hearsay, or second-hand information, is not as valuable as direct evidence.
You can also submit relevant written documentation to support your case. Such documents typically would be from the period of employment or related to the issue under appeal. The administrative hearing officer will determine how and whether your evidence will be considered.
If you choose to present documentation, you must submit copies to DEW for the hearing officer and send copies to the opposing party, at least 24 hours before the hearing, or it may not be considered.
- What if I'm unable to get a witness or document for my case?
The department can issue a subpoena to compel an individual's participation or to produce evidence either party needs for their case.
An Application for Issuance of Witness Subpoena (App-107) can be picked up at a Connection Point near you or downloaded by clicking the link. On the application you must provide a name, address, telephone number and the specific reason you are requesting a document or a witness’s participation. Subpoenas cannot be served on addresses outside of South Carolina.
A senior hearing officer or his/her designee determines whether a subpoena will be issued on a case-by-case basis.
- How will I find out the result of the appeal hearing?
The administrative hearing officer will mail a written decision based on the evidence and testimony collected during the hearing. This decision will be mailed to the addresses on record of all parties involved. A copy of the decision will also be posted in the interested party’s self-service portal.
- What If I disagree with the hearing officer's decision?
If you disagree with the hearing officer's decision you have the right to appeal to the appellate panel.
Appeals to the Appellate Panel
The appellate panel acts as a board of review and is confined to the record developed during the initial hearing.
The appellate panel cannot consider new evidence or testimony.
You may file an appeal one of three ways:
- Online by clicking on the Determination History tab on the MyBenefits portal and selecting the Eligibility Determination you wish to appeal. Important - Uploading a document on the portal will NOT take the place of completing the appeal filing process.
- By completing and mailing a Notice of Appeal to the Appellate Panel Form [CM1] (APP-111) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include your name, Claimant ID or Social Security number, and your handwritten signature.
- By completing and faxing a Notice of Appeal to the Appellate Panel Form [CM2] (APP-111) or writing an appeal letter detailing your disagreement with the determination. Your appeal form or letter must include your name, Claimant ID or Social Security number, and your handwritten signature.
Your appeal must be filed within 10 calendar days of the mailing date listed on the appeal tribunal decision. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or recognized holiday, the appeal period extends to the next business day.
Appeals may be submitted by mail or fax using the information listed below.
S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
P.O. Box 1752
Columbia, SC 29202
By law, if you disagree with the appellate panel's decision you can appeal to the South Carolina Administrative Law Court within 30 days of the mailing date listed on the appellate panel's decision. Contact the South Carolina Administrative Law Court for more information.
The appellate panel is comprised of three members who are elected by the General Assembly to serve four-year terms. Though housed in the appellate division of DEW, the panel is separate and distinct from DEW. The panel’s sole function is to rule on appeals of decisions made by the administrative hearing officers.
View the 2020-2024 appellate panelists below.
The Appellate Panel Office
631 Hampton Street
C. Lem Harper Building
Columbia, SC 29202
Note: Panelists are prohibited from speaking to claimants, employers and/or their attorney or representatives prior to the scheduled hearings.