The Claims Process

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims process is made up of three steps. You must:

1. Apply for benefits.
2. Register for work.
3. Search for work.

Apply for Benefits

Your first step is to submit an initial claim in order for DEW to determine if your circumstances meet the eligibility requirements of the UI program. Filing a claim is the only way for eligibility to be determined.

Initial claims are filed online through the MyBenefits portal. Use our guides to learn more about using the portal:

Creating a username and password.
Registering an account.
Filing your initial UI claim.
Filing weekly claims.
Reset your username or password.

Once you have submitted your application, DEW will review your claim and determine if you qualify for benefits.

Within a week after applying, you will receive a Monetary Determination by mail outlining your potential weekly and maximum benefits amounts. The maximum weekly benefit amount in South Carolina is $326 before taxes. A Monetary Determination only outlines your monetary eligibility, and does not mean that you meet all eligibility requirements.

You may be asked to submit certain types of information to DEW in order to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits. This can be competed through the upload feature in the benefits portal, faxed or emailed. For more information on how to do this, please contact 1-866-831-1724.

You should receive a final eligibility decision by mail within 21 days of receiving the Monetary Determination. If you are deemed eligible, please note that you will not be paid for the first week of eligibility in each benefit year; this is considered a waiting week.

You may check your benefit status via MyBenefits or TelClaim.

When applying for benefits, you will choose to receive benefit payments by debit card or direct deposit. For more information, please visit our payment page. Please note that you are required to pay taxes on UI benefits.

The information you provide DEW when filing a claim for UI is held confidential but may be shared with other state and/or federal agencies administering unemployment insurance programs or other government programs.

How do I register for work?

How do I search for work?


Claims process resources

Initial claims are filed online through the MyBenefits portal. Learn more about using the portal here.

You should also make sure to download the Claimant Handbook and read it thoroughly.

If you don't have computer access, you can apply online at one of many service locations across the state.

If you need assistance applying for benefits, claims representatives are available through TelClaim at 1-866-831-1724 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Filing your claim will go faster if you have the following important information handy:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your work history for the past 18 months including:
    • Employers’ business names,
    • Employers’ addresses,
    • Employers’ phone numbers and
    • Your salary for each employer
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number and documentation.
  • If you served in the military in the past 18 months, DD-214 Form (Member 4 copy).
  • If you are a federal civilian employee, SF-50 or SF-8 Form.

If you are filing from out-of-state click here.


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803.737.2400,  711 (TTY)

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