The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

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Are you a young person looking for part-time or summer work? Explore the Youth Employment Site! 

Weekly Benefit Amount

The weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount of money you are paid for each week that you are found eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The weekly benefit amount in South Carolina ranges from a minimum of $42 a week to a maximum of $326 a week, before taxes.

The maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the amount of money you can be paid over the life of a claim. Each claim is established for a year from the effective date of the claim. The maximum benefit amount includes up to 20 weeks of benefits.

The WBA and the MBA are calculated only from wages earned from an employer covered by the South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 41 as base-period wages.

Please note, you are responsible for paying income taxes on all unemployment benefits received. DEW does not automatically withhold federal and state taxes from your weekly payment. Learn more about paying taxes below.

Benefit Year

Your benefit year will run one (1) year from the effective date your first or new claim. During this benefit year, you may receive a weekly benefit amount for each week in which you are unemployed and otherwise meet the eligibility requirements of the law, until the maximum benefit amount, as shown on the initial determination, has been paid to you. If you exhaust your maximum benefit amount before the end of the benefit year, you must wait until the end of the benefit year before you may file a new initial claim for benefits.

Paying Taxes

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), when filing your income taxes you must include all unemployment benefits received in your total income from the year.

DEW does not automatically withhold federal and state taxes from your weekly payment. When filing your initial claim, you must choose to have federal and state taxes withheld from your weekly payment; otherwise DEW will not withhold them. Federal withholdings are 10 percent of your total benefit and state withholdings are 7 percent.

You may change your withholding option at any time on the MyBenefits portal.


Need to make estimated tax payments? See IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax (PDF) or see Form 1040-ES (PDF).

Need more information? Visit the IRS website on Unemployment Compensation.