South Carolina Unemployment

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File for Unemployment in South Carolina

To file for unemployment insurance, you must submit an initial claim on the DEW website. DEW will review your claim and determine whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits and how much you will receive. South Carolina requires that all initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits be filed online. If you don’t have access to the internet, DEW suggests visiting your local library or any SC Works Center to use a computer free of charge.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

Follow these steps to successfully file for unemployment in South Carolina:

  1. Go to MyBenefits portal
  2. Click “Create an Account”
  3. Create a User ID and password.
  4. Select an image for security purposes.
  5. Write down your account information
  6. Click “Continue”
  7. Check the email address you provided and open the email from SCDEW Support
  8. Click on the link to verify your email address
  9. Enter your Login information
  10. Select three security questions and answers
  11. Download and read the  Applicant Handbook
  12. Click on “Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits”
  13. Follow the prompts to enter your information and answer questions accurately
  14. Save your confirmation information once you have completed the application

Unemployed? We want to help.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

You will need the following documents and information when filing for unemployment:

  • Social Security Number
  • Your physical and mailing address
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Valid photo ID or state driver’s license
  • Work history for the last 18 months
  • All Employer contact information, including business names, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Salary information for each employer
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen: Your Alien Registration Number
  • If you served in the military during the last 18 months: Form DD-214, Member 4
  • If you were a federal civilian employee: Form SF-50 or SF-8

Claim Weekly Benefits

To receive weekly unemployment insurance benefits, you must file a claim to determine continued eligibility for every week you wish to receive benefit payments. Each week you request to receive benefits for is called a “claim week.” You should not file a claim for weeks you are not eligible to receive benefits. Some reasons you may not be eligible for benefits include if you are on vacation or out of state, you become unable to work due to illness or injury, or you earn more than your benefit payment for that week. You can reopen your claims when you become eligible again simply by filing a weekly claim. Filing your weekly claim is easy and you can do it online or over the phone.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

After filing your unemployment application, you must certify that you still meet the eligibility requirements every week by filing a weekly claim. You must file your weekly claim within two weeks of the ending date of the claim week you are filing. When filing your weekly claims, you will be asked if you worked, received any money, looked for work, were available for work, and if you turned down any job offers. Answer honestly to avoid potential disqualification, overpayment, or possible criminal penalties for fraud.

To file a weekly claim for unemployment insurance benefits online, log in to your MyBenefits account, and select “File Your Weekly Claim.” Follow the instructions on the Online Claimant System to submit your claim.

To file your a weekly claim for unemployment insurance by phone: Set up an account with TelClaim using your Social Security number, and select a four-digit PIN, making sure you write your PIN down and keep it in a safe place where you can find it.* You can also use TelClaim to check your claim week’s ending date and check your payment status. Listen carefully, and follow the instructions, using the phone’s numbers to answer all of the questions. Do not hang up until you hear, “Your claim has been accepted.” If you don’t hear that message, your claim has not been filed. If you make a mistake, you can call back until 6 pm the same day to file another claim.

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reviews all unemployment insurance applications. There are a number of reasons your claim could be denied or discontinued. Most denials and disqualifications result from inaccurate information or lack of evidence. To avoid having your claim denied or withdrawn, make sure you always provide thorough, accurate information, and keep hold of all documents that show evidence of your claims. If your application is denied or disqualified, and you disagree with DEW’s determination, you have the right to file an appeal.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

You may submit a “Request for Reconsideration” if you disagree with a determination. The request must be received and filed with DEW within 10 days of the mailing date listed on your determination letter. You can file a request online through your MyBenefits account by mail or via fax. If the 10th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, the date is moved forward to the following business day. You should continue to file weekly unemployment insurance claims while your appeal is being considered.

There are three levels of appeals in South Carolina. The Appeal Tribunal decides on first-level appeals. If the Appeal Tribunal also denies your claim, you have the right to request reconsideration by the Appellate Panel. If your claim is again denied, you have an option to file a final request with the Administrative Law Court of South Carolina. When submitting a “Request for Reconsideration” in writing, include your name, Social Security Number, the date of the determination against you, the reasons for the appeal, and your signature. Also, include accurate contact information so you can receive a prompt reply.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

You can file first and second appeals using your MyBenefits account.  

To file an appeal by mail or fax:

South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce

Appeal Tribunal

P.O. Box 995

Columbia, S.C. 29202

Fax: 803-737-0287


South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce

Appellate Panel

P.O. Box 1752

Columbia, S.C. 29202

Fax: 803-737-3166