South Carolina Unemployment

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Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment Benefits Compensation

The DEW distributes unemployment compensation to qualified workers on a weekly basis. The benefit amounts you receive depend on how much income you earned in the first four quarters of your base period.

Max Weekly Benefit Amt.


Max Weeks of Benefits


Max Benefit Amount


In South Carolina, if you did not earn enough income during the traditional base period, you may still qualify for unemployment compensation using the Alternate Base Period. The alternate base period is the last four quarters before you filed your claim. You can only use the alternate base period if you did not qualify for unemployment compensation using the traditional base period. If you use the alternate base period, you can only calculate benefits based on income earned from employers covered by SC Code.

You can estimate how much unemployment insurance compensation you could be eligible to receive, but the best way to find out your maximum unemployment benefit amount is to submit an application to DEW. There are no penalties for being denied benefits when you apply with accurate information.

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Calculating South Carolina Unemployment Benefit Amounts

Determine Your Weekly Benefit Amount

Your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is approximately 50 percent of your average weekly wage. To find your average weekly wage, add up your total income from the quarter in your base period where you earned the most money. Divide the sum by 13 to find your average weekly wage. Divide your average weekly wage by 2 to find your WBA.

Determine Your Maximum Benefit Amount

There are two formulas you can use to find your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA).  The maximum WBA over a 20-week period is $326, which is a maximum of $6,520 during the life of any claim. The lesser sum of the following formulas will be the MBA you can collect in unemployment insurance compensation during a calendar year.

  1. Twenty (20) times your WBA
  1. One-third of your total base period wages. If this formula is used, your final benefit payment may be less than your regular weekly benefit amount.