South Dakota Unemployment

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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

General Benefits Eligibility Criteria

To receive unemployment insurance benefits in South Dakota, you must meet the qualification requirements, file a claim for UI Benefits, and file weekly certifications. The first step is determining eligibility. Below you will see a checklist of eligibility factors you must meet to qualify for and receive South Dakota unemployment. Once eligibility is established you must file your claim with the UI Benefits office. This can be accomplished online or by phone. Specific step-by-step instruction of exactly how to file your claim are included in this article. Once your claim has been filed you will need to file weekly certification to maintain eligibility. Below you will learn exactly what information is required to be included. Information, tips, and guidelines for accomplishing all three steps are covered in this article.

Work Eligibility Criteria

In order to receive UI Benefits in South Dakota you must be able to demonstrate certain work and wage eligibility criteria and that there are no disqualifying events. The work eligibility requirements require that you demonstrate that:

  • you’re partially or totally unemployed,
  • It was not your fault that you lost your job,
  • you registered through SDWorks or, unless exempted, your assigned workforce agency,
  • you’re able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work by making personal contact with employers, and
  • you’ll accept suitable work when offered and will apply for work suitable for you when directed to do so.

If you meet the work eligibility requirements the next step is to demonstrate that you meet the wages eligibility criteria outlined below.

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Wages Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the work eligibility criteria outline above you must also demonstrate that you meet the wages eligibility criteria. Those criteria require that:

  • you earned a certain amount of wages in the last fifteen (15) to eighteen (18) months, that amount is currently set at seven hundred and twenty-eight dollars ($728.00), but does fluctuate; and
  • your employer paid UI Tax on your earned wages.

There are also some factors that can disqualify you from collecting UI Benefits. These include quitting a job or being discharged from a job. If you meet the above Work and Wages Eligibility Criteria and have no disqualifying events you should be able to successfully complete your application for benefits and collect UI Benefits.

Unemployment Availability Limits

South Dakota’s weekly benefit limit is one-twenty sixth (1/26) of wages received in the highest paying quarter of the base period, to a maximum amount determined by the state's average weekly wage. Currently the maximum weekly amount is three hundred and sixty-six dollars ($366.00).

You can collect UI Benefits for a maximum of twenty-six (26) weeks in South Dakota. Regardless of how much money you make, UI benefits will terminate if you work forty (40) hours or more or if your gross earnings exceed your benefit amount.  

Unemployment Extensions

There are no unemployment extensions available in South Dakota. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program and Extended Benefits (EB) were discontinued and no longer available as of December 2013. EUC was based on the high national unemployment rate. When the rate improved in 2011-2012, South Dakota discontinued both programs.