South Carolina jobless claims leap 108% in a week

Thursday, April 2, 2020

South Carolina unemployment claims by county.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce has released new data regarding the number of unemployment insurance claims in the state.

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In the week ending March 28, the number of claims in the state was 64,856 -- an increase of approximately 108.85% from the previous week’s count of 31,054 and a 3,149.3% increase from the week ending March 14.

BIGGER PICTURE | US unemployment claims hit 6.6 million

This means there were 64,856 individuals who both live and work in the state of South Carolina who filed an initial claim during the final full week of March.

What you should know about the unemployment insurance process

• The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law, but these benefits are not yet available and the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce is awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor for state-specific implementation. For those who have already filed an unemployment insurance claim, please continue to file your weekly claim. For those who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, and gig economy workers, or requesting an extension of benefits and are not currently filing weekly claims, please continue to visit SC DEW’s website at dew.sc.gov, as they will continue to provide additional information and guidance as it becomes available.

• Visit SC DEW’s COVID-19 Resource Hub and social media as they will be communicating how this legislation will affect their process as soon as they know more.

• Due to the influx of unemployment claims being filed, the national system known as ICON hub, which all states use to validate social security numbers on claims in real time, is being overwhelmed with validation requests. SC DEW is required to validate social security numbers to avoid fraud and prevent identity theft. The Department of Labor is aware and is working to expand its database capacity.

• The unemployment insurance claims process is 100 percent online. You do not have to visit an SC Works center to file for benefits. There is no “in-person” process.

• Most of the questions the agency is receiving through their call center can be found on their website at dew.sc.gov and their YouTube page SC DEW.

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