State waives weekly search requirement for those unemployed due to virus
The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce has taken the following measures to help facilitate the Unemployment Insurance process for individuals and employers affected by COVID-19, the coronavirus.
The weekly work search requirement for claimants out of work due to COVID-19 has been suspended for claims filed March 15-April 18.
The deadline to pay first quarter contributions has been extended from April 30 to June 1. Important: Employers will still need to submit their wage reports by the April 30 deadline so that the state will continue to have current data to evaluate workforce needs in South Carolina.
Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey said, “These are just some of the many ways that our agency is working to react quickly and appropriately to this unique crisis.
“We ask for the public’s patience as we continue to respond. Our agency has seen a 400 percent increase in claims filed this week and answered more than 4,000 phone calls from claimants (last Wednesday) alone. We will continue to identify changes and additions to our process that will address the increased needs of South Carolinians during this time.”
Here is how these waivers have changed the process:
1. In order to maintain eligibility for UI benefits, individuals must be actively seeking work, which means they must conduct two job searches in the SC Works Online Services system each week.
This activity helps decrease a person’s time from unemployment to reemployment. However, given the effects of COVID-19 on our state’s workforce, we are temporarily waiving this requirement to make it easier for claimants to receive benefits.
2. Moving the tax deadline for employers helps alleviate the potential monetary burden on employers whose business has slowed or been temporarily shut down, but the wage report is still required. We are automatically applying this tax relief for all employers; employers do not need to take any additional action.