Unemployment insurance is on the minds of many Americans right now as our nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus package (CARES Act) recently passed by Congress made some temporary but important changes to unemployment benefits during this unprecedented time
In short, this legislation provides an across-the-board $600/week increase to existing unemployment insurance amounts through July 31st of this year. For those who need it, the bill also provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits beyond what states typically allow. This provision of an additional 13 weeks will expire at the end of 2020.
May 12th: Update from SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce
My Director of Casework, Cathy Rose Hicklin, and I received an update from officials at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce on May 12th. A wide variety of topics were covered in this conversation related to unemployment insurance benefits and COVID-19. You can watch the full conversation above or click here to watch on YouTube.
April 15th: Live Unemployment Forum
On April 15th, I held a live forum to help constituents learn more about unemployment insurance benefits and answer questions. Joining me were experts from the South Carolina Department of Unemployment and Workforce. This replay answers a wide variety of commonly asked questions about unemployment insurance.
Am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
Many questions have been asked about unemployment insurance as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) has published a quick reference guide outlining whether these benefits are available under the most common scenarios. Click the button below to download a copy of that quick reference guide.
PLEASE NOTE: this guide is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, a definitive answer to any specific situation. Please click here to see some frequently asked questions for additional guidance. DEW will investigate and determine each claim meet eligibility requirements based on the unique facts of each case. If you are affected by loss of work due to the Coronavirus, you should apply for unemployment insurance benefits to determine if you qualify based on your unique circumstances.
How do I apply for unemployment insurance benefits?
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce has published an outstanding document to start you off on the right path to filing an unemployment insurance claim. It also answers many of the most commonly asked questions about these benefits. Click the button below to download a copy of that document.
PLEASE REMEMBER: the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is overwhelmed right now with the flood of new unemployment claims resulting from COVID-19. Therefore, if you need unemployment benefits, it's essential you be both patient and persistent.
What if I'm self-employed, contractor, or a gig worker?
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is unemployment assistance for the self-employed, contractor, gig worker, or others who are typically not eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits, but who are unemployed due to COVID-19. The SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce has a very good page outlining PUA and what you must do to apply. Click the button below for additional information.
What if I'm having trouble receiving unemployment benefits?
If you are partially or fully unemployed but are having problems getting the information you need or applying for unemployment benefits, please contact my office by phone at 803-327-1114 or online through the form here. My staff and I serve all all who live in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District. This includes all of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union and York counties and parts of Newberry, Spartanburg and Sumter counties. If you live in another district, please click here to find your Representative.