South Carolina Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in South Carolina, you may be eligible for South Carolina Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for South Carolina unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed South Carolina workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of three ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online (M - F, 7:00am to 6:00pm)
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim at 800-529-8339 (M - F, 8:30am to 4:00pm)
  3. In Person - At your local South Carolina Workforce Center location

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Name, address, phone number, gross earnings, occupation, dates worked, and reason for separation for all employers for the past 18 months
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type

After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive an Initial Determination, describing benefits, eligibility and giving additional information.

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Filing Your Weekly Claim:

South Carolina weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately 50% of your the average weekly earnings, with a minimum of $20/week to a maximum $326 per week. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim using by calling the TelClaim system at 866-831-1724 (M - F, 4:00am to Midnight)

  • Even last number of your SSN - Sunday
  • Odd last number of your SSN - Monday

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

You should expect your first unemployment check within 3-4 weeks. Selecting direct deposit will make your unemployment benefit available more quickly.

Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

You may also find career and training assistance at South Carolina's OneStop locations.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.

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