S.C. state employment office launches next benefits program of CARES Act

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - With more than $1.5 billion in unemployment insurance benefits provided to South Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state Department of Employment and Workforce is beginning the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

According to a press release, it is intended for individuals who have exhausted their benefits. With many people still claiming South Carolina unemployment insurance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, and some individuals going back to work, the PEUC provides 13 additional weeks of state unemployment insurance benefits after the 20 weeks provided by South Carolina law have expired.

This extension means that individuals could still be eligible to receive the financial support needed to sustain them in this time of uncertainty if they:

• have exhausted all regular unemployment insurance benefit payments

• had a benefit year end after July 1, 2019, but have not qualified for a new benefit year

• are able and available for work and are actively seeking work

• are not eligible for unemployment benefits under any other state or federal program

Individuals who have already exhausted their benefits were notified by DEW that they could now login to the portal and apply for the additional weeks offered through the PEUC. Instructions on how to apply can be found on page two under Additional Resources.

While many individuals have received state and federal benefits, not everyone will be eligible for PEUC. Some examples include:

• Those who have the ability to telework with pay and would still be working substantially the same number of hours and be receiving the same pay.

• Those who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits and those benefits would exceed their weekly amount of PEUC.

Individuals who are eligible for PEUC could receive payments retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020 or the first week after they exhausted their regular UI, whichever is later. The extended benefits are available through the week ending December 26, 2020 and will include weekly benefit amount plus the FPUC $600/week benefit through the week ending July 25, 2020, which is when the FPUC funds expire.

For more on the PEUC application process, click here.

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