SC unemployed can seek benefits via smartphones - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC unemployed can seek benefits via smartphones

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

South Carolina's unemployment agency has launched a free app that allows jobless residents to seek weekly benefits through their iPhones.

The Department of Employment and Workforce unveiled Wednesday what it says is the nation's first such app for smartphones. The U.S. Department of Labor did not immediately respond to voice and email messages.

State agency spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell says the mobile application offers a convenience while also helping the agency reduce fraud.

The offering is an extension of the agency's move toward automation. People still must fill out initial applications for benefits either online or by phone. In-person help with unemployment claims ended last June.

Fairwell says the app became available for iPhones on Wednesday. The agency hopes to have it available for Android devices later this year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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