SC to require 2 steps for unemployed to receive benefits starting in April

Change comes as state announces slight drop in unemployment rate for February

SC to require 2 steps for unemployed to receive benefits starting in April
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says the state's unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a point in February. (Source: AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said it will reinstate work searches required to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits starting next month.

Beginning the week of April 18, claimants will be required to do two things each week to remain eligible: certify their weekly claim stating the reason they remain unemployed on the SCDEW app and complete two job searches in the SC Works Online Services portal or SCWOS app.

“The two weekly work searches are easy to do, on their computer or the SCWOS smartphone app, but it imperative that the work searches are conducted while they are logged into their account to ensure that the SCWOS system confirms with the claimant system that the individual has completed this requirement to remain eligible for benefits,” SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said.

The apps are available to download for free.

Ellzey made the announcement the same day his agency released February unemployment data that showed a tenth-of-a-point drop in the unemployment rate compared to January.

The state’s unemployment rate in February was 5.2%, Ellzey said, down from 5.3% in January.

“This is encouraging economic news for the state of South Carolina,” he said. “Our economy is recovering strongly and, in fact, doing better than most of our neighbors and the nation as a whole.”

He said he is confident actions taken by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and state legislators have put the state in a position to complete its economic recovery. But, he said, there are some issues.

“Currently, 125,000 South Carolinians are drawing unemployment benefits each week. At the same time, employers have 87,000 open positions they are trying to fill,” he said. “Over the past several months, we have communicated on a regular basis with unemployment claimants about job openings and the benefits of a job and medical coverage over unemployment.”

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