COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – With unemployment rates on the rise, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is a vital source of information for those impacted.

To educate the public, DEW has compiled a list of questions and answers:

Q: What should I do if I can’t get through due to the Social Security Number error?

A: Two issues are occurring DEW website

  • The first issue refers to the online system being overwhelmed by the number of unemployment claims being filed. The system is therefore unable to validate SSNs, and states that the SSN is invalid. If this occurs, please try applying during an off-peak time, or call DEW’s TelClaim number at 1-866-831-1724
  • The second issue refers to a dashboard showing a pending SSN validation issue or a pending Separation issue. This issue will be handled by the DEW staff; there is no need to call.

Q: Has DEW added staff members for call centers?

A: Yes, more employees are being trained to help answer basic questions.

Q: When will the CARES act go into effect for SC? When can people apply for those benefits?

A: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law, but the US Department of Labor has not yet provided guidance on state-specific implementation. DEW suggests those who have already filed an unemployment insurance claim continue filing weekly claims. If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, a nonprofit employee, a gig economy worker, or requesting an extension of benefits and not filing weekly claims, keep checking the DEW website for updates.

Q: Did DEW have to agree to change any of its eligibility requirements in order to get additional federal assistance during the coronavirus?

A: Dew removed the weekly job search requirement for COVID-19 related unemployment and extended the tax deadline for employers.

Q: Was any additional funding from the federal government provided to the agency to assist in processing unemployment claims?

A: No.

Q: Will the federal government pay in full the additional unemployment or does tht financial burden fall at least partially on SC’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund?

A: The state will continue to pay the maximum weekly allotment of $326. The additional money will come from the federal government.