COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Thousands of claimants in South Carolina are at risk of losing their unemployment insurance benefits.
Leaders with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) say thousands of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance recipients have not satisfied a federal documentation requirement that was outlined in the Continued Assistance Act.
The deadline for most PUA claimants is coming up on May 5.
DEW leaders say legislation clearly defines that anyone receiving PUA benefits had to show proof that they were either employed, self-employed, or had planned employment (meaning someone who was supposed to start a job but was not able to because of the pandemic).
“The agency does not want to turn off someone’s unemployment benefits, but if we do not receive that document by the May 5th deadline, we are actually federally required to stop payment on that individual’s claim, and, in addition, we would have to collect any money that they’ve received since the beginning of this year,” said Heather Biance, DEW Spokesperson.
For some, that could be more than $10,000 they would have to pay back to DEW as an overpayment.
Claimants were given 90 days to provide an employment document if they filed for unemployment before January 31st of this year. “That means for almost all of our PUA claimants, May 5th will be the 90-day deadline. So, claimants really need to get us these documents as soon as possible,” Biance said.
The Department of Employment Workforce said they have been communicating weekly over the last three months by various means to make sure claimants understand what they need and when.
To learn more about the requirement and what you need to submit to the SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce by clicking here.