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  • Learn how to file your first unemployment claim.

    To qualify for unemployment benefits in South Carolina you must take three main steps: file your initial claim, register for work and file your weekly claim. This article will explain how the system works and how you can make it work for you.

    Your first job is to file your initial claim. Looking for a new job is a full-time occupation, filing for unemployment is easy. It can be time consuming and frustrating when all the lines are busy and you are kept on hold for hours, but you can’t say it is complicated. What is more, if you follow the suggestions in this article you can avoid much of the frustration linked to filing for unemployment compensation.

    The Initial Claim

    Your initial claim is a vital step to receive your benefit payments. It is your initial claim that will determine if you are eligible for unemployment benefits and how much you will receive in your check. You can file your initial claim in person or online. We recommend doing it online if you have access to the internet. This will save you time and money. Assets you can use more efficiently in your search for work. To file online click here. A list of local offices you can visit to file your initial claim is included below.

    You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, telephone number, email address, date of birth and other personal details. You will also have to provide personal information on your dependents, if you want to claim for them. The form will also require details on your previous employers, the start and finish dates of your employment, and the income your earned during your base period.

    Your base period includes the firs four quarters (12 months) of your last five quarters. Notice that a quarter is not comprised of any three consecutive months; a year is divided into four discrete quarters: January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December. For instance, if you file your initial claim in November, you must start counting back five quarters from June and your base period would range from June of the previous year to the April – June quarter of this year.

    The South Carolina Unemployment Insurance Agency will assess your claim application and send you a decision on your eligibility for compensation. The agency may require extra information or confirmation on certain documents. Once you file your first claim you can go to step 2: Registering for Work.

    General Information     803.737.2400
    ADA Assistance, Columbia Area     803.737.0391
    ADA Assistance Statewide     800.436.8190
    Employment Service, Columbia Area     803.737.5627 (JOBS)
    Employment Service, Lexington Area     803.359.6131
    Columbia Unemployment Office     803.737.5627
    Public Information & Media Services     803.737.2700

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