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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Applying for Benefits

Before you Apply

Your first step is to submit an initial claim in order for DEW to determine if your circumstances meet the eligibility requirements of the UI program. Filing a claim is the only way for eligibility to be determined.

Filing your claim will go faster if you have the following important information handy:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your work history for the past 18 months including:
    • Employers’ business names,
    • Employers’ addresses,
    • Employers’ phone numbers and
    • Your salary for each employer
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number and documentation.
  • If you served in the military in the past 18 months, DD-214 Form (Member 4 copy).
  • If you are a federal civilian employee, SF-50 (PDF) or SF-8 (PDF) Form.
  • If you are filing from out-of-state, see “how to file an out of state claim”.

Initial claims are filed online through the MyBenefits portal. Use our guides to learn more about using the portal. If you need further assistance call our toll-free number 1-866-831-1724.

Step 1: Create a Username and Password

Watch the Create Username and Password Video on this page for instructions.

Create Username and Password Instructions (PDF)


Did you forget your password? You can now reset your password by text, email or answering security questions.

Password Reset instructions (PDF)

Step 2: Register for your MyBenefits Portal Account

Watch the video on how to create an account in the MyBenefits portal.

Register for an Account Instructions (PDF)


Step 3: File a New Claim

Watch the File a New Claim Video on this page for instructions.

File a New Claim Instructions (PDF)

Step 4: File Your Weekly Claim

Watch the File Your Weekly Claim Video on this page for instructions.

Weekly Certifications Instructions (PDF)


Stopping UI Benefits Once You're Re-Employed

When you become re-employed and earn more than your weekly benefit amount, you must end benefits.

Ending benefits is easy. Simply stop filing weekly claims. You may still be eligible for benefits if you are making less than your weekly benefit amount. Always report your weekly wages to ensure you are not obtaining benefits illegally. Unsure of what earnings to report weekly?

Check out the Earnings Worksheet (PDF)

Need to know: It is your responsibility to report all wages earned and keep accurate records.  DEW routinely audits weekly claims and if you are found to be overpaid for benefits, you will receive an overpayment notice. DEW employs several measures to recoup the outstanding debt, including wage withholding, intercepting state income tax returns and intercepting federal income tax returns.

Benefit Year

When you apply for unemployment benefits, you establish an active unemployment account for 52 weeks. These 12 months (which may be different than a calendar year) are referred to as a benefit year. You may receive benefits during the benefit year, provided you meet all eligibility requirements until your benefit year expires or you receive the total maximum benefit amount assigned to your claim, whichever comes first.

If you exhaust all of the available state and/or federal programs there are no additional benefits available to you within that benefit year. It's important to understand, benefits will not automatically be available in a new benefit year. Under current law, in order to be eligible for UI benefits again, you must meet the following requirements:

✔️ You must earn at least eight (8) times your weekly benefit amount, from a new employer who pays into the UI Trust Fund.

✔️ You must be laid off by no fault of your own (meaning you didn't quit or were fired).

✔️ And, you must re-apply for benefits, but only after you meet the above requirements and after your benefit year has ended.

Did your employer file for you?

If your employer filed for unemployment benefits on your behalf, you are still responsible to certify weekly. To learn more, read this document (PDF) about what you have to do to ensure you receive your benefits.

An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program.
Auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities at
To report fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or misconduct, call the State Inspector General at 855-723-7283 or visit