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Special Circumstances

If your unemployment insurance needs have not been covered in the other sections of the site, you might have special circumstances contributing to your claim. Check the information below to see if your questions are answered.

Unemployment Eligibility for Domestic Abuse Victims

Victims of domestic violence may be eligible for unemployment benefits. For determination, be prepared to provide information that your unemployment is tied to domestic abuse. For example, you can provide court records, police reports and other documentation of abuse from a shelter worker, attorney, member of the clergy or medical or other professional from whom the individual has sought assistance.

You are eligible for unemployment compensation if DEW finds that you left work voluntarily or have been discharged as a direct result of domestic violence and:

  • You fear future domestic abuse en route to work;
  • You need to relocate to avoid future domestic abuse; or
  • You believe that leaving work is necessary for your safety or the safety of your family.

Unemployment Benefits for Compelling Family Circumstances

You may also be eligible if you were separated from employment due to compelling family circumstances including:

  • You develop an illness or disability.
  • An immediate family member — a spouse, parent or child — becomes ill or disabled.
  • Your spouse was transferred or employed in another city or state, requiring the you to move outside commuting distance to your previous employer.

For more information, see state statute Title 41 Chapter 35 Section 41-35-125

How to File an Out of State Claim

If you live outside of South Carolina and were separated from work with a South Carolina employer, you must file an out-of-state claim, commonly referred to as an Interstate claim, for unemployment benefits.

The Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) only accepts new, additional and reopened Interstate claims online via the MyBenefits portal. You can access MyBenefits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

File online using the following instructions:

Go to the MyBenefits portal. Create your account or sign into your existing account. After establishing your MyBenefits account, click on Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.  Select Interstate Claim for the workforce center nearest you and proceed with your claim. 

After you file an Interstate claim, you will receive a packet in the mail that contains various forms and important information. You will also receive the name and contact information for your claim representative.  You are assigned a claim representative based on the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If further information is needed regarding your reason for separation from your employer, your claim representative will mail you a separate notice listing the date and time for a telephone interview within seven calendar days of filing your claim.  The Interstate Unit communicates with Interstate claimants by phone, mail, email and fax.  

It takes four to six weeks to process a Quit, Discharged or Still Working Claim. Lack of Work claims take two to three weeks to resolve.

If you need technical assistance filing your online Interstate claim, the Online Filing Assistance Line is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. This line can be reached by dialing 1-800-529-8339. 

Individuals with Disabilities

While individuals with disabilities can face various barriers to employment, DEW works with individuals to find ways to overcome these barriers. In addition to physical disabilities, "invisible" disabilities may also require accessibility considerations. Some examples of "invisible" disabilities include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Being hard of hearing
  • Struggling in school or received Individualized Education Program (IEP) in school

DEW works in partnership with several organizations to provide access to programs and initiatives to help individuals with disabilities gain employment and independence. In addition, DEW works closely with employers to help them understand tax credits and other incentives for supporting a diverse worksite.


DEW's TTY Number is 711.

A service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

Programs and Initiatives:

Partner Organizations:

Other Resources:

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers (MSFWs) travel to South Carolina each year to help cultivate and harvest crops in various regions of the state. Because this population often faces barriers to employment, DEW provides intensive services to MSFWs through a bilingual, statewide program.

MSFW Outreach Workers and Rural Manpower Coordinators identify and contact individuals that are not being reached through everyday services at local SC Works centers.

To discuss your rights as a MSFW or to report unlawful conditions, call the farmworker toll-free helpline at 1-877-244-4081. Services are available in both English and Spanish and callers may choose to remain anonymous.

The below links provide more information about your rights and the laws that protect them.

Farmworker Resources

MSFW Outreach Workers provide quality employment services and referrals to MSFWs including:

  • Agricultural and non-agricultural job placement services.
  • Applications for employment.
  • Job counseling.
  • Job training.
  • Referrals to other community services.


Agricultural Employer Resources

Rural Manpower Coordinators provide outreach services to agricultural employers including

  • Agricultural labor needs assessment.
  • Recruitment of labor for agricultural employers.
  • Compliance guidance for federal and state laws.
  • Assistance with Farm Labor Contractor Registrations and Renewals.
  • Coordination of services and assistance to the employer’s farm workers.

For more information about agricultural-employer services, contact Shawn Phillips, lead coordinator, at 803-446-5092.

Additional Farmworker Resources

Ticket to Work

The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary service that is available to help people with disabilities connect with employment services that will help them gain financial independence.

You might be eligible for the Ticket to Work program if:

  • You are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or
  • You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of a disability.

Eligible participants of the Ticket to Work program may continue to receive Medicaid and/or Medicare benefits. Once employed and as an individual’s self-reliance grows, they can begin to replace their cash benefits with the earnings from work, putting individuals on the road to financial independence. Through this program, they are able to do this with the peace of mind that benefits will be quickly accessible again if needed due to their disability.

The Ticket to Work Program offers:

  • Career counseling
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Job placement and training
  • Peer support

As an Employment Network (EN) of the Ticket to Work program, DEW helps people with disabilities get access to the opportunities and services they need. If you have received a Ticket to Work and are interested in seeking employment, contact an SC Works Center, and we will help you with the rest.


Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work website

Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work for America's Veterans website

Ticket to Work Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

You can find more information about the Ticket program by calling the Ticket to Work/Employment Network line at 1-800-436-8190 or finding the closest SC Works Center

Veteran Services

SC Works representatives are available in centers throughout the state to help veterans transition into the workforce. Veterans receive priority service in all SC Works centers.

Local Veteran Outreach Specialists and Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialists (DVOP) are trained to provide intensive, priority employment services to all veterans, including group and individual career coaching, job referrals, resume preparation help, career fairs and job search workshops, job training programs, and referrals to training services.

Visit the Veteran Services section for more information and resources 


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