Answers to Some of Your Questions About Unemployment Benefits

Palmetto Workforce Connections and @scdewinfo  have recently received questions about unemployment benefits with topics ranging from federal programs ending to tax withholdings. Below are some of the questions and answers.

How do I change my Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments so I don’t get federal taxes taken out?

You do not have the option to choose state or federal taxes to be withheld.  If you choose to have taxes withheld, both state and federal will be withheld.

In order to change your tax withholding, you need to fill out the tax election form included in the packet you received at your local SC Works Center.  If you did not receive the form, you can report to the center person to fill it out and have it changed. For a list of SC Works Centers by location, visit http://www.scworks.org/directory.asp.

What federal unemployment programs are ending in South Carolina?

The first program impacted is the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which will end in April. The last week payable will be April 7. If you are currently receiving benefits through this program, you will receive a notice from DEW about benefits ending. You will receive subsequent information in the mail about scheduling a time for a one-on-one job coaching session at an SC Works Center near you. This session is not mandatory but is a one-time serving being offered to all EB claimants.

The second program impacted is Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), which provides four tiers of benefits. The number of weeks available under this program will change starting in April. By September, the number of weeks will be reduced, and all benefits will end in December, regardless of where you are in the program. Note that this information is a general guideline, and how the changes affect your individual claim will be subject to your specific situation. For more information, visit http://www.dew.sc.gov/claim-important-information.asp or email your questions to questionsaboutnewlaw@dew.sc.gov.

How do I know what type of federal benefits am I receiving and when they will end?

The Extended Benefits (EB) program is the final stage of federal Unemployment Insurance (UI), which means you have exhausted your 20 weeks of state UI and have qualified for four tiers of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). The EB program will end in South Carolina next week. The last week payable is the week ending April 7. The EUC program will be reduced by number of weeks until it ends in December.

If the number of weekly job contacts you were required to make did not change when you exhausted your regular benefits, then you are on EUC. 

If you were instructed to make more weekly job contacts than you previously were, and your wage demand could not exceed minimum wage, then you are on Extended Benefits.

You will receive notices from DEW about the programs ending and information about scheduling job coaching sessions if you are on EB or re-employment and eligibility assessment sessions if you are on EUC. You may also email questionsaboutnewlaw@dew.sc.gov.

Please continue sending us your questions by commenting on Palmetto Workforce Connections or via @scdewinfo on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Answers to Some of Your Questions About Unemployment Benefits

  1. I only have roughly $700.00 left in UI benefits. Can I file for an extension or something. I have not found work yet and I am in dire straights.

    Thank you.

  2. What if my benefits are scheduled to end soon and I have not found gainful employment yet? How will I get money if I can not find a job. Does the EB continue or do they just stop at your cut off date?

    • In South Carolina, you are eligible for up to 20 weeks of regular state-funded Unemployment Insurance. There is a federal program that offers further benefits called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. However, that program is expected to expire at the end of December 2012. For more information, visit http://www.dew.sc.gov/claim-important-information.asp.

      To ask questions about your specific case contact your local SC Works Center. Look up contact information here: http://www.scworks.org/directory.asp. Or contact our state claims center at 803-737-2400.

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