South Carolina initial unemployment insurance claims continue to decline. For claim week ending August 29, 2020, the number of South Carolinians who filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits was 5,019, a decrease of 505 initial claims from the week prior. This brings the initial claims total to 730,247 received since mid-March.

“We have reached a new low in weekly initial claims filed since the pandemic began in mid-March. As the numbers continue to decline, it’s logically expected that the downward trend week-over-week will become less significant as the economy continues to improve,” states executive director, Dan Ellzey. “Of course, until South Carolina completes a full economic recovery, our staff will remain committed to those we serve. From processing and paying out critical unemployment insurance benefits, to initiating new ways to provide jobseekers services (virtually, in a drive-thru setting and in-person), to identifying Lifeboat Jobs to help job seekers find financial stability, our mission remains the same as day one.”

Ellzey said now that South Carolina has been approved by FEMA for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, they are working with their vendor to make the necessary changes to the MyBenefits portal. LWA will provide an additional $300 for claimants eligible to receive at least $100 in state or federal unemployment benefits. Information about eligibility and requirements will be updated over the next two to three weeks as the program is implemented into the agency’s system.