S.C. woman denied unemployment claim since she hasn’t worked a year

Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WBTV) - There are record-breaking numbers of people filing unemployment claims.

Just last week in South Carolina, there were more than 60,000 people file. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce calls these unprecedented numbers.

Not all of those claims end up being approved.

South Carolina law says you have to work for a year to get benefits.

“It’s very heartbreaking and devastating,” said a woman who was denied benefits.

She recently lost her job and filed for unemployment. However, after two weeks of waiting, she was denied.

”I’m ineligible for unemployment and it doesn’t matter if it’s the Covid or not,” she says.

She is considered monetarily ineligible based on not working a year. She had only worked at her restaurant job for seven months before being laid off.

”We’re not going to be able to pay this month’s mortgage. We were always at least able to do that. It’s getting bad,” she says.

South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce Chief Administrative Officer Jamie Suber confirmed that South Carolina requires a year of work for unemployment eligibility. It’s called a base period.

He explained that period as an eligibility requirement for unemployment. The base period is broken up into quarters. To be eligible, you have to have four quarters, or a year. At this time, there is no exception for the coronavirus.

“I don’t even think an executive order would change the law,” said Suber. “Looking at the way the law is written and expectations of the program, it may take a law change or a review or DOL would have to set some perimeters a little different.”

Suber says denial is not the last chance.

He is still waiting on benefits from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act that could help people who have been denied.

“We do understand the magnitude and our hearts do go out to those individuals, but without understanding what opportunities may be available from the federal government it’s kind of hard to understand what’s next,” says Suber.

Suber expects word from the federal government about the CARES Act before early next week.

Suber says there is an appeals process for the unemployment claims. You have to appeal ten days after you get your denial.

If you have any questions about unemployment or your unemployment insurance claims, click here. (Hyperlink: dew.sc.gov)

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.