The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce says some unemployment payments from federal relief packages will begin being made by the end of this week.
DEW said it has been waiting on guidance about issuing the additional funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency said in a Friday news release it has now received that information and set a timetable for the distribution of three categories of benefits.
The first payments are expected to come from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation funds which will provide an additional $600 per week to eligible claimants. The emergency program, established by the $2 trillion coronavirus emergency stimulus package, will provide the extra federal benefits through July 31.
DEW said it will begin making FPUC payments by the week ending April 18.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program covers freelancers, independent contractors and gig economy workers who were not previously eligible for unemployment benefits. DEW said it expects to be able to accept PUA claims no later than the week ending April 25.
The third type of payment, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their standard 20-week state unemployment insurance benefits. DEW said it anticipates being able to accept and process PEUC claims “in the coming weeks.”
“Since receiving the guidance from the Department of Labor, we have been working tirelessly with our vendor partner to expedite the massive system upgrades and changes that are required to accept the following temporary federal programs,” DEW said in Friday’s release. “In an effort to expedite the process and put money into your pockets, we’re rolling out the program in phases and we’re committing to paying out the benefits prior to receiving the federal funding for these programs.”
DEW has paid $18,498,410 in unemployment claims to South Carolinians from March 15 to April 4.s