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29,000 S.C. residents to see end of federal unemployment benefits

Staff Report
Published Nov. 27, 2012

Federal unemployment benefits will end next month for some 29,000 S.C. residents, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said.

The individuals are receiving benefits under the national Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which expires in early January.

The state agency estimates that ending the benefits will remove $6.2 million a week from South Carolina’s economy.

After Dec. 29, South Carolinians filing for unemployment insurance compensation will only be eligible for up to 20 weeks of state benefits.

About 80,000 South Carolinians were on the extended benefits program when the government started to phase it out.

The new law further requires claimants who are moving from state benefits onto the federal program’s first tier, and those transitioning to the second federal tier, to complete an in-person interview at any of the agency’s SC Works Centers to prove they can’t find work.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is a 100% federally funded program that provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular state benefits.

The program was created in 2008, and has been modified several times. Most recently, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 extended the expiration date of the program to Jan. 2.

The state employment agency said it will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Labor to analyze every aspect of how ending the federal unemployment program will impact South Carolina.

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