COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Thousands of South Carolinians are still filing for unemployment and it’s one of the biggest barriers in way of the state making big strides towards recovery.
Federal unemployment benefits that were part of the CARES Act have expired. Now South Carolina lawmakers are reviewing the options on the table to continue to offer relief.
For the past few months South Carolina residents receiving unemployment benefits have also received an additional $600 a week.
“July 25th is when that program expired so we are a month removed from that ending,” said Jamie Suber with the Department of Employment and Workforce.
Now those same people are hoping for additional relief since that $600 boost has ended and businesses are still recovering.
Suber continued, “Primarily, the claims that are coming through are COVID-19 related claims meaning individuals have not gone back to work, they’ve been completely laid off, or they haven’t been recalled.”
At the beginning of the month, President Donald Trump issued an order that gives states some authority to extend those benefits. The Lost Wages Act allows individuals to receive an additional $400 a week in unemployment benefits.
But whether or not South Carolina will be able to join in will depend on the state’s budget.
Representative Gary Clary explained, “Where are we in our resources now. Are we going to be able to move some money around to address these needs. The first $100 of that is going to have to come from the state so where are we on those things.”
In order for someone to be eligible for this additional money, you would have to already be receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits.
This boost would cover unemployment benefits starting in claim weeks ending on August 1st, 202 through December 27th, 2020.
Lawmakers return to the State House next month.