High volume of calls, user activity on SC Unemployment Insurance portal, officials say

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FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. The U.S. internet won’t get overloaded by spikes in traffic from the millions of Americans now working from home to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus, experts say. But connections could stumble for many if too many family members try to videoconference at the same time. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce officials said while they are experiencing a high volume of calls in their benefits self-service portals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the system for Unemployment Insurance Benefits is operational and working at this time.

“We can confirm that the system where employers and those seeking Unemployment Insurance Benefits is and has been operational and working, but because of the overwhelming pull, some people may have experienced challenges accessing our system,” according SCDEW’s news release. “Because we updated to our new Claimant Self Service Portal a few years ago, our state is in a better position to handle the increased volume; however, if someone is not able to complete their claim, we are asking people to please try again.”

According to the release, the best way to check the status of an SC Works center is to visit their website, by clicking here.

“Please note that the SC Works center staff cannot complete an unemployment insurance application on behalf of an individual or employer – for the security of the claimant and as part of our standard operating procedure, this must be done through our online portal,” according to SCDEW officials. “We understand this is very trying time for the people of South Carolina, and we assure you that our agency is committed to helping everyone as quickly as possible while balancing the safety and well-being of our employees.”

Officials also said that while some local areas have chosen to close the SC Works building to adhere to social distancing recommendations, SC Works staff are available to assist with job-seeking services by phone.

According SCDEW’s website, you can apply for Unemployment Insurance if your work is affected by COVID-19.

“This process and these benefits are the same as applying for benefits if you lose your job through no fault of your own. Below you can click through instructions that walk you through the registration and application portal,” from the website.

Claims representatives can be reached by calling 1-866-831-1724 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

For information related to COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, click here.

For more information, click here.

READ Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s statement regarding unemployment benefits and COVID-19 below:

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