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South Carolina Unemployment Q & A

January 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How can I file an appeal on a determination with which I do not agree?

A. You may file an appeal by completing a form in the local office or you may send a letter requesting an appeal directly to the Appeals Department, P. O. Box 995, Columbia, SC 29202 or by faxing the request for appeal to 803-737-0287. The appeal must be filed (faxed, postmarked or hand delivered) within 10 calendar days, including weekends and holidays, of the mail date of the determination. Details as to the reason for appeal should be included. (See Appeals for more information.)

Q. After the claimant serves his unemployment insurance disqualification, will my account be charged?

A. If a claimant is disqualified, the liable employer?s account will not be charged with the exception of a reimbursable employer’s account.

Q. What is a reimbursable employer status? Can I choose to be a reimbursable employer?

A. A reimbursable employer is an employer who chooses to reimburse dollar for dollar the amount of regular benefits in lieu of the payment of quarterly contributions. Only nonprofit organizations, the State, and political subdivisions can elect to be reimbursable employers.

Q. I am a reimbursable employer. Why was my account charged after the claimant was disqualified?

A. Section 41-35-130 of the South Carolina Employment Security Law provides that the non-charging of benefits is applicable only to those employers subject to the payment of quarterly contributions (taxes). There is no provision for the waiver of charges to, or payments from, reimbursable employers.

Q. I did not wish for my former employee to be disqualified. Can you change the determination?

A. The South Carolina Employment Security Law and policies are applied in an equitable manner to all claims. A determination of eligibility cannot be made at the will of the employer. A determination can only be changed as a result of an administrative error, a reconsideration of pertinent facts or an appeal decision.

Q. The appeal decision disqualified a previously eligible claimant, but my charge statement is showing charges to my account for this claim. Why am I being charged?

A. Depending upon when the appeal decision is rendered, the charges may not post a credit on the most recent charge statement following the decision. The credit will post to the following quarter?s charge statement.

Q. How do I get my vacation policy approved so that claims will be denied during my company?s period of closure?

A. Send a letter requesting Commission approval of your vacation closure to SCESC, Anne H. Owens, Benefit Department Director, P.O. Box 1477, Columbia, SC 29202. (See Employer Vacation Policy section for more information.)

Q. How do I know when a claim has been filed against my account?

A. When a determination of eligibility is issued, a copy of the determination is mailed to the employer?s address of record. This determination includes the claimant?s name, social security number, benefit year, effective date, weekly benefit amount and maximum benefit amount along with a determination statement.

Q. How can I file claims for my employees during a week of reduced work hours or temporary business closure?

A. There are three methods of filing: (1) Form UCB114 which may be obtained from your local unemployment office, (2) personal computer diskette which can be obtained from the Benefit Department in Columbia by calling (803) 737-2532 or (3) magnetic tape for employers with mainframe computer ability. (See Employer Filed Claims section for more details.)

Q. As president of the company, I filed a claim for my employees during a temporary business closure. Why am I disqualified?

A. Corporate officers are considered to be self-employed and have control over their own unemployment when they make a decision to close the business. Section 41-35-110 of the South Carolina Employment Security Law prohibits the payment of benefits to self-employed persons. However, there are some circumstances which allow the payment of benefits to corporate officers. Therefore, corporate officers should file a claim so that a determination of eligibility can be made.

Q. I have already provided separation information to the local office, so why have I been contacted for the same situation?

A. The South Carolina Employment Security Commission is required to obtain all pertinent separation information (company policy, dates of warnings, separating incident, etc.) in order that an accurate and just determination be rendered. Occasionally, additional information is necessary. (See Employer?s Reply section for more details.)

Q. Why did your office determine that my former employee is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits when I responded that he was terminated for excessive absenteeism?

A. Detailed information is needed in regards to the company?s policy regarding absenteeism and in regards to what occurred on the last day the claimant worked. Limited information from the employer may not be adequate to disqualify a claimant.

Q. Why did your office determine that my former employee is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits when the employee and I both agreed that the employee was not capable of performing the required duties?

A. Inability to perform the duties as required is not sufficient cause for disqualification under the law. The law requires that a willful disregard for the employer?s best interest must be evident.

Q. How is the claimant?s weekly benefit amount computed?

The computation for the weekly benefit amount is as follows:

Step 1- highest quarter wages in the base period ÷ 13 = average weekly wage
Step 2- average weekly wage ÷ 2 = weekly benefit amount

Q. I did not keep a copy of the employer?s reply that I sent in. Can I get a copy?

A. A copy of the employer?s reply can be mailed to the address of record upon request.

Q. Can I find out if a claimant is still drawing UI against my account?

A. The Determination of Eligibility of Insured Status is the official notice of the claimant?s eligibility. The only other statement mailed to the employer is the quarterly charge statement.

Q. What quarters of earnings are used in determining the claimant?s base period?

A. The first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the filing of a claim are the quarters of earnings used as the base period.

Q. I never received a determination on the claimant?s eligibility. How can I get a copy?

A. A copy of the determination of eligibility can be mailed to the employer?s address of record if requested in writing.

Q. What address did your agency use when sending the request for separation information?

A. The initial request for separation information is mailed to the employer?s job site where the claimant indicates he worked.

Q. I?m calling from the corporate office of my company. The employer?s reply was not sent to the local office in the required time limits. Can the address be changed so that future requests be mailed to the corporate office?

A. The initial request for separation information is mailed to the employer?s job site where the claimant indicates he worked. The address of record will be used when the determination of eligibility is mailed to the employer.

Q. Why did your office refuse to rule on an offer of work?

A. An offer of suitable work must be made either orally or in writing to the claimant during a week of unemployment. The offer of work affidavit must be received by the agency within 7 days after such offer was made.

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