Filing Hints and Tips

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions as people file their claims as well as some tips to navigate the system. You can find more comprehensive guides to the UI process and various programs of the CARES Act by visiting our

The Uploading from Phone tutorial walks you step-by-step through the process to add a document to your portal. Once you have uploaded the document you will be able to see it added to your My Documents tab. 


This does not mean you are already registered in the system. It means that username has been assigned to another individual. Usernames in the Claimant Self Service Portal must be unique. Try another username.


DEW now has a claimant app available for download for free for all Android and iPhone users! Read the press release here!

The app features for claimants include:  

  • Complete weekly certification from your smartphone
  • View status of your claim
  • View payment history
  • View countdown until next available day to certify
  • View documents and correspondences from DEW


Please note that the answers cannot contain spaces or special characters so the answers will have to be compounded together such as TheGodfather or Stpetersburg.


Account creation is a two-step process. The first thing you do is create your “credentials” or username and password. When you complete this process the system will automatically close and send you back to the login screen. Do not be alarmed. This step is for your security.

On the login page you will enter your new username and password to reenter the system. This way your credentials are associated with all of your registration information.


If a claimant forgets their username and/or password, the CSS portal provides the claimant with three options of resetting their password. They can reset their password by answering the security questions, by sending a security code via text message or by sending a security code via email to the email address on file.

Please review this password reset PDF.



  1. Your Social Security Number
  2. Your work history for the past two (2) years, including:
    • Name of employer
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Employment dates
    • Rate of pay
    • Total earnings
    • Information about your job separation for each employer
    • If you received severance pay or retirement pay, you must know the amounts
  1. In the event you qualify for benefits and you would like your unemployment payments to be directly deposited into your bank account, you will need your bank routing number and account number. You should also contact your bank to make sure that your bank accepts electronic fund transfers.
    • There are several advantages to direct deposit: You will receive your UI benefits faster; it saves time and money because you do not need to go to the bank and it means no mail delays.
    • If you do not have direct deposit information, you may enter it at a later date.

You may also need additional documents if you belong to one of the following categories:


  • Alien number and expiration date from your Employment Authorization Document.

Former Federal Employees

  • SF-50 form or SF-8 form and pay stub(s) if you were a federal employee within the past two years.

Former Military Personnel

  • At least one of the following:
    • Most recent DD214 Member 4
    • Orders to report
    • Orders of release
    • Military earnings and leave statement
    • W-2 form(s) from your most recent military service

If this is the first claim you are filing since release from the military and you do not live in SC, contact the State Workforce Agency in the state you are physically located in for assistance with filing your claim.

If you log out or are timed out of the system, when you log back in to finish your claim you will see a link on the dashboard that says, “Resume My UI Claim.” You will still have to proceed through the tabs you have already completed, but you will see that your information has been saved in the fields. Just click Next until you return to where you left off.


Click the magnifying glass in the blue square to the right of the city field. In the pop up box click the drop down menu and select your state. In the city name field, type your city or click “Search” and select the city from the list, scroll to the bottom of the city list and click “Select.” The city name will then populate the field. Click “Close” and the city field should now be filled in.


Select the one that seems to be the correct employer – use the name and address listed on your paystub. If adjustments need to be made, we will contact you.

Use the name you provide when filing with the IRS.

Use your Social Security Number.

The last line of the screen says provide any supporting documents you have. Under the checkboxes there is a button labeled Upload. When you click this button it will allow you to select documents from your computer to upload into the system.

You should report the actual wages you earned for the period you are being asked about. Individuals who do not have a sufficient wage history to meet the regular state UI monetary requirements or who were scheduled to start a job but couldn’t due to COVID-19, may be eligible for PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) if they were separated from employment, or could not start employment, as a direct result of COVID-19.

When you are directed to the separation tab, the first question is reason employment ended. In that drop down menu, you will see two options related to COVID-19: Layoff due to Coronavirus and reduced hours due to Coronavirus.

Use your best guess. This can be changed later.

Click the magnifying glass in the blue square to the right of the Kinds of Job Seeking/O*Net field. In the pop up box you will be able to search different categories of work and then select the one that is most appropriate.

In order to proceed please remove your middle initial if you provided it. If you left the field blank, fill in your middle initial. Under the drop down box labeled “Name: Change Reason” select, I misspelled my name. Then click Next. Your information will be validated and processed by our system during off-peak times.

If you have a letter from the new employer with the intended start date then go ahead and file. You will originally be denied; however, you do not need to do anything. Please wait on our agency for further information once PUA is enacted.

When you have completed the claims process you will receive a confirmation number on the screen.

Call our call center at 1-866-831-1724 to speak to a dedicated claims specialist.

  • Was your claim exhausted before the CARES Act programs expired in December 2020? If so the federal program extensions, made available through the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act, only allows states to back pay benefits to claim week ending January2, 2021. That means if you have weeks between when you exhausted and claim week ending January 2, 2021, you are not eligible to receive benefits for those weeks.

  • Did you move since filing your initial claim for unemployment insurance? Please make sure your address has been updated under your Personal Information tab located in the MyBenefits portal so DEW is aware of the address change.

  • Did you change your bank account information in the MyBenefits portal? If you change critical information in your portal, our agency may require additional security information to ensure the protection of your account. Please make sure you have completed all security verifications and any requested documentation through your MyBenefits portal. Any additional information that is required from you will need to be satisfied in order to be cleared for payment.

  • Did you file an appeal and are waiting for your hearing? Please be advised that if you are denied benefits for any reason, your payments cannot begin or resume until after your appeal decision has been made.  

  • Has your claim been flagged for potential fraud? Due to the severity of widespread fraud in UI divisions nationwide, DEW has taken additional measures to ensure only legitimate claimants are being paid. Please be advised that your payment will be on hold as our integrity unit investigates your claim. DEW will be sending communication to you through your MyBenefits portal and any additional information that is required from you will need to be satisfied in order to be cleared for payment.

  • Did you certify for all available weeks in your MyBenefits portal? Certifying each week let’s DEW know you are in still unemployed and eligible to receive benefits. We cannot issue your benefit payment until after this step is complete each week.

  • Have we recently requested documentation from you regarding your claim? Check your Documents tab in the MyBenefits portal for the latest communication from DEW. Please send in any requested documentation as soon as possible to avoid a delay in your payments.

  • Have you recently had a change in your childcare situation? For example, does your child or children’s school district now offer in-person school as an option? If so, please make sure that when you certify each week you are answering the questions accurately and honestly. Any information that is filed incorrectly or not updated could result in your payments being delayed or an overpayment being created due to benefits being received for which, by law, you were not eligible.

  • Have you been disqualified for benefits? Please ensure that all information you file regarding your claim is filed honestly and correctly. If you make an honest mistake, you will need to call and speak to a claims specialist as changes cannot be submitted online after you have received the completion page for initial claims or weekly certifications. Information should not be changed for the sole reason of reversing a disqualification notice, despite meeting eligibility requirements.



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