Federal unemployment benefits will be cut short for many in South Carolina this week, but that’s actually good news for the state’s employment picture.
In order for unemployed South Carolinians to receive Tier Four benefits — an extra eight weeks of federal unemployment checks — the state’s three-month unemployment average needs to be above nine percent. The rate fell below that threshold, which means Tier Four benefits will no longer be available in the Palmetto State.
As of January 12, the maximum length of time South Carolinians can receive federal unemployment benefits will drop from 37 weeks to 29 weeks. People who move from Tier Three to Tier Four benefits before the January 12 deadline will be grandfathered in to the extra benefits, though the state Department of Employment and Workforce said that only affects about 800 people.
Nearly 30,000 people currently receive unemployment benefits in South Carolina. According to the DEW, the average unemployment check in the Palmetto State is about $230.