South Carolinians who receive unemployment benefits must now search for jobs on a state database to be eligible for the financial help.
New regulations which took effect last month now require those receiving the benefits to do at least two work searches per week on the SC Works online job system (SCWOS). Until last year, recipients had to document four work searches per week overall, with at least one being the online site.
But state Department of Employment and Workforce spokesman Bob Bouyea said it was difficult for the agency to track how individuals used private job search websites, particularly those which are not required to keep records. There were no work search requirements in place this past year.
“We need to verify that people claiming unemployment are actually searching for work,” he said. “Because one of the requirements of receiving benefits is that you have to be actively seeking employment and able and willing to work.”
SCDEW officials are able to verify individuals who use the database during their time on unemployment. Bouyea said the compliance rate so far has been 95 percent since the new requirement began May 28. Legislators allowed SCDEW to begin the regulations after a hearing this spring.
The agency has the power to waive up to two weeks of jobs search requirements for “good cause.” Good cause includes, but is not limited to, verifiable electronic access and language barriers. SCDEW determines good cause on a case-by-case basis.
Roughly 15,000 people in South Carolina receive jobless benefits. An individual can receive the assistance for up to 20 weeks in the Palmetto State.