April 2nd: Today's Three Things to Know- Call with Sen. Tim Scott, COVID-19 Business Survey, Federal Delays Related to Unemployment Claims
April 2, 2020
Email to COVID-19 Mailing List
Given the many questions and concerns we continue to hear from businesses regarding COVID-19 and how recent federal legislation can help employers and workers in South Carolina, the Chamber is organizing a call for our membership to hear from US Senator Tim Scott TOMORROW, April 3rd at 10:00 am.
Senator Scott was integral in the recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the most significant relief package in American history, designed to help businesses and the economy during this time of crisis.
We want to allow members to ask Senator Scott questions following his briefing. Submit questions for Senator Scott to COVID19response@scchamber.net no later than 5:00 pm TODAY. The Chamber will moderate the questions and ask as many of them as we can during our call.
Call Details: Register in advance for this webinar as spots are limited.
- Date and Time: Tomorrow, April 3rd, 2020, 10:00 am ET
- Topic: COVID-19: SC Chamber & Senator Tim Scott
For the Chamber to gauge the current effect of the Coronavirus and ensuing state policies and federal legislation on South Carolina businesses, we ask that you complete a short, 12-question survey.
The survey is open now and closes at 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 5th. It takes less than five minutes to complete; responses can be anonymous and will not be associated with you or your company if you choose.
Please help the Chamber provide data and feedback to policymakers and allow us to advocate for business-friendly COVID-19 policies by participating.
Problems Filing Claims Online: Many individuals have had trouble getting through on the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) website to file unemployment claims. One primary reason for this problem is that DEW is required to verify social security numbers to validate claims requests, and, unfortunately, the national system (ICON hub) to do this verification is in overload with validation requests. Employers can share the information below with filers to help answer their questions about delays.
- Every state in the country sends data to one server (ICON hub) as part of their filing procedure, maintained by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) on contract for USDOL.
- Usually, the system pushes SSN verifications through automatically. Due to the current overload, DEW has to take manual steps to push SSN verifications, including closing the claimant system from 11:00 pm – 3:00 am every day (the time of day with the fewest users) to push numbers through ICON and the Social Security Administration during their off-peak times.
- DEW has asked NASWA and USDOL to do everything possible to offer relief on the backlog that South Carolina and the other states and territories are experiencing.
CARES Act Unemployment Claims Status: The CARES Act included additional funding for unemployment insurance and expanded benefits to many categories of previously ineligible individuals. See the details below on the expanded benefits and availability.
- Increased benefits to those who currently qualify: individuals who ordinarily would be eligible for unemployment can now receive the regular amount of compensation available under state law, and an additional flat fee of $600 per week.
- CARES also provides an additional 13 weeks of UI benefits.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands benefits to self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, farmers, and gig workers. Self-employed workers with an LLC or S corporation also qualify.
- Note: these benefits are not available to those who can work remotely or already are receiving paid leave benefits, including those benefits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Timing: DEW has been instructed by the top USDOL officials to wait on further guidance before the implementation of new benefits. Therefore the agency is in a holding pattern until that guidance is issued to states so they can begin the systems, changes, policies, and procedures needed to start processing claims under the new federal parameters.
- USDOL has told DEW to expect that guidance this week.