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South Carolina

These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on August 4, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in South Carolina, we recommend that you visit the Governor's Executive Orders, the Department of Commerce website or the Department of Health and Environment Control's COVID-19 resources.

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Description of Program and Relief

Voluntary Employer COVID-19 Support Payments to Furloughed Employees

Employers who have furloughed employees will have the option to make voluntary support payments to furloughed employees (COVID-19 Support Payments). The Executive Order announcing the action defines a furlough as a temporary period of time during which an employee performs no personal services for the employer as a result of a layoff caused by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Support Payments are defined as:

  1. a payment or series of payments;

  2. made by an employer to an employee in response to furloughing the employee;

  3. for services rendered in the past;

  4. which the employee or the employee’s estate is not required to repay;

  5. which is provided without obligation for the recipient to perform or not perform any act in connection with the recipient’s status as an employee; and,

  6. which is made pursuant to a plan provided to the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), accessible on the DEW website.

  7. These support payments will not affect furloughed employees eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits. The Governor has directed that the COVID-19 Support Payments be considered a form of severance pay and furloughed recipients of COVID-19 Support Payments be considered unemployed under applicable South Carolina laws and regulations. The Governor’s Order also directs that furloughed recipients of COVID-19 Support Payments will not be considered to have been overpaid Unemployment Insurance Benefits solely because the furloughed employee received a COVID-19 Support Payment and will not have their Unemployment Insurance Benefits reduced as a result of receiving a COVID-19 Support Payment.

  8. Employers that wish to make COVID-19 Support Payments to furloughed employees must submit the COVID-19 Support Payment Plan application, available here, to legal@dew.sc.gov. Further, employers that wish to make COVID-19 Support Payments to furloughed employees must file employer-filed Unemployment Insurance Benefits claims for each employee receiving COVID-19 Support Payments.

Government or Lead Agency

Office of the Governor/South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce

Dates Available

Available now

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

COVID-19 Support Payments are voluntary, and employers are not required to make COVID-19 Support Payments. Employers that wish to provide furloughed employees COVID-19 Support Payments must complete the COVID-19 Support Payment Plan application, available here, to legal@dew.sc.gov.

Although employers do not need to wait for specific approval from DEW in order to begin making COVID-19 Support Payments, employers should be aware that payments made without the necessary certifications or not in compliance with Executive Orders 2020‐22 and 2020-50 may affect their employees’ eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

Further, employers that wish to make COVID-19 Support Payments to furloughed employees must file employer-filed Unemployment Insurance Benefits claims for each employee receiving COVID-19 Support Payments.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

N/A

Contact for More Information

To submit a COVID-19 Support Payment Plan application, email legal@dew.sc.gov.

List of Additional Information

For the Governor’s Executive Orders Authorizing COVID-19 Support Payments, click here and here.

For an explanation of COVID-19 Support Payments provided by the DEW, click here.

For the DEW’s COVID-19 Support Payment page, click here.


© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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