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You might have to pay back unemployment benefits in SC if you don't act now

You have until midnight May 5 to provide the state of SC with the required documentation. You must act to keep your benefits and avoid paying benefits back.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — About 30,000 South Carolinians have a short time left to provide the state's unemployment agency with documents; if they don't, they could risk losing benefits and potentially owing the state money.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) said this problem affects people who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments since Dec. 27, 2020. People who got the money must upload some required documents by May 5, 2021, or there could be problems.

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Those who don't provide the documents by that date could stop receiving benefits. This also affects people who are no longer receiving money.  People must provide documentation of employment, self-employment, or planned employment (meaning they were getting ready to start a job or business). Even people who received just one week of benefits are affected.

Credit: JJ Gouin - stock.adobe.com

SCDEW said people could have to pay the agency back for any unemployment benefits received since Dec. 27.

Uploading your documents to the benefits portal is the fastest way to make sure the agency receives the documentation and your benefits, and you are not disqualified or have to pay back an overpayment.

Here is a guide to walk you through the process step by step.

By uploading the document, you can also check the My Documents tab in your MyBenefits account to make sure they are attached to your claim.

Proof of employment includes, but is not limited to: W-2 forms, paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements.  Any document you submit will need to have the employer’s name and address printed on the document.

Proof of employment with organizations such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and educational or religious organizations includes, but is not limited to documentation from the organization, signed affidavits verifying your attachment to such organizations (An affidavit is a signed document that is like a sworn statement from the organization confirming that you were employed with them.)

Proof of self-employment includes but is not limited to, state or federal tax returns, state or federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, business receipts, and signed affidavits verifying the self-employment.

For individuals who obtained work but were not able to start the job, also known as planned commencement of employment, you can provide a letter from the company offering the work.

For individuals who were starting self-employment but were not able to, also known as planned commencement of self-employment, you can provide a business letter, your state or federal employer identification numbers, or a written business plan or a lease agreement.

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.