SC makes it harder to get unemployment benefits

January 12, 2012 - 8:25 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has struggled with high unemployment for years. Now state officials are making harder for unemployed people to draw benefits.

The state's Department of Employment and Workforce will try to force people to take lower-wage jobs and make it easier for laid-off workers to be declared ineligible for benefits because of misconduct.

Department director and Maj. Gen. Abraham Turner told a state Senate committee Thursday that the policies begin immediately, but technology upgrades needed for the job-offer-acceptance plan are expected to take six months.

Turner says it's about providing an incentive to the jobless to get busy finding a new job, and not turn down offers.

An advocate for low-income people noted questions why the unemployed are being targeted by legislators.