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      Unemployment benefits extended in SC

      If an individual receives a notice from the SCESC, this indicates a review of their claim shows that they may be eligible to receive benefits under the new program.

      Good news for those drawing unemployment, as your benefits may continue thanks to a federal extension recently given the green light. The approval means nearly 11,000 South Carolinians who may have exhausted their unemployment benefits can now apply for more assistance.

      During the season of giving, the federal and state governments are offering up a big gift to thousands of South Carolinian's.

      "Thank you for this blessing and it's a blessing here at Christmas time," said Harold Taylor.

      Harold Taylor has been out of work since January. He's a carpenter by trade, and has been able to work odd jobs on and off. But as of June, his prospects dried up.

      "I held on to the hope that my company would be calling me back but it didn't happen," said Taylor. "They didn't have the job."

      State lawmakers met Thursday to talk about ways to cut unemployment numbers and how to get people like Taylor back to work in this state. While the benefits extension helps, it is not a solution.

      "This is a stop gap until we can help them find another form of employment," said SC Employment Commission spokesman Clark Newsom.

      There are two levels: Tier Three offers 13 weeks of extended benefits; while Tier Four offers an additional six weeks.

      Folks like Harold Taylor say the extension is right on time.

      "It could be the difference in someone actually being put out of their home or ending up in the position that I'm in and living in a shelter," said Taylor.

      And while Taylor looks to get back on his feet, he says any kind of assistance is a big lift in a major way.