More jobless SC workers to qualify for benefits

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Part-time workers in South Carolina and those who quit work to care for a family member will be able to earn jobless benefits starting next year thanks to federal stimulus money.

Multiple media outlets report Wednesday the state is receiving $97.5 million for unemployment benefits.

The state became eligible for the additional money after legislators expanded who's eligible for benefits. The changes were part of a broader bill to restructure the agency that handles unemployment checks, change its name and put it under Gov. Mark Sanford's control.

The state now pays part-time workers only if they worked enough hours and pledge to seek full-time work. Sanford had previously opposed the expansion.

South Carolina has been struggling with record-high unemployment.

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