It’s an 8 to 10 day wait for that first unemployment check, DOL says Original
KELO Unemployment

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota resident’s first unemployment check may take about eight to 10 days to arrive after monetary determination was issued, said Dawn Dovre of the South Dakota Department of Labor.

Unemployment recipients should see their following checks arrive sooner.

“After the initial 8-day processing period, it takes approximately two days from when you file the weekly request for payment (if there are no issues),” Dovre said in an email response to questions from KELOLAND News.

The DOL is working to address a historic amount of initial unemployment claims, Dovre said. About 8,000 initial claims were filed for the week ending April 4.

“The high volume does impact how quickly we can process claims, but we have increased our staff by 20 in this area,” Dovre said.”Other states are in a much dire situation, taking weeks for claimants to receive their first payment.”

The state also added 23 additional phone lines to a total of 115. Dovre said the wait time has decreased from about one hour to 25 minutes at the most.

People should continue to file initial claims online at

Unemployment checks will typically cover about 50% of the recipient’s wages, Dovre said.

South Dakota’s reemployment assistance program is financed by employers through payroll taxes; and workers do not contribute to the plan.

The federal government recently released new unemployment provisions under the CARES Act, such as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Those are 100% federally funded, Dovre said.

The CARES Act provides unemployment benefits for the self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, gig economy workers, those who have exhausted other unemployment insurance benefits, and those who may not have sufficient work history to qualify for a regular state claim, according to the state DOL website. The CARES Act also includes eligibility for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits in any amount to be paid an additional $600 weekly benefit, according to the DOL.

For more information on unemployment and the CARES Act, click here.

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