Employment - Reemployment Assistance (formerly Unemployment Insurance)

Effective July 1, 2019, South Dakota’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program will be renamed to Reemployment Assistance (RA) program. This is a result of HB 1035 which passed during the 2019 legislative session. The division of the Department of Labor and Regulation that administers the program will be the Reemployment Assistance Division. The main URL will change to dlr.sd.gov/ra on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Does anything else change about the program along with the name?

No. The name change reinforces the philosophy of helping people reenter the workforce as quickly as possible. There are no other changes to the administration of this program, such as collection of taxes or payment of benefits.

What does the program offer?

This long-standing program provides temporary weekly benefits to people who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Benefits are not meant to replace total wages lost but to assist with basic necessities until a worker becomes reemployed. 

How is eligibility determined?

There are many factors that can affect a Reemployment Assistance claim. The Reemployment Assistance Division determines eligibility based on information from the claimant and the former employer(s) and state statutes and regulations. If a separation from employment was for qualifying reasons as defined by South Dakota law, a claimant can receive benefits as long as there are no other eligibility issues with his/her claim.

What do I have to do each week to stay eligibile?

  1. Being able and available to accept work;
  2. Being registered with the claimant’s state’s designated workforce agency;
  3. Actively seeking work, unless the Reemployment Assistance Division advises the claimant otherwise; and,
  4. Participating in all reemployment activities as directed by the local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) office.

This list does not include all the eligibility requirements as eligibility is determined based on specific circumstances.

What are the reasons I would be denied benefits?

A claimant may be denied benefits if he/she quits or is discharged from a job, is not able and available for work, is not actively seeking work, fails to accept suitable work without good cause, fails to apply for suitable work as directed by the local DLR office, has earnings equal to or more than his/her weekly benefit amount (this includes wages, vacation, holiday or separation pay), is self-employed and working full-time hours per week, or fails to satisfy other eligibility requirements not included here. 

When should I apply?

A claimant needs to file as soon as the claimant becomes unemployed or work hours have been reduced. Waiting to file may cause a loss of benefits. Eligibility for benefits is not based on financial need. These benefits are funded through a dedicated tax that is paid by a claimant’s former employer(s). Employees do not pay any portion of the benefit costs or taxes. 

How do I file a claim?

A claimant seeking Reemployment Assistance benefits can file a claim online or by telephone. Filing online is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To file by telephone, contact the Claims Call Center at (605) 626-3179, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. (CST). Speech and hearing-impaired applicants can call (800) 877-1113. More details about how to file a claim for Reemployment Assistance benefits and accessing the online filing system are available on the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation website. 

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