DEW ending unemployment services at 17 offices

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - People who want in-person help with their unemployment benefits may have a longer drive starting Feb. 19.

      The Department of Employment and Workforce is reducing its offices for unemployment services from 56 to 39.

      Agency spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell says clients can still get services online or by calling a toll-free number. But for face-to-face help, many rural residents will need to go to a different office. For example, Allendale County residents will instead go to Barnwell.

      The offices won't close. Fairwell says SC Works career centers will remain at the locations.

      The agency says a loss of federal funds led to the change. The agency laid off 55 people last October. An additional 75 jobs have been cut.

      The agency says affected clients have been notified by mail.

      The following lists where the reassigned currently go for in-person help with their benefits, and where they'll go starting Feb. 19.

      While clients are assigned to their nearest office, they can receive assistance at any of the soon-to-be 39 locations:

      Abbeville clients reassigned to Greenwood.

      Allendale to Barnwell.

      Bamberg to Orangeburg.

      Bishopville to Sumter.

      Chester to Lancaster.

      Chesterfield to Bennettsville.

      Dillon to Marion.

      Edgefield to Aiken.

      Hampton to Walterboro.

      Kingstree to Florence.

      Manning to Sumter.

      McCormick to Greenwood.

      Ridgeland to Beaufort.

      Saluda to Newberry.

      St. Matthews also to Orangeburg.

      Union to Spartanburg.

      Winnsboro to Columbia.

      Source: Department of Employment and Workforce