SD Labor Department improves unemployment system

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 1:02 PM CDT
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The South Dakota Department of Labor set up a schedule for people filing unemployment claims because of a dramatic increase in unemployment insurance activity due to COVID-19 related layoffs.

A new “last name” filing system is being implemented effective Monday, March 30. Based on the first letter of your last name, claimants should file:

• A-F on Monday

• G-N on Tuesday

• O-Z on Wednesday

If you missed your day, you can file on Thursday or Friday.

“We strongly encourage workers who need to file for unemployment to do so online at

,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “You can also call 605-626-3179, but the wait time is approximately one hour.”


for filing an unemployment claim online is available. Selecting the direct deposit option instead of debit card will result in faster benefit payments.

The most common error is needing to reset a username or password. Do NOT call; to reset your username or password, email


Claimants filing weekly certifications can go online at

or call 605-626-3212, including after 5 p.m. CDT to keep phone lines available for first-time users. Payments will not be delayed.

“We will continue to look at ways to streamline the process of filing for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve,” said Hultman.

Due to the significant influx of claims, 25 more staff have been added to take calls, reset passwords, and process online claims. The number of phone lines has also increased.