South Dakota Labor Department is accepting unemployment claims from school employees affected by COVID-19 closures

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is accepting reemployment assistance (unemployment insurance) claims from school employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 closures.

South Dakota schools will stay closed through March 27 as a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19. If the worker is not being paid by the employer while at home, the worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

“School workers approved for benefits will not be required to actively seek work each week while receiving benefits,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman.

Workers can file for benefits online at or by calling 605-626-2452. Online filing is encouraged. The non-paid waiting week, typically the first week of compensable benefits, is still in effect.

People who are being paid to work from home or those receiving paid sick or vacation leave are NOT eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, regardless if they fit the situation above.