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Division of Human Resources

Bonus Payment in October

As part of the 2022-2023 State Appropriation Act, the state authorized a one-time lump sum bonus payment to state employees in FTE positions who have been in continuous state service for at least six months prior to July 1, 2022.  In addition, eligible employees must be employed at the time of the bonus.  The proviso allows for institutions of higher education to distribute bonuses without uniformity. 


The University of South Carolina will award the bonus as follows:

  • Eligible FTE employees earning $100,000 or less as of August 31, 2022, will receive a $1,500 bonus payment on October 31, 2022, in their regular paycheck.
  • Eligible FTE employees earning from $100,001 to $150,000 as of August 31, 2022, will receive a $1,000 bonus payment on October 31, 2022, in their regular paycheck.

This is a special payment and is not earnable compensation for purposes of employer or employee contributions to respective retirement systems. For tax purposes, state approved bonuses are treated as supplemental income by the IRS.  All bonuses are taxed at the supplemental tax rate of 22% for federal taxes and 7% for South Carolina taxes.  Bonuses are also subject to FICA taxes. 

Receipt of Payment

On October 31, 2022, each eligible employee will receive two separate paychecks/direct deposits.  State-approved bonuses are being issued as a separate paycheck/direct deposit from your normal semi-monthly paycheck/direct deposit.


This special legislated bonus payment does not impact overall eligibility for other bonus payments.  Under state law, eligible employees, except those in critical fields as defined by law, are limited to a maximum of $3,000 in bonuses in any fiscal year.  This special bonus payment will not count against the maximum bonus payment.

Leave Without Pay Status

Employees in Leave Without Pay status (LWOP), who are otherwise eligible, will not receive the bonus until they return to employment.  At which time, the HR Contact will need to coordinate payment with their HR Service Team.

Faculty on Sabbatical Leave

Faculty on sabbatical paid leave, who are otherwise eligible, will receive the bonus in the October 31, 2022, regular paycheck.    

Research Grant/Time-Limited (RGP/TL) Employees

RGP and time-limited employees are not eligible to receive the state appropriated bonus.  If an area would like to grant bonuses to these employee groups, it would need to be per the bonus policy and through the normal processing procedures.  Any amount granted would also accumulate to the $3,000 fiscal year maximum.

Funding for the Bonus

For the Columbia Campus, the university will provide funding to cover the cost of the bonuses, excluding the School of Medicine and auxiliary units.  Non-auxiliary units must provide the funding to cover the cost of the employee bonuses.  The Palmetto regional campuses, comprehensive institutions, and both Schools of Medicine receive their own funding lines for the bonuses from the state.

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