COLUMBIA, S.C.  (AP/SCRN/WVOC) - South Carolina's unemployment agency has launched a free app that allows jobless residents to seek weekly benefits through their iPhones. 

The Department of Employment and Workforce, or DEW, has unveiled “iCLAIM,” which is said to be the nation's first such app for smartphones.  

DEW spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell says the mobile application does more than just offer convenience.

“The fact that we are able not to communicate with this individual almost in real time will assist us with fraud prevention," Fairwell explains.

She says 70% of residents receiving unemployment benefits in South Carolina use mobile devices to access the Internet at least once per day.  

People still must fill out initial applications for benefits either online or by phone. 

Fairwell says the iCLAIM app is initially available for Apple products, but DEW hopes to offer it for Android devices later this year.

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