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Posted on: April 20, 2020

How To Apply For Unemployment

unemployment covid graphic

How to Apply: Claims can be filed by setting up an account on the MDES website, mdes.ms.gov or you can call is (888) 844-3577 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

*The website also offers a downloadable unemployment application form, which can be emailed to UIClaims@mdes.ms.gov. Unemployment questions can be sent to cv19@mdes.ms.gov.

*Local WIN Job Centers are now accepting unemployment applications by phone 662-280-6218 or email DeSotocountyjobcenter@mdes.ms.gov. (Buildings are closed)

Important information:

*If approved for benefits, they will be applied retroactively to whenever the person lost their job. Under an executive order signed by Reeves, there is no longer a one-week waiting period to receive benefits, and recipients are not required to prove they are searching for another job. Benefits can be paid two ways: direct deposit or an MDES-issued debit card.

*Despite waived work-search requirements during the virus, people approved for benefits must still file a weekly "certification" online to keep getting paid.
*Each week starts at 12:01 am on Sunday and ends at midnight on the following Saturday. Your weekly certification should be filed timely as soon as possible after the Saturday week-ending date. UI System will only accept the most recently completed calendar week.

*The Mississippi benefit tops out at $235 per week. Mississippians eligible under the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program will also get $600 weekly in stimulus funding.


COVID-19 FAQ’s for Workers:

Q. Would I be eligible for benefits if my employer shuts down or lays me off because of the COVID-19 situation?

A. You may be eligible and should file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Q. Would I be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if I become ill with the COVID-19 virus and cannot work?

A. Currently, you are required to be physically able to work. Should there be any state or federal declarations related to the COVID-19 virus, MDES is ready to apply any guidelines rendered in accordance with the declaration.


Q. Would I be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if I am quarantined?

A. If an individual is quarantined and will return to the employer, this individual would be considered laid off. You may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Q. I am a contract worker. I received a Misc-1099 in lieu of a W2. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits if no work is available for me?

A. Unemployment taxes are not paid on Independent Contractors or the self-employed so these earnings cannot be used to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. Should there be any state or federal declarations that determines an independent Contractor or self-employed worker eligible resulting from a claim filed related to the COVID-19 virus, MDES is ready to apply any guidelines rendered in the declaration.


Q. Is the coronavirus considered a disaster, and can I receive Disaster Unemployment?

A. Currently, there is no disaster unemployment declaration related to benefits paid as a result of coronavirus. Should there be a federal declaration related to the COVID-19 virus, MDES is ready to apply any guidelines rendered in the declaration.


Q. What type of proof may be required to substantiate a COVID19 claim?

A. No proof is required at this time. Do not delay filing your claim for unemployment benefits even if your employer has not issued you any paperwork. It is important to file as soon as you become unemployed. For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s information and a return to work date readily, if one has been provided by your employer.


Q. What if my employer goes out of business permanently as a result of COVID-19?

A. You may be eligible and should apply for unemployment benefits. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Q. I was fired from my job because I refused to report to work due to the coronavirus. What can I do?

A. You may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility based on your specific circumstances. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Q. I am unable to work because of a family member’s illness. Can I collect unemployment benefits?

A. Currently, you are required to be able and available to work. Should there be any state or federal declarations related to the COVID-19 virus, MDES is ready to apply any guidelines rendered in the declaration.


Q. If my employer only permits me to work part-time rather than my full-time hours, will I be able to collect unemployment benefits?

A. You should file for benefits as you may be eligible for partial unemployment. Please note: when working and filing, all hours and gross earnings must be reported. A portion of your gross earnings will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount.


Q: What should I select when filing my claim during this Coronavirus pandemic?
A: If you are temporarily laid off due to COVID-19, you should select ‘Lack of Work’ not ‘Leave of Absence” when filing your claim.

Q: How should I answer the questions on the claim application ‘Can you accept full time work immediately?
A: If you are affected by the COVID-19, you should select ‘Yes’.

If you have questions or need further assistance regarding your account or your unemployment insurance claim, please contact us at cv19@mdes.ms.gov 


FEDERAL STIMULUS BENEFITS FOR MISSISSIPPIANS:

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, or FPUC, provides $600 per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs. This benefit begins March 29, 2020.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes individuals who are self-employed or contract employees.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, or PEUC, allows for a potential additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.

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