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Minnesota Unemployment Benefits

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Eligible candidates may claim unemployment benefits in Minnesota if they recently lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The state’s unemployment insurance (UI) program offers temporary financial assistance to local workers as they search for new employment opportunities. These resources are intended to help support enrollees and their families during this period of time. UI, which is also referred to as unemployment compensation (UC), is funded through employers’ tax contributions. Furthermore, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is responsible for managing this program.

Whether researching how to apply for unemployment online or over the phone, there are specific requirements applicants must meet. The sections that follow will explain the eligibility for unemployment requirements that are necessary for this program. Subsections will also address what information candidates must supply when applying for benefits, how to maintain UC enrollment and what happens if claimants’ applications are denied.

What is unemployment in Minnesota?

The Minnesota unemployment insurance program is statewide. As a result, workers in any part of MN may apply to receive unemployment insurance benefits. The DEED extends unemployment compensation to local workers who need temporary financial assistance. These candidates are in between jobs, and they may use their MN unemployment insurance coverage to afford basic living costs for themselves and their dependents. However, petitioners must remember that this program is only available to them for a maximum of 26 weeks each year. During this time, an unemployment claim allows enrollees to receive a maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $693.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Minnesota?

When determining who qualifies for unemployment in Minnesota, the DEED examines various criteria. The program’s eligibility for unemployment requirements include:

  • Work authorization – Candidates who are not United States citizens must produce valid work authorizations before when applying for UC benefits. Applicants will also be required to submit proof of this documentation when they apply.
  • – Petitioners must either be completely unemployed or working reduced hours. Regardless, this change must have been the result of circumstances that were outside of the candidates’ control. This means applicants may not have been fired for misconduct, nor quit for personal reasons.
  • Readiness – Workers must be prepared to accept appropriate employment opportunities as they arise. In other words, claimants must have reliable transportation and child care support, if applicable. On the other hand, petitioners are ineligible to receive UC if they are physically unable to work or are taking classes that would interfere with their work schedules.

MN unemployment insurance eligibility also takes into consideration applicants’ financial histories. In order to determine if candidates meet the UI monetary stipulations, the DEED examines how much money the petitioners earned during their base periods. In total, the base period covers 52 weeks. However, this time period fluctuates depending on when claimants apply. For eligibility for UI purposes, the base period quarters divide as follows:

  • First quarter January, February, March.
  • Second quarter – April, May, June.
  • Third quarter – July, August, September.
  • Fourth quarter – October, November, December.

If petitioners apply in a quarter’s first month, the base period used to determine UI eligibility is the first four of the last five completed quarters. However, this is contingent upon the fact that the claimants earned enough income during that period to qualify for UI. If candidates do not qualify, their base periods become the four quarters they most recently completed. Conversely, the DEED will compare income periods for candidates who apply in a quarter’s second or third months. As a result, the DEED will compare the wages these petitioners earned in the first four of the last five quarters versus their four most recent quarters. Whichever quarter the claimants earned the most income in is the one the DEED will to calculate eligibility for UC.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Minnesota?

Petitioners who would like to apply for unemployment benefits in Minnesota may do so by submitting an online application for unemployment. Conversely, candidates may submit their materials over the phone. Whether researching how to apply for unemployment online or by phone, claimants must produce the following information:

  • Identifying information, such as the claimants’ Social Security Numbers and driver’s license or state-issued identification numbers.
  • Contact information for the petitioners, including their mailing addresses and phone numbers.
  • Employment history for all companies the clients worked for in the past 18 months. This includes the employers’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. Similarly, applicants must also report when they were employed with these specific organizations, what their pay rate was and why they left those positions.
  • Direct deposit information if the candidates want to receive their UC benefits in this manner. Specifically, petitioners must submit their bank account and routing numbers.

Petitioners of any professional background must submit the aforementioned information to file for an unemployment claim. However, claimants with specific professions may be required to provide additional information. For example:

  • Military members should bring their Member-4 copy of DD Form 214.
  • Federal employees may be required to show their SF-8 and SF-50.
  • Non-citizens need to submit their work authorization forms.
  • Union members might be requested to share their trade union names and local numbers.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Minnesota?

The DEED may request an unemployment phone interview in Minnesota if the department has any questions regarding petitioners’ applications. The questions asked during unemployment interview vary depending on what aspects of the claimants’ materials need clarifications. Similarly, these conversations vary in length. As a result, more complex topics will require additional questions. In some instances, the DEED may also require anunemployment interview with employer. This is especially common when the department has questions regarding why claimants are currently unemployed.

In order to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview, applicants and employers must both understand why the department is requiring this step. Sometimes an interview is necessary because claimants forgot to answer a portion of their applications or their responses are ambiguous. In most cases, however, the DEED requires these conversations when petitioners are unemployed due to reasons besides being laid off. Receiving a request for a UI phone interview does not signify that the DEED will reject the applicants’ claims. However, petitioners must prepare their responses and organize their materials before this conversation. In particular, claimants may prepare for the UC interview by:

  • Being on time Applicants will be notified of their interview’s time and date in advance. It is imperative that claimants are available for these conversations. Otherwise, the DEED will be forced to make decisions without their input. Unless in the event of an emergency, these interviews may not be rescheduled.
  • Preparing documents – Claimants should have on hand any documents that support their narratives. For example, if petitioners say they made reasonable efforts to keep their jobs, having a copy of the emails they sent to their supervisors would greatly support their statements.
  • Reviewing the employee handbook – Candidates must review their employee handbooks and note any places where company codes and policies support their arguments.
  • Answering honestly – Most petitioners want to know how to pass the unemployment insurance interview. However, claimants must be sure to only provide truthful statements in their testimonies. Deliberately falsifying information will disqualify candidates from the program and could result in legal consequences.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Minnesota?

Enrollees must claim unemployment benefits in Minnesota each week they participate in the program. In order to maintain an unemployment benefits claim, recipients must certify their enrollment either over the phone or online. Beneficiaries who recertify over the phone are given call-in days that are based on the last digit of their Social Security Numbers. On the other hand, enrollees who are claiming benefits for unemployment online may do so any day of the week.

Workers claiming benefits for UC are obligated to report any income they earn during enrollment weeks. While beneficiaries are permitted to work while receiving UC, their total earnings will impact how much UI support they may receive. Thus, enrollees must remember the following:

  • Overworking Enrollees who work 32 or more hours in a week may not claim UI benefits for that period.
  • Total earnings – Beneficiaries whose gross earnings for a week are greater than their WBAs may not receive funds for that week.
  • Partial employment – Acceptees who work fewer than 32 hours a week and earn less than their WBAs may continue receiving UC funds during that time. However, the DEED will deduct 50 percent of their total earnings from their corresponding WBAs.

Beyond reporting earnings, petitioners who are applying to recertify a UC benefits claim must also report their work search efforts. The DEED requires claimants to proactively seek employment.

When searching for employment, beneficiaries must report the following:

  • Name and phone number for the company they contacted.
  • Company’s address and fax number, if applicable.
  • Hiring managers the claimants contacted.
  • Vacant positions the applicants applied for.
  • Method of contact that enrollees used to reach their contacts.
  • Any results or follow-up conversations the beneficiaries had, such as interviews.

In order to claim unemployment benefits in MN, enrollees must maintain a work search log. Similarly, beneficiaries must keep a separate log for any related work search activities they complete. On this list, workers must document any workshops they attended or any searches they conducted. The DEED will conduct random audits among enrollees to ensure all recipients are complying with this requirement.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Minnesota?

After claimants are denied unemployment in Minnesota, they have the right to file an appeal to contest the DEED’s decisions. The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law is responsible for conducting these hearings. Similarly, employers who are dissatisfied with the DEED’s determinations may also request appeals. Claimants who are denied unemployment benefits may file their appeals:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • Via fax.

When petitioners receive their Notices of Determination from the DEED, these documents will state the deadline by when candidates must submit their appeals. Once the Appeals Office receives the unemployment denial appeal, it will schedule the trial with an unemployment law judge (ULJ). Afterward, the office will mail claimants and employers with Notices of Hearing. These unemployment benefits denied hearings are conducted over the phone, and the notices will inform participants when the hearings will take place.

In a denied UI appeal hearing, both parties have the right to produce evidence and witnesses who support their cases. Participants must submit their evidence at least five days before their hearings. Furthermore, both parties in a UC denial appeal are entitled to legal representation. However, this is not required, and both claimants and their employers are financially responsible for their own lawyers. The ULJ will send a written determination within 20 days of the appeal hearing. If any participants wish to appeal, they may request a reconsideration.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Minnesota?

Congress is responsible for enacting a federal unemployment extension in Minnesota or in other parts of the United States. However, this unemployment benefits extension is rarely offered. An unemployment extension is only available when a part of the country has more unemployed workers than usual. When active, the unemployment compensation extension allows enrollees who have already reached the state’s maximum 26 weeks of UI support to receive additional benefits.

How do I contact the Minnesota unemployment office?

The Minnesota unemployment office provides enrollees and applicants with support as they navigate the UC program. There is an unemployment office in various large cities throughout the state. In addition to calling the UI office, individuals may visit it in person. The Minnesota WorkForce Center in St. Paul is located at:

540 Fairview Avenue North

St. Paul, Minnesota 55104


How will I get paid?

In the state of Minnesota, individuals can receive Unemployment Benefits through direct deposit or on a US Bank ReliaCard Visa. The Visa card is an unemployment debit card that gets funds automatically added each week that you are on the program.

How can I apply for unemployment in Minnesota?

You can apply for unemployment in the state of Minnesota online or by phone. To apply online, simply visit the applicant self service system at Otherwise, you can contact them by phone.

Choose English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali:

Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644

Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090

TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-866-814-1252

When should I request unemployment benefits in Minnesota?

As soon as possible. The less you wait to file an unemployment claim in the state of Minnesota, the better. Like most states, Minnesota doesn’t consider the date you were fired as part of your benefits. Only the date you filed your claim matters when it comes to your unemployment benefits.

Minnesota Unemployment Office Locations


Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program P.O. Box 4629 St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 296-3745 View Website Unemployement Claim File

Find Unemployment Office Locations

There are 48 Minnesota Unemployment Office Locations