The unemployment insurance (UI) program provides temporary financial support for individuals who have experienced a loss of wages due to unemployment. The UI program also ensures that a skilled workforce continues to be available for employers in Minnesota. The UI program is offered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEDD), and services are available in English, Spanish, and Somali.
The DEDD recommends that you apply for UI benefits as soon as you become unemployed; however, it must be through no fault of your own. You can also be eligible for UI benefits if your hours have been significantly reduced, and you are currently working part-time hours or less. At the same time, you must be physically able to work, ready to work, and actively seeking employment. As part of the application process, you must fill out a questionnaire regarding the reason for separation from employment. Likewise, your employer will be sent a similar document that requests specific information about your separation. Thus, you must be accurate and honest in your UI claim, as your employer will need to confirm your reason(s) for unemployment.
Work Search Requirement
To satisfy this requirement, you must submit a work search record to the DEDD at least once per month. This will be used to prove that you are actively seeking employment opportunities in or outside of the state. As part of this requirement, you will need to participation in a reemployment session or attend a workshop at one of the local Minnesota Workforce centers; this requirement will be explained to you after the DEDD has reviewed your application.
Monetary Eligibility Requirement
You must also meet the monetary eligibility requirement, which is based on your earnings from the last 12-18 months, depending on which “base period” is used. In most cases, your base period will consist of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters of the calendar year. If you do not qualify for the base period, you will automatically be considered for the alternate base period, which is the last four completed quarters of the calendar year. This period will be used to determine your weekly and maximum benefit amounts. In general, your weekly benefit amount will be 50 percent of the average wages that you would have earned through full-time employment. In Minnesota, the maximum UI benefit amount is $629 per week, and you can receive this amount for a maximum of 26 weeks in a 52-week period (benefit year). However, you must submit a weekly certification for each week that you wish to receive UI benefits.
How to File a Claim
If you wish to submit a UI claim as soon as possible, you will need to apply online or by telephone; you can contact the main claim center at 1-877-898-9090. You will need your Social Security Number (SSN) and the details of your employment history. In particular, you will need the name, address, and contact information of your most recent employer. In addition, you will need to choose a payment method as part of the application process; therefore, you will need your banking information if you wish to receive your UI benefits through direct deposit.