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Mississippi Unemployment

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was created to help individuals financially while they find a job. The program is funded by employers who pay the unemployment tax. Claimants must comply with all eligibility and document requirements to receive benefits.

In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Be able to work.
  • Be available for work.
  • Be actively looking for work.
  • File a claim for UI benefits.
  • Serve a one-week waiting period.
  • Have earned sufficient wages.
  • Be registered for work at WIN Job Center.

*For a WIN Job Center near you, visit: http://mdes.ms.gov/.

You also need to provide the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all your employers for the last 18 months
  • Dates you worked
  • Reason for unemployment
  • Alien Registration number or Visa number, if not a U.S. Citizen

Filing a Claim

You can file an initial UI claim online using MDES ACCESS MS System.

To access the system, visit: http://mdes.ms.gov/.

You will need to open an account with a username and password.

You can file online during regular business hours.

You can also file a claim over the phone. You may call 601-855-3133 or 1-888-844-3577. 

After filing an initial claim, you will need to certify benefits every week to keep receiving payments. Weekly claim certifications can be filed online as well, by using the MDES ACCESS MS System. A week of benefits begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You must file your weekly claims certification after the week has ended, but before the next week begins at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. You can file online during regular business hours.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is a federal extension given to individuals who have exhausted all regular Mississippi reemployment assistance benefits. EUC benefits are currently unavailable. The program ended December 28, 2013. If Congress passes legislation extending the EUC08 program, the Department will notify you.

Workforce Investment Act

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federally funded program to implement job training and employment programs. It offers a wide range of services such as:

  • Workshops.
  • Career counseling and planning.
  • Referral to training.
  • Resource room equipment.

WIA also has services available to the youth, dislocated workers and older workers.

For more information, visit: http://mdes.ms.gov/.

What happens if I’m fired, laid off or if I quit?

You must report if you are fired, quit your job or refuse work to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, so a determination of eligibility for UI benefits can be made.

When you file a claim, your employer will be mailed a “Notice of Filing” to verify the reason you have stated as to why you are no longer working. The Department will have the final say regarding your eligibility for benefits.

There is no penalty or reduction in Unemployment Insurance benefits if you are laid off.