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How to Claim Benefits for Unemployment in Minnesota

Out-of-work residents can apply and claim unemployment benefits in Minnesota. The state provides temporary partial wage compensation to qualified individuals while they search for new employment opportunities. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) handles all federal unemployment benefits in MN.

The top requirement for MN unemployment benefits claims is being unemployed or underemployed through no fault of your own, such as a layoff or a reduction in hours due to slow business. Other conditions required to claim unemployment benefits in MN include working in covered employment within the past 18 months and earning enough in wages to establish a claim.

How to Apply for a Minnesota Unemployment Benefits Claim

To claim unemployment benefits, qualified unemployed workers can register for unemployment insurance by phone or online. You can register online Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by phone from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Unemployment benefits claims in MN must start 30 minutes prior to daily deadlines to ensure adequate time to submit an application.

Unemployment claims applicants should collect all necessary information prior to applying for a MN unemployment benefits claim. Be ready to provide your employer’s name, address and phone number, as well as the location(s) in which you have worked in the past 18 months. Besides basic contact information, your Social Security Number, driver license or state identification number is mandatory to claim unemployment benefits in Minnesota. Non-citizens must present work authorization documents. U.S. military personnel will need the Certification of Release or Discharge from Active Duty form (DD-214) for eligibility to federal unemployment benefits in MN. Federal employees who are claiming benefits for unemployment in MN will need the unemployment compensation form SF-8 and Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) form.

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Minnesota

Claiming benefits for unemployment in Minnesota requires weekly certifications from claimants. After applying for a MN unemployment benefits claim, DEED mails a Determination of Benefit Account form to the claimant illustrating the weekly benefit amount. Though this form does not guarantee eligibility, and confirmation of eligibility may take weeks, unemployment claims applicants still need to request, certify and claim unemployment benefits each week.

To claim unemployment benefits, applicants must answer a series of questions pertaining to their job search efforts. Underemployed, partially unemployed and part-time employees who work less than 32 hours a week or have inconsistent hours must carefully claim unemployment benefits to avoid committing fraud resulting in denial of benefits. Partial employment can include:

  • Part-time or on-call work.
  • Self-employment.
  • Temporary work.
  • Training period at new job.
  • Volunteer services.

Unemployment claims applicants who work part time can claim unemployment benefits and receive a partial compensation payment for the difference, provided earnings are less than the weekly benefit amount. Claiming benefits for unemployment in MN requires keeping a record of all hours worked and wages earned. Total earnings include cash, commission, tips, salary and wages, as well as the value of rent, goods or services received for work. Other income that affects MN unemployment benefits claims include:

  • Pension of 401k payments.
  • Severance.
  • Sick, holiday and vacation pay.
  • Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
  • Workers’ compensation.

Continued eligibility to claim unemployment benefits includes actively seeking work. Unemployment claimants must be able and willing to accept suitable employment. The state provides community services to assist with finding employment. Claimants who fail to attend mandatory Reemployment Sessions at a local WorkForce Center lose the eligibility to claim unemployment benefits. You submit the Request for Benefit Payment timely each week, either online during the same times as registration or by phone according to the schedule below:

  • If the last digit of your Social Security Number is 1, 3 or 5, call on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to noon.
  • If the last digit of your Social Security Number is 7 or 9, call on Tuesday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • If the last digit of your Social Security Number is 0, 2 or 4, call on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to noon.
  • If the last digit of your Social Security Number is 6 or 8, call on Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m.

Note: Any and all recipients may call on Thursday or Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well.

The initial week of claiming benefits for unemployment in MN is an unpaid waiting period. You must still certify and be eligible to claim unemployment benefits in the first week. At the earliest, you can expect the first benefit payment three weeks from registration.

Learn About Minnesota Unemployment Benefits Claims and Federal Income Taxes

All unemployment benefits claims are state and federally taxable. At any time, you can start or stop income tax withholding from benefit payments by calling the automated phone system or making the change to the account online. DEED mails a form of all federal unemployment benefits paid to claimant by January 31 for tax filing purposes.