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The Process to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) can provide weekly payments to qualified unemployed residents. Applicants must meet the state’s eligibility requirements to start an unemployment insurance claim and continue to recertify for benefits weekly.

We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in Mississippi on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in Mississippi by reading below, checking out our Mississippi FAQs, and reading our free guide.

Learn About Unemployment Benefits in Mississippi

When former workers claim unemployment benefits in Mississippi, MDES sends a request to all employers listed on the claim for information regarding reasons for separation. Each employer has 14 days to respond. Information provided by the employer after the 14-day period will not be considered.

One of the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance coverage is not quitting or separating from their former employer due to reasons of their own fault, including misconduct. To qualify monetarily, the former employee must have:

  • Worked in at least two quarters of their base period.
  • Earned at least $780 in the highest-paid quarter of their base period.
  • Earned 40 times their weekly benefit amount in their base period.

Underemployed or part-time workers can apply for unemployment benefits if they earn less than their expected weekly benefit amount. Part-time unemployment claim applicants are required to report all earnings during each week filed.

Additionally, the former employee must:

  • Be registered for work through the local WIN Job Center.
  • Contact three employers each week to apply for work (an actual application must be completed with at least one of the three employer contacts).
  • Provide a detailed record of the employers contacted each week.

The minimum weekly benefit amount in Mississippi is $30, and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $235.

Learn About Filing a Claim in Mississippi

Mississippi unemployment benefits claims can be filed online, by phone or at a nearby WIN Job Center. When claiming benefits for unemployment online, the applicant needs a User ID and a password.

Some information applicants may need to complete the unemployment application process include the following:

  • Their Social Security number
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers for all employers for the last 18 months
  • Alien Registration number or Visa number, if not a U.S. citizen
  • Complete mailing address and phone number
  • The dates they worked and the reason they left each employer

After claiming unemployment benefits, MDES issues the claimant a “Monetary Determination” advising the weekly benefit amount and the quarterly wages reported by each base-period employer. The applicant must recertify weekly to receive unemployment benefits.

The claimant’s failure to file a weekly claim certification in a timely manner will affect his or her benefits. The week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday.

If an applicant filed a weekly certification for benefits online, he or she will be directed to complete his or her work search details first. The claimant’s work search details must include:

  • How it was completed,
  • The date it was performed,
  • The company name,
  • The name and phone number of the person with whom they spoke.

If he or she filed the weekly certification for benefits via the Interactive Voice Response system, he or she must complete the weekly work search by calling the Call Center, Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide the work search details.

How Long You May Receive Benefits in Mississippi

A “benefit year” is a period of 52 weeks beginning with the “effective date” of the claim. On the claimant’s Monetary Determination are the beginning and end dates of the benefit year and the maximum unemployment benefits amount. 

Benefits may be paid until the claimant obtains a new job, benefits are exhausted or until the end of the benefit year, whichever comes first. Anytime the individual files a claim for benefits that benefit year, they will file on the same claim.

Only during periods of high unemployment (defined by MES law) can claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits may qualify for an unemployment benefits extension.

Learn About Mississippi Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes

MS federal unemployment benefits are taxable. The former worker will be furnished a statement, Form 1099-G or the equivalent at the end of the year that the benefits are paid. The law requires the applicant to pay 90 percent of their tax for the year through withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments.

The applicant may choose to have 10 percent of his or her unemployment payments withheld for federal income tax. The tax will be deducted after other deductions are made (earnings, overpayments, pensions, or child support payments). They will be permitted to change a previously selected option by reporting to the unemployment insurance office.

Last Updated: October 11, 2022