Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Minnesota

Finding out eligibility for unemployment in Minnesota is a priority for many residents who are no longer employed. However, while there are some qualifications for unemployment that are the same across the country, each state has different unique agencies that regulate and distribute unemployment coverage to their citizens. Minnesota’s unemployment insurance eligibility requirements are important for the state’s residents to know and understand, in case they find themselves without a job and needing supplemental income during their job search. This article discusses in detail what are the requirements to get unemployment insurance in Minnesota, and helps potential applicants determine if they are eligible to receive UI payments before completing the application process.

How to Qualify for Unemployment Insurance in MN

When determining who qualifies for unemployment insurance in Minnesota, it is crucial to first understand where unemployment insurance comes from within the state. You can qualify for unemployment through the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program (referred to in this article as Unemployment Insurance of Minnesota, or UIMN), which is regulated by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. This program is similar to other unemployment qualification agencies across the country, but it operates in a slightly different way. For example, eligibility for EDD, California’s unemployment program, is different to UIMN because it involves a different application process, different benefit amounts and other features.

There are a number of qualifications for unemployment that are set in place by UIMN. The first and most basic of these unemployment insurance eligibility requirements is that you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal U.S. resident and resident of Minnesota. There are different methods for how to qualify for unemployment in different states, so all of the eligibility requirements for Minnesota do not necessarily correlate to other programs. Next, your eligibility for unemployment in Minnesota is quite reliant on being recently unemployed due to no fault of your own. UIMN defines “recent” as being under covered employment at some point during the last 18 months. Some examples of unemployment qualifying reasons are being laid off, replaced or simply losing your job for an understandable/acceptable reason. This usually does not include being fired for negligence, or a dishonorable discharge. You can also only receive unemployment insurance eligibility if you are both willing and able to work in the near future. Part of your Minnesota unemployment eligibility application (and later renewal applications) will include a detailed summary of your current job search – this is to ensure that you are actively looking for a job while receiving unemployment insurance benefits. Minnesota residents can even receive eligibility for unemployment if they are working part-time, but still making under a certain amount each week. But regardless, it is extremely important for your unemployment insurance eligibility for you to apply for benefits immediately after you have lost your most recent job – this is because UIMN will consider your first possible day of unemployment insurance benefits coverage to be the day after your most recent employment has ended. Unemployment insurance eligibility does not last indefinitely, as there is usually a fixed amount of time that Minnesota residents can take advantage of these benefits once they begin to receive them. Thus, if you wait too long to file, you may be missing out on some valuable coverage.

Perhaps the biggest and most challenging Minnesota unemployment insurance eligibility requirement involves your level of income during your most recent employment. Minnesota residents are unable to receive unemployment insurance eligibility if their quarterly wages during their “base period” were higher than a variable amount that is set each year by UIMN. This base period is defined as the four most recent calendar quarters (52 weeks) during which you were employed. Learning the qualifications for unemployment in Minnesota using this system can seem complicated – but while there are varying percentages of your income that are factored into your benefits by UIMN, unemployment eligible applicants will generally receive about half of their highest level of income during their base period as their unemployment benefits income. To learn more about unemployment eligibility, you can download our comprehensive guide to unemployment insurance here.

Proving Your MN Unemployment Eligibility

The final unemployment eligibility consideration that Minnesota residents need to make is the ability to prove that their active search for employment is legitimate. This information is critical to your eligibility for unemployment in Minnesota – not only will you need it for your initial application, but you will also need to provide UIMN with weekly reports containing this information. This initial unemployment insurance eligibility information (as well as the weekly check-ins while you are receiving benefits) can be submitted to UIMN via their applicant self-service system online or over the phone. Interested unemployment eligible applicants will need to create an online profile with the UIMN – this allows them to not only apply for and retain their unemployment insurance benefits, but also to help keep all of their associated paperwork in an easily accessible government location, change their personal/contact information easily, and more. Using the online functionality of UIMN to determine your unemployment insurance eligibility is the preferred method, therefore, due to its convenience and ease of use.

Conversely, you can also determine how to qualify for unemployment and renew your ongoing benefits each week by using the UIMN phone service. There are different designated times and dates for unemployment insurance applicants to call in, depending on the last digit of their Social Security number – however, there is an open call-in period for anyone to use from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

How to Maintain Your MN Eligibility for Unemployment

Your Minnesota unemployment insurance eligibility & benefits will not automatically renew each benefit period – instead, as mentioned above, you will need to prove that you are actively searching for a new job every week that you receive unemployment insurance coverage. This can be done using the UIMN online portal, or by calling the UIMN phone service. Additionally, for your eligibility for unemployment to continue, UIMN may ask you to physically show up to one of the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development offices to provide additional proof of your job search. If it is found that you are offered an acceptable full-time position while you are eligible and accepting unemployment benefits, you must accept the position in order to not risk receiving penalties from UIMN.

To learn more about maintaining your unemployment benefits eligibility, download our unemployment insurance guide today.