Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Mississippi

If you are wondering about your eligibility for unemployment in Mississippi, you are not alone – many MS residents receive coverage every year. Before discussing what are the requirements to get unemployment in the state, it is important to understand what unemployment insurance (UI) is. Unemployment insurance helps Americans who have lost their job by providing them with a limited amount of financial aid. An individual who qualifies for unemployment must pass a number of specialized unemployment eligibility requirements and go through recurring reviews of their eligibility while receiving this assistance. But by preparing the right information, unemployment insurance eligibility can be simple and rewarding for those who need it. This article will discuss Mississippi eligibility for unemployment and ways to qualify for benefits during the UI application process.

Who determines unemployment eligibility in Mississippi?

Every U.S. state has its own department that regulates eligibility for unemployment insurance – and in Mississippi, this is the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). This unemployment eligibility program specializes in assisting Mississippi residents who lose their job due to no fault of their own. MDES is similar in many ways to the other unemployment eligibility programs that operate in other states around the country. For instance, eligibility for EDD in California and eligibility for MDES in Mississippi both have similar methods for submitting unemployment claims, and protocols for how to utilize those services. However, the crucial point to keep in mind is that while the qualifications for unemployment may be similar between two states, they all have different amounts of unemployment insurance benefits that they can give to their applicants.

Qualifications for Unemployment in Mississippi

MDES has a number of different qualifications for unemployment that Mississippi residents must fulfill in order to get the coverage that they need. The first step for determining unemployment insurance eligibility in Mississippi is fulfilling the basic citizenship requirements. You must either be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (with an Alien Registration Card), and you must have lived and/or worked in Mississippi. Your MS eligibility for unemployment may vary if you lived/worked in another state as well as Mississippi – in this instance, you may be eligible to file a Combined Wage Claim through MDES. Because there are different requirements regarding how to qualify for unemployment in different states, it is crucial that you have worked in Mississippi for MDES to be able to assist you. TO learn about various qualifications, download our unemployment insurance guide today.

The next step in establishing your MS unemployment eligibility requirements is regarding your previous employment and the reasons for your job loss. You may get unemployment insurance eligibility if you lost your job at any point within the last 52 weeks due to no fault of your own, such as a layoff or a company going out of business. Being fired due to negligence or another negative reason does not preclude you from eligibility for unemployment insurance, but it will make MDES look more closely at the circumstances regarding your unemployment, and make the decision whether or not to award it to you based on that rationale. This unemployment eligibility step of the application process also involves ensuring that you apply for unemployment insurance as soon as you find yourself without reliable full-time hours. Unemployment insurance eligibility does not go on indefinitely – you can only receive benefits for a full “benefit year”, which is comprised of 52 weeks. But just because your application for unemployment eligibility is accepted, that does not necessarily mean that you can receive benefits for the entirety of the benefit year. Filing as soon as you are able ensures that you will get the most out of your coverage.

Another determining qualification for unemployment uses you income level during your most recent employment to determine your future benefits. A Mississippi resident who qualifies for unemployment otherwise may lose their eligibility if they made over a predetermined amount during their “base period” of employment (which consists of the first four of the five most recent completed calendar quarters before your application to MDES). You are not eligible for unemployment insurance if you made under the amount that is determined each year by MDES – they will notify you if this information is found in your application. The aforementioned qualifications for unemployment involving your base period will also determine how much financial aid you will be able to receive from MDES each week. This amount is calculated by taking the highest amount of wages in any one quarter of your base period and dividing that figure by 26. There are also maximum and minimum possible weekly amounts for unemployment insurance eligible individuals, which are determined by MDES periodically and further explained to you if you qualify.

The last condition of how to qualify for unemployment in MS involves the weekly claims that are required to maintain eligibility for unemployment with MDES. To keep your unemployment insurance eligibility after your initial application, you must prove to MDES that you are proactively looking for full-time employment. This can be done by providing weekly summaries of your employment search, including information about the companies and the specific titles that you are applying for. Your continued eligibility for unemployment insurance will end if MDES can determine that you are not adequately searching for full-time employment while receiving benefits, or if you were offered suitable full-time employment while receiving benefits, but declined the offer.

How to Stay Eligible for Unemployment Insurance in Mississippi

Once you have determined your initial eligibility for unemployment and have begun to receive coverage, you must continue to renew your eligibility. These aforementioned weekly Mississippi unemployment insurance eligibility renewals are able to be completed in two ways. The first and most preferred way is by utilizing the MDES online portal. By creating an online account, you can input your continued qualifications for unemployment conveniently, by referencing your previously uploaded employment/identifying information and uploading new documentation of your job search. However, you can also maintain your unemployment insurance eligibility with MDES over the phone by calling the phone number during normal business hours. Please be advised that while you can renew your eligibility for unemployment insurance anytime via the MDES online portal, the MDES phone service is no longer available to anyone except active-duty military and federal agencies on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Finally, you may be asked to prove your unemployment insurance eligibility in person, by visiting one of the many MDES-eligible WIN Job Center locations in person. Those applicants who are required to do so will receive a written request in the mail. You may lose your eligibility for unemployment if you fail to comply with these orders within the allotted time written in the notice. To learn more about eligibility for UI benefits, you can download our guide to unemployment insurance claims and benefits today.