Several businesses are having to shut down and lay off their employees as Minnesota continues to fight the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many people are in need of unemployment benefits. Here's what you need to know if you plan to file for unemployment in Minnesota.

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What you need before you start the process:

  • You need your contact info
  • Social security number
  • Driver's license or state ID number
  • Work history and pay rates for the last 18 months
  • Reason you left
  • Bank information for direct deposit

You can apply online or by phone.

If you'd like to apply over the phone, you'll enter your basic information into the system. Then, you'll be put in contact with a customer service representative. If the last digit of your social security number is 1,3 or 5 call on Tuesdays between 6 a.m. and noon. If the last digit of your social security number is 7 or 9 call Tuesday between noon and 6 p.m. If the last digit of your social security number ends in 0, 2 or 4 call the office Wednesday between 6 a.m. and noon. If the last digit of you social security number ends in 6 or 8 call between noon and 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Otherwise, you can call anytime Thursday or Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

If you're applying online the application process is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.

After you apply, you'll be getting about 50 percent of your normal weekly wage. The state maximum is $740 per week.

After you complete the process, you'll be mailed a Determination of Benefit Account that will tell you how much you'll get in unemployment benefits every week. Normally, you wouldn't get your first check until the third week of your 'nonpayable week', however, there's a special case for Minnesotans who were affected by COVID-19.

For accounts established March 1, 2020 and later, there is no nonpayable week due to the Governor’s executive order in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus). All you need to do is request a payment for each week you are unemployed.

You should submit a request for benefits each week you're unemployed. You could stop getting payments for the weeks you forget to apply.

For more information check out the Minnesota Unemployment website. Remember, we're all in this together.

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