How To File For Minnesota Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Minnesota. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Minnesota Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Minnesota unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Minnesota unemployment benefits eligibility requirements

To be eligible for benefits:

You must have sufficient earnings in your base period

Your benefits are based on the amount of earnings (gross wages) paid to you from all employers during a recent 52-week period of time. This is called your base period. Commissions, bonuses, overtime, vacation pay, severance pay (depending on timing), and wages earned in other states are included. Earnings from self-employment are usually not included.

Be legally authorized to work in the US

If you are not a citizen, your authorization to work will be subject to verification.

Be unemployed, or working substantially reduced hours, through no fault of your own

If you are unemployed for any reason other than lack of work, Minnesota law requires that a process be followed to determine whether you are eligible for benefits.

Actively seek suitable employment each week

Actively seeking suitable employment means you are taking action each week towards finding a job that matches your skills, experience, training, and mental and physical ability.

  • At first this may be assessing what skills you have and what type of work you should pursue. You may create or update a resume, see a job counselor, go to job search workshops, and so on
  • The goal is to find appropriate job openings each week and present yourself to those employers as a good candidate

If your usual occupation is seasonal, you must look for other types of work in the off season. If you are on temporary layoff, you may seek temporary work until recalled. If you belong to a "hiring hall", a union that does not allow you to look for work on your own, you do not have to personally seek work. However, you must be in good standing with the union and on their work referral list.

Be able and willing to begin suitable work without delay when offered

You can only be paid benefits for weeks you are able and willing to accept work. This means you:

  • Have arranged or are arranging transportation and necessary family care. If you take a trip, it must be to seek work, or you cannot be paid the period you are gone
  • Are physically and mentally able to perform work. If you have medical restrictions, you must seek work you have the ability and qualifications to perform
  • Are willing to seek and accept the hours, wage, commuting distance, and other conditions of employment that are normal for someone in your occupation with your skills and experience. If your unemployment benefits are based on full-time work, you must seek and accept full-time work unless medical restrictions prevent it
  • If you are taking classes, you must be willing to rearrange or quit classes if necessary to accept work. Reference Going to School for more information
  • Are not in jail or on electronic home monitoring. You cannot be paid if you are incarcerated in any manner, including home monitoring, regardless of any work search you may make or work release agreement
Base Period

A one-year (four calendar quarters) period of time. Your base period depends on your benefit account date and the wages you were paid in each calendar quarter during the past five completed calendar quarters. If you apply in the first month of a calendar quarter (January, April, July, October):

  • The base period is the first four of the most recent five completed quarters if there are enough wages to establish a benefit account. If not enough wages then
  • The base period is the most recent four completed quarters

If you apply in the second or third months of a calendar quarter (February, March, May, June, August, September, November, December):

  • The wages paid in the following time periods are compared to the most recent four completed quarters, and
    the first four of the most recent five completed quarters
  • The time period with the greater amount of wages is the base period
  • If the wages are the same in both time periods, the base period is the most recent four completed quarters
Benefit Year

The one-year period following your benefit account date. You can only have one benefit account each year.

Apply for Minnesota unemployment benefits

You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits either online or by phone using the Applicant Self-Service System. To access the online system to file your unemployment benefits claim, click here. To apply for Minnesota unemployment benefits by phone you have the options to choose English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali:

Twin Cities area 651-296-3644
Greater Minnesota 877-898-9090
TTY (for the hearing impaired) 866-814-1252

Apply for unemployment benefits the same week you become unemployed or your hours are greatly reduced. (If you work 32 or more hours in a week you are not considered to be unemployed for that week). You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits either online or by phone using the Applicant Self-Service System, Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm.

Information you need when applying for unemployment

You will need the information below when you are applying for Minnesota unemployment benefits:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number or other state government identification number
  • Contact information (mailing address and telephone number)
  • Employment history for the past 18 months, including each employer's name, address and telephone number, dates of employment (month and year), pay rate and reason you no longer work for the employer
  • If you want direct deposit, your bank account number and routing number. You can also request direct deposit at a later time

You may also need:

  • DD-214 Member 4 (not mandatory to apply) if you served in the military in the past 18 months
  • SF 8 and SF50 if you were a federal employee in the past 18 months
  • Work authorization document if you are not a US citizen
  • Trade union name and local number of your hiring hall if you are a union member

Request unemployment benefit payment

After submitting an application for unemployment insurance benefits, in order to be eligible for payment of unemployment benefits, you must make a request for benefit payment every week you are unemployed even if your eligibility is being decided or you have an appeal pending. You will make your first request for benefit payment the week after you submit an application, following the schedule below. Note that the schedule is different for those using the phone rather than the online option.

Request a benefit payment online

Go to Monday through Friday 6am to 6pm:

  • Click Applicants and then click Log in to My Account
  • Log in to your account using your Social Security number and password
  • Click Request Benefit Payment
Request a benefit payment by phone

See the table "Assigned Call-in Day and Time" below for the day and time to request your benefit payment.

Call the automated phone system
Twin Cities area 651-296-3644
Greater Minnesota 877-898-9090
TTY (for the hearing impaired) 866-814-1252
  • Make your language choice: English, Spanish, Hmong, or Somali
  • Enter your Social Security number
  • Enter your password and then press the # key
  • You may hear important messages about your account
  • After the messages, listen to your options and choose Request Benefit Payment
Assigned Call-in Day and Time
Last digit of SSN Call on
1, 3, or 5 Tuesday 6am to 12pm
7 or 9 Tuesday 12pm to 6pm
0, 2, or 4 Wednesday 6am to 12pm
6 or 8 Wednesday 12pm to 6pm
Any Thursday or Friday 6am to 6pm

You can request your benefit payment online Monday through Friday 6am to 6pm with no restrictions. If you make a mistake when applying for benefits or requesting your weekly benefit payment, contact Customer Service immediately to make the correction.

File an appeal

The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law provides an opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing to any party who disagrees with a determination issued by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program. Appeals must be filed electronically, mailed, or faxed within the timeframe specified on the determination to be appealed. Instructions for filing an appeal are printed on all determinations.

If you disagree with a determination you received, you can file an appeal. When you file an appeal, a hearing with an Unemployment Law Judge will be scheduled. Appeal hearings are done by phone. Appeals can be filed online by logging in to your account, by fax, or by mail.

  • To file an appeal online:
  • Log in to your account
  • On My Home Page, select View and Maintain My Account
  • Click Determination and Issue Summary
  • Under the heading "Determination of Eligibility and Decisions", click the Issue Identification Number of the determination that makes you ineligible
  • Click File

To file an appeal by:

Fax: 651-205-4007
Mail: P.O. Box 4629, St. Paul, MN 55101-4629

If you file an appeal by fax or mail, you must:

  • Indicate who is filing the appeal
  • State the reason for the appeal
  • Include the Issue ID
  • Include Social Security number