How To File For Mississippi Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Mississippi. 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 Mississippi Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Mississippi unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Mississippi unemployment benefit eligibility requirements

The maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) allowed in Mississippi at this time is $235.00. Your WBA for unemployment insurance benefits is based on the total wages in the highest quarter of your Base Period and by dividing that amount by 26. The base period of a claim includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim. The minimum WBA in Mississippi is $30. To estimate your WBA you must first determine what your wages are for the highest quarter during your Base Period. To qualify for benefits, you:

  • Must have worked in at least two quarters of your base period
  • Must have earned at least $780.00 in the highest quarter of your base period
  • Must have earned 40 times your weekly benefit amount in your base period

The maximum amount of benefits that can be paid to you during your Benefit Year is 26 times your WBA, or one-third of your total Base Period wages, whichever is the lesser. If you file a claim for benefits and it is determined that you do not have sufficient wages in your base period to qualify, you may re-apply again after the quarter changes, if you are still unemployed.

Wages are reported by employers on a quarterly (3 month) basis. When an individual applies for unemployment benefits the claim will be based on four quarters of wages, called the Base Period. The base period is always the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim. Quarter Change occurs on the first Sunday of January, April, July, and October; at that time the oldest quarter of wages drops off and a more recent quarter is added.

Weekly Benefit Amount

Your Weekly Benefit Amount is determined by dividing your High Quarter Earnings by 26 and rounding the answer to the next lower dollar. The Weekly Benefit Amount, however, cannot be less than $30 or more than $235.

Qualifying Amount

To qualify for benefits, your total earnings during your Base Period must equal at least 40 times your Weekly Benefit Amount.

Maximum Benefit Amount

The maximum amount of benefits that can be paid to you during your Benefit Year is 26 times your Weekly Benefit Amount or one-third of your total wages during your Base Period, whichever is the lesser. To view the weekly benefits chart, click here.

Applying for Mississippi unemployment

If you worked and earned wages in Mississippi, you may file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits online or by calling 601-855-3133 or 888-844-3577. Your claim for benefits will be effective the Sunday of the week the claim is filed.

Applying for Mississippi unemployment weekly claims

Weekly claim certifications can be filed online. Failure to file your weekly claim certification in a timely manner as instructed will affect your benefits. A week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You must file your weekly claims certification after the week has ended, but before the next week begins at 12:01am on Sunday.

You may file your current weekly claim certification online through MDES ACCESS MS system. You must login with your user id and password or establish a new user id and password if you are not a current user. You may file online outside normal business hours.

Information needed when applying for unemployment benefits

To file for unemployment insurance benefits, you should have the following information available before beginning:

  • A state issued driver's license or identification card
  • Your social security number
  • The name and address of each employer you worked with during the past 18 months, the begin and end dates worked with each and the reason for separation from each employer
  • Check stubs showing year-to-date earnings from each employer you worked with in the past 18 months
  • If you were separated from military employment in the past 18 months, a DD-214 Member 4 form
  • If you were separated from federal employment in the past 18 months, an SF50 Notice of Personnel Action form or SF8 form
  • An alien registration number or Visa number if you are not a U.S. Citizen

You will need to register for employment services at the WIN Job Center or online if you have not done so already. Our staff can assist you with job search process, training and other career needs.

File an appeal

The Appeals Department of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) conducts hearings regarding UI benefits, labor disputes, and charges made to an employer's tax account. Some decisions regarding federal program eligibility, such as TAA or TRA can also be appealed. A claimant or an employer affected by a decision of the agency can appeal the denial of benefits or the award of benefits. The adversely affected party can appeal an initial determination or an amended determination.

In most cases, an appeal request must be filed within 14 days of the mailing date of your determination. You must include your Social Security Number on any correspondence regarding your claim. Your appeal request may be made in person by contacting your MDES local WIN Job Center, calling 866-633-7041, or by mailing or faxing a signed letter indicating a desire to appeal to:

Mississippi Department of Employment Security
Appeals Department
P.O. Box 1699
Jackson, MS 39215-1699
Fax: 877- 994-6329

Once your appeal request is received, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) will be scheduled as soon as possible. You will receive a written notification of the time, date and place for your hearing. After the hearing has taken place you will receive a written decision from the Judge, usually within 14 days. The Judge has the authority to reverse, modify, or affirm the original decision.

After you receive your decision, if you disagree with the Judge's decision, you can file a written appeal to the Board of Review by following the same process described above. If you still disagree with the Board of Review's decision, you may then file to the Circuit Court in the county where you live. In cases where the plaintiff is not a resident of the State of Mississippi, such action may be filed in the circuit court of the county in which the employer is located, where the cause of action occurred, or in the county of employment. If you disagree with the Circuit Court Judge's decision you may then file to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Please note: During the appeal process you must continue to file weekly claims, as long as you are unemployed, in order to preserve your benefit rights.