Minnesota Unemployment Eligibility
Updated : February 11th, 2019
In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you need to meet the following requirements.
Non Monetary Eligibility
Unemployed through no fault of your own.
- Be able and willing to begin suitable work without delay when offered.
- Laid off or have been subject to working hours less than 32 hours a week.
- Quit for “good cause” such as unsafe working conditions, not receiving payment for your work, to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc.
- You must also meet weekly eligibility requirements to receive benefits.
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 called Base period. A base period consists of 4 calendar quarters. Gross wages are your earnings before any reductions. Commissions, bonuses, overtime, vacation pay, severance pay (depending on timing) and wages earned in other states are included. However, self-employment earnings are usually not included.
Please note that there is a non-paying week or waiting week during which you will not receive any benefit amount. This is usually the first week after you apply for benefits. During this period, all your documents will be verified before stating your eligibility status. It is wise to apply for benefits without any delay.
These happen to be the initial requirements. Once you qualify for unemployment benefits, weekly benefit requirements need to be fulfilled to receive benefit amount.
The reason for the separation from your employment could make you ineligible to receive benefits even if you have enough wages in your base period to establish a benefit account. The state chooses to pay eligibility benefits to individuals who have lost job through no fault of their own but each case of unemployment is different and you may want to apply for unemployment to know if you qualify.
Can I avail Unemployment benefits if I quit my job?
In Minnesota, applicants who quit their job are not eligible unless the quit falls into one of the following categories:
- Your spouse’s job location changed.
- Domestic abuse at work place.
- Quit before a notified lay off
- Unsuitable work / work environment
- Quit within 30 days of employment as the work was unsuitable
- Quit to enter full-time reemployment assistance training
- Quit due to serious illness or to care for a terminally ill spouse or minor child etc.
Will I receive unemployment benefits if I were fired?
If you were discharged for employment misconduct, you are ineligible to receive unemployment benefit payments. Employment misconduct means any intentional or negligent conduct that –
- Displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee or
- Displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.
You might still be able to claim benefits if you were fired for the following reasons :
- Absence because of illness or injury with proper notice to the employer
- Inability to meet the employer’s performance standards
- Ordinary errors or accidents, not due to carelessness or negligence
- Honest mistakes or omissions
Does unemployment due to labor disputes affect my eligibility for unemployment benefits?
Applicants who leave employment because they are participating in a strike or are a member of a striking union at the establishment where they were employed, are not eligible to receive benefit payment during the strike. Participation includes the failure or refusal to accept and perform available and customary work at the establishment where they were employed.
You can be possibly eligible under following circumstances –
- Unemployed because of a strike caused by an employer’s willful failure to observe the terms of the safety and health section of a union contract.
- Unemployed because of a lockout.
- Laid off due to a strike against the employer (in this case, the applicant is ineligible through the end of the week in which the strike begins).
I am furloughed intermittently. Will I be eligible for a benefit account?
To reduce costs, some employers require workers to take time off without pay. Here, the applicant was willing to work but was laid off by the company as it was unable to bear the costs due to lack of work. Under such situations, you are almost eligible for unemployment benefits.
Tips for workers being furloughed:
- You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if you are temporarily or intermittently laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week.
- Apply for UI benefits during the first week you are laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week. You cannot backdate the application. You could lose benefits if you wait to apply.
- Every applicant for UI benefits must serve a non-payable week before they can receive any payments. Your nonpayable week is the first week you are eligible to receive a benefit payment. To be eligible, you must apply, request a benefit payment, and meet the requirements of unemployment insurance.
- For intermittent (recurring) layoffs, it is probably best to continue to request benefit payments even when you are working your normal schedule. Report the hours you worked and the gross amount (before taxes or any other deductions) of your wages. Payments will be issued for the weeks you are laid off or hours are reduced and no payment will be made when you are working your normal schedule.
Once you are eligible for a benefit account, move on to the next step to know what the requirements are which need to be fulfilled each week to receive your payments.