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File for Unemployment Benefits
Filing for unemployment in Mississippi can be done at one of the many WIN Job Centers in the state, including these Mississippi filing centers.
If you don't have time to visit a center or simply want to file for unemployment at home, you can do so online with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security filing system.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
To successfully file for Mississippi unemployment online, complete the following steps in order:
- Create a username and password on the Mississippi Department of Employment Security online filing site
- Login to your profile and click on “Make A New Claim”
- Add personal contact information
- Fill out the relevant information regarding your employment, including why you were separated from your last job and how long you were employed
- Make sure to find the proper employment code for your job to ensure you file properly
- Double-check your information for accuracy before submitting
- After submitting, register for work (to be discussed below)
You should hear about your unemployment claim in no more than a week or two. This is known as the “waiting week” period. During this time, you will receive no benefits, nor do you have to actively search for work.
Make sure that you register for work immediately, and continue to claim weekly benefits, to avoid any delays in payment.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
- Name, contact information, and social security number
- Driver's license number
- Alien registration number (if not a citizen)
- Appropriate forms if you are a federal or military employee
- Contact information for your employer, including name, address, and telephone numbers
- Dates you worked for your employers over the last 18 months, including your starting and your ending wages
- W2 form (which makes getting the above information easier)
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Claim Weekly Benefits
Every week you receive unemployment benefits (a maximum of 26 in Mississippi), you must show to MDES that your employment status remains the same. This is known as claiming weekly benefits.
Every state requires that its residents perform some variation of this process. Basically, you are letting them know that you are looking for work, are available for work, and aren't making too much money from a side job.
Filing typically takes no more than 10-30 minutes, and it must be done the week following the one for which you are making a claim, but before 12:01 a.m. on the Sunday after the current week’s Saturday.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
Complete the following steps to successfully claim your weekly unemployment benefits online:
- Login to your unemployment benefits account on the Mississippi Department of Employment Security online filing site
- Click on “Claim Weekly Benefits”
- Answer questions regarding your availability and ability to work
- Update your job search progress, including relevant contact information
- Indicate that you did not accept or refuse any suitable work in the previous week
- Report any earnings you made, including pension, retirement, or part-time pay
- Submit your form and wait
Your information will be carefully assessed before a decision is made. Based on your reported information, your claim will be accepted, denied, or your benefits will be adjusted. If adjusted, you will receive a lower Weekly Benefit Amount for that week.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
Any decision which may affect a claimant’s eligibility and payment of benefits or the charges to the employer’s account are appealable. Denied claims can be appealed at the Appeals Office located in the main MDES office. You can file for an appeal using the online filing system, or by going to a WIN Job center.
You or any employer affected by a decision of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) can appeal the denial of benefits or the award of benefits. The losing party can appeal the initial decision, or an amended decision, to a judge. The judge's decision can be appealed to the Board of Review, and the decision of the Board of Review can be appealed to the Circuit Court.
Appeals require the following information:
- Name and contact information
- Social security numbers
- Identification number of your claim denial
- Reasons you think it shouldn't have been denied
After about a week, you should hear back about your appeal hearing. Attend your appeal hearing after collecting the necessary evidence to prove your case. If you are interested in hiring an attorney, submit their name and contact information on your appeal form for approval.
NOTE: Your employer can also appeal an approved unemployment claim if they believe there are discrepancies with it. This makes it crucial to accurately fill out your initial application.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
Complete the following steps to successfully appeal a denied claim if you believe your claim contains legitimate and accurate information:
- Attend your hearing, dressed appropriately, and with a coherent case planned
- Present your information to the judge, including your witnesses
- Interrogate your witnesses to get them to testify on your behalf
- Let your former employer cross-examine your witnesses
- Listen to the witnesses of your former employer for their testimony
- Cross-examine their witnesses to poke holes in their case
- Wait a week to hear your appeal verdict
- Appeal to the Board of Review if you believe the verdict was wrong
NOTE: All denied claims will be given to you if you win your appeal, so make sure to continue filing weekly claims, including your job search requirements.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Mississippi Department of Employment Security
P.O. Box 1699
Jackson, MS 39215-1699
Fax: 877- 994-6329