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Business owners and relatives

Minnesota Statutes §268.085, subdivision 9, describes eligibility for unemployment benefits when the applicant is laid off from a company that he or she owns or controls. Wages from the business used to establish an unemployment benefit account become unavailable after five weeks of benefits have been paid to an applicant who either:

  • Individually, jointly, or in combination with the applicant's spouse, parent, or child owns or controls directly or indirectly 25 percent or more interest in the business; or
  • Is the spouse, parent or child of any individual who owns or controls directly or indirectly 25 percent or more interest in the business.

In these circumstances, you may use wages earned from that employer as the basis for establishing an unemployment benefit account, but only until you have received five times your weekly benefit amount in unemployment benefits. After that, wage credits from the business may no longer be used for unemployment benefit purposes. This means that if you are separated from a business that you own or control, you can only collect up to five week unemployment benefits, unless you have other employment to establish a benefit account.

Exception to the five week limitation
If an applicant earned $7,500 or more from the employer during each of the 16 calendar quarters prior to the effective date of his or her unemployment benefit account, the applicant may be eligible for full benefits.

A written determination will be mailed to the applicant if his or her wage credits will be unavailable after five weeks of benefits are paid. If the applicant disagrees with the decision, he or she can file an appeal within 20 days.

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