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Information Handbook

Applying for benefits

When do I apply?

Apply for benefits the week you become unemployed or your hours are significantly reduced.

How do I apply?howDoApply

Apply online or by phone following the instructions and schedules below. After you apply, we will mail you information about how to request benefit payments (see Requesting Benefit Payments). If you are eligible for benefits, we will also notify you of your your weekly benefit amount (see How much will I receive? ).


You can apply online Sunday - Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Go to, select Applicants, and then Apply for Benefits.

By phone

Call on Monday - Friday from 8:00  a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Choose: English, Spanish, Hmong, or Somali. If you need another language, follow the steps on the Contact us page to speak to a representative and request an interpreter.

  • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
  • Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
  • Teletypewriter (TTY) users: 1-866-814-1252

What if I'm unemployed for a reason other than layoff?otherReason

If you are unemployed for any reason other than lack of work, state law requires that we follow a specific process to determine if you are eligible for benefits.

  1. During the application, we ask questions about why you are unemployed.
  2. We will ask your employer the same questions.
  3. We will review your answers and your employer’s answers to determine if you are eligible for benefits.
  4. We will mail you and your employer a determination that tells you if you are eligible for benefits. Either you or your employer can appeal the determination.

It is important that you provide detailed information about the way your employment ended. If we do not have enough information, we may not be able to determine your eligibility for benefits.

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