Mississippi Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

In this article...
  • Find out whether or not you're eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Mississippi. Learn how to apply, how your benefits are calculated, and other important details.

If you've recently lost your job through no fault of your own or had your hours reduced significantly, you may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. In the state of Mississippi, these benefits are administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). Read on to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply. 

Who Is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Mississippi?

First, it's important to understand what a base period is, as everything from your initial eligibility to your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is directly determined based off of your base period. The base period constitutes the first 4 of your last 5 calendar quarters immediately preceding your claim. This is because employers report their wages on a quarterly basis (every 3 months). 

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Mississippi, you must:

  • Have worked during at least 2 quarters of your base period. 
  • Have earned at least $780 from your highest quarter. 
  • Have earned at least 40 times your projected weekly benefit amount throughout the entirety of your base period. 

Other non-monetary eligibility requirements include:

  • You cannot be at blame or fault for your own unemployment.
  • You must be able and available for full-time work and you must be actively seeking it.

Requirements for Maintaining Your Eligibility

Additionally, you must file a weekly certification claim in order to receive your WBA. This certification claim ensures you remain eligible for benefits throughout your benefit year. As you file your weekly claims, you'll be expected to report to your local WIN Job Center for assistance in finding new employment. Failure to report for a WIN appointment could result in a delay or denial of benefits.  

How Do You Apply for Mississippi Unemployment Benefits?

First, register online with MDES Online Services. You will need to set up a personal user name and PIN number to access your unemployment information and benefits status at your leisure. 

You will need to provide some details concerning your work history, as well as any recent offers of work or employment opportunities, illness or disability, changes of address and receipts of pension, severance or retirement pay.

How Much Do You Get From Mississippi Unemployment?

The maximum weekly benefit amount permitted by Mississippi law at the moment is $235, while the minimum is $30. In Mississippi, your WBA is calculated by taking the total wages from the highest quarter of your base period and dividing that number by 26. Your maximum total benefit amount cannot exceed the total wages of your highest quarter; in other words, your maximum benefits cannot exceed 26 times your WBA. 

What Happens If Your Unemployment Claim Gets Denied?

You may be denied unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Quitting work without good cause or getting terminated for misconduct
  • Failing to adequately seek suitable employment
  • Receiving a pension or severance pay from your former employee already
  • Losing a job due to a labor dispute
  • Filing for or receiving benefits from another state

If you feel that your denial is unjust, you can file an appeal within 14 days of receiving your determination notice. You can file for an appeal by either contacting the MDES Call Center or mailing a written request to the MDES Appeals Department, P.O. Box 1699, Jackson, MS 39215-1699.

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