Apply for unemployment benefits the same week you become unemployed or your hours are greatly reduced. (If you work 32 or more hours in a week you are not considered to be unemployed for that week).

You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits either online or by phone using the Applicant Self-Service System, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Before you start your application, you should know or have available the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Driver’s license number or other state government identification number
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone number
  • Birth date
  • Employment history for the past 18 months, including:
    • Each employer’s name, address and telephone number
    • Dates of employment (month and year)
    • Pay rate
    • Reason you no longer work for the employer
  • Information for special circumstances:
    • If you are a union member, you will need the union name and local/lodge number
    • If you were in the military in the last 18 months, you will need information from your DD-214 Member 4 (not mandatory to apply)
    • If you were a federal employee in the last 18 months, you will need information from your SF 8
  • Your bank account number and bank routing number, if you want to use direct deposit for benefit payment. You can also request direct deposit at a later time.

To Apply Online

  1. Go to
  2. Click Applicant.
  3. Under I Need to..., click Apply for Benefits .
  4. On the Login page under New Applicant, enter your Social Security number and click Start.
  5. For answers to typical questions about Minnesota Unemployment Insurance benefits or to learn more about specific topic areas listed, click the relevant link. Otherwise, click Start the Unemployment Benefit Application. Complete the information requested on each page.
  6. At the end of the application, you will be asked to review the information you entered and make changes before submitting your application.
  7. Click Submit the Unemployment Benefit Application.

A confirmation page displays showing you have successfully submitted your application.

To Apply by Automated Phone phone

  1. Call one of the following phone numbers:
    • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
    • Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
    • TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-866-814-1252
  2. Choose the language you want to hear (English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali).
  3. Enter your Social Security number.
    • If your Social Security number is not recognized, choose either frequently requested information or apply for benefits.
    • If the system recognizes your Social Security number as having a current unemployment benefit account, enter your password, and then respond to the options available to you.
  4. Follow the prompts.

At the end of the call, you will be transferred to a Customer Service Representative to complete your application.

Video tutorials are provided to assist you in using Minnesota’s Applicant Self-Service System.  Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate and conforms with both Minnesota and Federal Unemployment Insurance Law.   Statements are intended for general information only and do not have the effect of the law. If you have a question about your benefit account, call Customer Service.