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Application process

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, Sunday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Apply for Benefits: What You Should Know Before Applying. Play video

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

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number or other state government identification number
  • Contact information (mailing address and telephone number)
  • 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
  • If you want direct deposit, your bank account number and routing number. You can also request direct deposit at a later time - see Payment Options for instructions.

You may also need:

    • DD-214 Member 4 (not mandatory to apply) if you served in the military in the past 18 months
    • SF 8 and SF50 if you were a federal employee in the past 18 months
    • Work authorization document if you are not a U.S. citizen
    • Trade union name and local number of your hiring hall if you are a union member

To apply online

Apply for Benefits: Completing the Online Application. Play video

We are currently processing more applications for unemployment benefits than we have ever received before. To ensure our online system can handle the increased activity, we are asking new applicants to apply on an assigned day. The day you file for benefits will not affect the amount of benefits you receive.

If you need to apply for unemployment benefits for the first time, please refer to the schedule below to learn when the day and time you are scheduled to apply. You will only be allowed to apply on your assigned day (or on Thursday/Friday if you missed that day).

If the last digit of your
Social Security number is:
Apply online 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
on this day of the week:
0, 1 or 2 Monday, Thursday, Friday
3, 4 or 5 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
6, 7, 8 or 9 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

  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. Make your language choice (English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali). If you need another language, press 1 and follow the prompts to speak to a representative and request an interpreter.
  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.
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