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How do I apply?

You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits either online or by phone using the Applicant Self-Service System.

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 the day and time you are scheduled to submit an application. 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

By phone choose English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali:

  • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
  • Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
  • TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-866-814-1252

Play-Icon Apply for Benefits: What You Should Know Before Applying (video, 7:38)

Play-Icon Apply for Benefits: Completing the Online Application (video, 9:06)

Application process

Information about applying for benefits online and by phone.

Information Handbook

An overview of unemployment insurance benefits. Explains the basic processes and requirements for receiving benefits.

Your password and Social Security number

Allows you to securely access your benefit account.

Benefit account

Information about when your benefit account becomes effective and when to apply for a new benefit account. 

Wages used to establish an account

Wages paid in “covered” employment are used to establish your benefit account. “Covered” and “noncovered” employment is defined. 

Your first payment

Explains the soonest you can receive a payment and why the first requested week will be $0.

Stopping and starting benefit payments

Explains how your benefits are affected if you accept work now and later become unemployed again.

Recently separated service members

Find out if you are eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits

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