[Background image: Picture of Carly, a Customer Service Representative]
Hi, I'm Carly, a Customer Service Representative for the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program.
In this video, I'll talk about requesting benefit payments.
Let's start with some basic information first.
You can only receive unemployment benefits for weeks when you meet all eligibility requirements.
When you request a week of benefits, you answer questions that help us determine whether or not you are eligible.
You request one week at a time, and you ALWAYS request benefits for a previous week; NEVER for the current week.
You have only a limited amount of time to make a benefit request for any given week.
You must make weekly benefit payment requests in a timely manner, even if you're waiting to find out if you are eligible.
If you wait too long to make a request, benefits for that week may no longer be available.
To determine if you're eligible, we ask four types of questions:
If you worked during the week you are requesting,
If you had any other sources of income that you haven't already told us about,
If you quit or were discharged from any jobs recently, if you've refused a job, or failed to apply for an available job.
We'll also ask if you're available for work and actively seeking work.
If you're unavailable for work due to training that's been approved by the Unemployment Insurance Program, we'll ask if you are making good progress in your training.
It's important to answer these questions accurately, so let's look at each one.
The first question we ask is whether or not you worked or had a paid holiday during the week you are requesting.
If you do not report all work, you will have to repay benefits that were overpaid.
You can avoid misreporting your work and having to repay benefits by remembering these points:
Answer "Yes" if you worked AT ALL during the week in any kind of paid OR unpaid work.
For example if you worked at your old job, started a new job, temporary or part-time work, self-employment, or volunteer work.
You should report the work for the week you did the work, and not when you were paid. Even if you think you already told us about it, report the work.
If you're not sure whether you should report the work, call Customer Service BEFORE you answer the question.
If you did work during the week you requested, we'll ask you some additional questions:
We'll ask for the total number of hours you worked between Sunday and Saturday of the week,
And for your gross wages for the week.
Gross wages is the amount of your pay before subtracting deductions or withholding.
[Screen text: Gross wages = hours x hourly pay rate]
To calculate your gross wages, multiply the number of hours you worked by hourly pay rate.
You don't need your paycheck to make this calculation. You just need to know your hourly pay rate and the hours you worked between Sunday and Saturday.
If you're not sure how to calculate your hours and earnings for the week, call us and we can help.
[Screen text: Other income?]
The next question asks about any income you haven't already reported to us.
The most common types of income are severance pay, pensions, Workers' Compensation, and Social Security retirement or disability payments.
If you're not sure how to answer this question, give us a call.
The third question asks about loss or refusal of employment.
If you refused a job offer, quit, or were discharged from a job during the week for which you're requesting benefits, you'll need to tell us about it.
If you're not sure how to answer this question, call Customer Service for assistance.
Finally, we'll ask about your search for work.
To be eligible for benefits, you must be fully available for work. This means that if you are offered a job, you could start work immediately.
If you are on vacation, cannot be reached by employers, have no transportation, or have other barriers to starting work immediately, you probably are not available for work.
You also have to be physically able to do your usual work.
Here is some information to help you meet this requirement: If you usually work full-time, you need to be available for full-time work.
If your occupation commonly works different shifts, you need to be available to work those shifts.
If you're in school, and NOT in a training program approved by the Unemployment Insurance Program, you cannot let your school schedule interfere with your search for work or your availability for work.
Each week, you also need to actively look for work. This means working on your resume, contacting employers, and networking with others who can help you connect to a job.
When you are receiving unemployment benefits, looking for your next job should be your full-time job.
It's a good idea to keep track of what you're doing to look for work in case we ask.
If you're not sure how to answer the work search questions, call us and we can help.
Now let's look at how to request a benefit payment. There are two ways to submit your request, online or by phone.
You can log in to your online account from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
You can request a payment by phone from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Tuesday through Friday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you need to follow a call schedule based on the last digit of your Social Security number.
[Background images: Screenshots of the www.uimn.org home page, Applicant Landing page, and Applicant Self-Service System Login page are displayed as mentioned in narration.]
Now, let's go over the basic steps for requesting benefits online.
First, you'll need to log in to your account. The easiest way to get to the login page is to start at www.uimn.org, and click Applicants.
Then, on the Applicant page, click Request Benefits. This will take you to the login page.
[Background image: Applicant Self-Service System My Account Home page.]
Once you log in, you'll go to the Home Page of your Benefit Account.
Next, click the option to Request Benefit Payment. You'll find this option listed in the left navigation, and also in the center of the page.
If you do not see the Request Benefit Payment option, it means one of three things: You've already requested payment for all the weeks available to you at this time,
Your account is inactive and needs to be reactivated, in which case you can click the Reactivate option,
Or, you're past the end of your benefit year and you need to apply for a new account. In this case, choose the Apply for Benefits link.
For this video, let's assume you see the Request Benefit Payment link.
[Background images: Applicant Self-Service System Request Payment Home page and Address Verification page are displayed as mentioned in narration.]
Once you select Request Benefit Payment, you'll be reminded of the information you need, and asked to verify your address. Then, you can start the actual payment request process.
[Background image: Applicant Self-Service System Initial Questions page]
When you get to the Request Benefit Payment page, make sure you pay attention to the period of time for which you are requesting benefits.
Remember, it's always a one week period, Sunday through Saturday, and always in the past.
Never the current week.
Read each question carefully and think about your answers before checking a box. Remember, you are responsible for answering each question accurately.
Depending on your answers, we may need to ask a few more questions.
When you've answered all the questions, you'll confirm your answers, and then we will calculate your payment for the week.
If the week you are requesting is your first week, it's probably going to be your non-payable week.
The first week in which you are eligible and have a benefit account is called your "non-payable week," and you do not receive a payment for that week.
The non-payable week is required by law and everyone has to have one before they can receive benefits. Your payment amount for your non-payable week will display as zero dollars.
Once you complete your non-payable week, your payment amount will be between zero dollars and your Weekly Benefit Amount, depending on your answers to the eligibility questions.
If you worked more than 32 hours, or had gross earnings greater than your weekly benefit amount, your payment amount will be zero dollars.
The same is true if you are not eligible that week for any other reason.
If you have an issue on your account that needs to be resolved, your payment amount will show zero dollars until the issue is completed.
At that time, we will send you any payments that you requested and for which you are eligible.
I hope you've found this video helpful in understanding how to request benefits. Here are some reminders:
You always request benefits one week at a time, and it is always for a past week.
Report ALL work.
Tell us about any new sources of income.
Be available for work and look for work.
And request your benefit payments in a timely manner. Don't delay requesting benefits, even if you're waiting to find out if you are eligible, or you may lose them.
If you have questions, check our website, www.uimn.org or call Customer Service. [Screen text: Website: www.uimn.org | Call Customer Service: 651-296-3644 (Twin Cities area), 1-877-898-9090 (Greater Minnesota), 1-866-814-1252 (TTY for the hearing impaired) | Links for more information: Using Your Password, Information Handbook, How To Request Benefit Payments, Video Library]