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Applying for a benefit extension

When you applied for regular unemployment benefits, we told you how much money you could receive per week. This is called your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA). We also told you the total amount of regular benefits you could receive. This is called your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA).

If you divide your MBA by your WBA, you can tell how many weeks of FULL payments you will be able to request. Usually it is 26 weeks, but it may be fewer if you have not been working very long. If you work part-time and are only eligible for a partial payment every week, your benefits may also last a little longer than 26 weeks.

When unemployment is high, Congress sometimes passes special laws to extend benefits (so they last longer than 26 weeks).

Regular unemployment benefits always come first.

  • You must exhaust your regular unemployment benefits before you qualify for any benefit extension programs. 
  • After you transition to a benefit extension program, we may ask you to periodically re-apply for benefits. We do this to check if you have become eligible for regular unemployment benefits again.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) extension

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a federal extension program for people who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. PEUC was created by the CARES Act on March 27, 2020.

Under the original text of the CARES Act, PEUC benefits were available for a maximum of 13 weeks and set to expire on December 26, 2020.

Congress has extended the PEUC program several times since then. PEUC benefits are now available through September 2021. If you are already receiving PEUC, we have already updated your account to reflect the PEUC extension. Keep requesting payment each week you are unemployed.

If you see a link to “Apply for Benefits”

Once your benefit account has expired or the balance has reached $0, you may see a notification at the top of your benefit account home page stating you may apply for an extended benefit account.

A link to apply for benefits will also display. Select the “Apply for Benefits” link to apply for an extended benefit account.

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Depending on what information we need from you, the Apply for Benefits link will either take you to the PEUC application or the regular UI benefit application. Complete the steps below in order to find out if you are eligible for an additional benefit program.

Questions & Answers

Other resources

  • COVID-19 information for workers 
  • If you need additional financial assistance, check these resources 
  • If you need assistance with food, housing, mental health, child care, or other basic needs, you can find resources on MN.Gov's Get Help webpage.
  • Even though things are tough right now, you should look for work every week. Many employers are still hiring, but you may need to look outside of your usual industry or occupation. Online information and services are available through CareerForce.
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