Shutdown 101: How to get unemployment

The Department of Human Services has sent its employees this memo on how to get unemployment during the shutdown:

If there is a state government disruption of services we know that thousands of state employees will be applying for unemployment benefits. At the same time, there are roughly 114,000 fellow citizens who are currently requesting unemployment benefits every week. In order to make the application process go as smoothly as possible for you and to ensure that those currently receiving benefits experience no disruption of service, we have prepared instructions for state employees who may need to apply for unemployment benefits. Those instructions can be found at the site and also on the UI website at .

Here is a brief summary of what you will find at those websites:

** UI works the same for state employees as it does for all other workers in the state. There are no special provisions.

**You should not apply for unemployment benefits until you are actually unemployed and have worked less than 32 hours in a Sunday through Saturday week – this means you should not apply for benefits until the week of July 3rd.

** Your unemployment benefits application will be effective the Sunday of the week you apply.

** There is no advantage to applying early.

** In order to manage the volume of applications, there is a schedule for applying next week based on the last digit of your social security number. The schedule can be found at

** Our online self-service system will be available on July 4th (our staff will not be working on the 4th, however, due to the holiday.)

We encourage you to apply for unemployment benefits online. Our online self-service system is faster and easier and we expect our phone system to be very busy during the week of July 3rd.

No matter what state you live in, apply for unemployment benefits with the State of Minnesota –

If you are not working due to the shutdown, you are considered laid off for unemployment insurance purposes.

State employees who are not working due to the shutdown will not be receiving vacation pay or severance pay.

Select “direct deposit” for your payment method if you can. Direct deposit has a quicker initial set up time than the debit card option.

Thank you for your cooperation.