Unemployment Insurance 101
Navigating the complexities and nuances of unemployment insurance can feel exhausting and overwhelming.
If you are unemployed, applying for unemployment benefits through your state is the first step to receiving benefits. Unemployment insurance acts as a temporary partial wage replacement to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.
You must qualify for unemployment benefits in your state in order to receive benefit payments. The amount you receive varies by state. In order to qualify for unemployment in Minnesota, you must:
- Have sufficient earnings in your base period. The base period is the most recent 52-week period of time.
- Be legally authorized to work in the United States.
- Be unemployed, or working substantially reduced hours, through no fault of your own.
- Actively seek suitable employment each week.
- Be able and willing to begin suitable work without delay when offered.
The unemployment office notifies you of their decision, and if you are approved, you may begin receiving payments. Sometimes, the unemployment office will deny your benefits. If this happens to you, you have options to appeal, which is what we will discuss here.
I was denied unemployment in Minnesota. How do I appeal this decision?
In Minnesota, you can appeal a decision made on your application for unemployment benefits. The instructions to file for an appeal are included in your decision. You can file an appeal online, by fax, or by mail. In order to appeal the decision online, follow these steps:
- Log into your unemployment benefits account. The link to login to your account can be found here.
- On My Home Page, select View and Maintain My Account.
- Click Determination and Issue Summary.
- Under the heading ‘Determination of Eligibility and Decisions’, click the Issue Identification Number of the determination that makes you ineligible.
- Click File.
Your decision comes in the mail and includes the paperwork needed to file an appeal. This paperwork is what you must fill out if you do not want to appeal the decision online. If you decide to appeal the decision by fax, the fax number is 651-205-4007. If you decide to appeal the decision by mail, you can send in the paperwork to P.O. Box 4629, St. Paul, MN 55101-4629. To file an appeal by mail or fax, you must:
- Indicate who is filing the appeal.
- State the reason for the appeal.
- Include the Issue ID.
- Include Social Security number.
It is important to make sure you fill out the paperwork carefully, completely, and correctly. If not, it could delay the appeal process. You must file your appeal within the timeframe given to you in the decision paperwork.
Note: Information changes from time-to-time, so be sure to check these resources for most up-to-date resources.
What happens after I file for an appeal?
The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law provides an opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing to any party who disagrees with a determination issued by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program. After you file for an appeal, a hearing with an Unemployment Law Judge is scheduled. You will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail, which lets you know the date and time of the hearing. If you know you are not available during the scheduled date and time, you can call the Appeals Office and reschedule. All hearings occur by phone.
How do I prepare for this hearing?
Although you don’t need an attorney for an unemployment law hearing, it may be beneficial to have one. Any evidence you may have to support your case must be submitted no later than 5 days before the hearing. This includes written policies, warnings, medical records, time stamps, contracts, and pay records. Be sure to send in the copies of all of your evidence, not the original. Any evidence submitted later than 5 days before the hearing might be excluded, which may hurt your case.
You can also request for someone to testify at your hearing through the court. On the day of the hearing, the judge will call you. The hearing is recorded and private, and the judge will review the evidence and ask questions.
What happens after my hearing?
After your hearing, the unemployment judge will mail you your decision. If it is still unfavorable, you have the option to appeal to a higher court. Throughout this time, you must continue to request benefits every week while awaiting a final decision. Otherwise, you won’t be able to receive any payment. If you are appealing the amount of benefits you’re eligible for, you would continue to request benefit payments every week while waiting for a final decision.
Do I need an attorney?
You can represent yourself at an unemployment hearing, but having an attorney can make the process easier. If you are in a situation where you may need legal help, it is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer. LegalQ can match you with a lawyer to get answers, make a plan, and move forward with confidence. Download the app today to begin.
By: Joanna Smykowski
Eligibility requirements, Minnesota Unemployment Insurance. https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/eligibility-requirements/index.jsp
Instructions for filing an appeal, Minnesota Unemployment Insurance. https://www.uimn.org/applicants/howappeal/appeal/instructions-for-filing.jsp
How do I appeal? Minnesota Unemployment Insurance. https://www.uimn.org/applicants/howappeal/index.jsp
Appeals Hearing Guide, Minnesota Unemployment Insurance. https://www.uimn.org/assets/appealhearingguide_tcm1068-192399.pdf