Applying for Unemployment in Minnesota

Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). That law includes several changes that may affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits. These changes include:

  • Automatic $600 week additional compensation for people receiving unemployment benefits. (This will show up as a separate deposit in your bank account.)
  • A new benefit program for workers who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 who are NOT eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
  • An extension of unemployment benefits for up to 13 weeks.

Minnesota was one of the first states in the nation to implement the 13-week extension. Minnesota is currently working to implement the new federal program for self-employed people, independent contractors, and other workers who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits. Minnesota was also one of the first states in the nation to implement the $600/week additional compensation.  For detailed information on the CARES act, click here.

How to Apply

You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits either online or by phone using the Applicant Self-Service System, Sunday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Before you start the application, you should know or have available the following information:
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number or other state government identification number
  • Contact information (mailing address and telephone number)
  • Employment history for the past 18 months, including:
    • Each employer’s name, address and telephone number
    • Dates of employment (month and year)
    • Pay rate
    • Reason you no longer work for the employer
  • If you want direct deposit, your bank account number and routing number. You can also request direct deposit at a later time.
  • You may also need:
    • DD-214 Member 4 (not mandatory to apply) if you served in the military in the past 18 months
    • SF 8 and SF50 if you were a federal employee in the past 18 months
    • Work authorization document if you are not a U.S. citizen
    • Trade union name and local number of your hiring hall if you are a union member

Apply Online

Minnesota is currently processing more applications for unemployment benefits than ever before. New applicants are asked 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, refer to the schedule below to learn when the day and time you can apply. You will only be allowed to apply on your assigned day (or on Thursday/Friday if you missed that day).

Ending in 0, 1 or 2 , apply on Mondays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ending in 3, 4 or 5, apply on Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ending in 6, 7, 8 or 9, apply on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Any, apply on Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Any, apply on Fridays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Go to
  • Click Applicants
  • Under I Need to…, click Apply for Benefits
  • On the Login page under New Applicant, enter your Social Security Number and click Start.
  • For answers to typical questions about Minnesota Unemployment Insurance benefits or to learn more about specific topic areas listed, click the relevant link. Otherwise, click Start the Unemployment Benefit Application. Complete the information requested on each page.
  • At the end of the application, you will be asked to review the information you entered and make changes before submitting your application.
  • Click Submit the Unemployment Benefit Application.
  • A confirmation page displays showing you have successfully submitted your application.

Apply by Phone

  • To apply by automated phone, call one of the following phone numbers:
  • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
  • Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
  • TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-866-814-1252
  • Make your language choice (English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali). If you need another language, press 1 and follow the prompts to speak to a representative and request an interpreter.
  • Enter your Social Security number.
  • If your Social Security number is not recognized, choose either Frequently Requested Information or Apply for Benefits.
  • Follow the prompts.
  • At the end of the call, you will be transferred to a Customer Service Representative to complete your application.