Claimants who have never before received aid may not know how to claim unemployment benefits in Mississippi after filing a claim. An applicant who qualifies for unemployment must perform continued activities in order to claim benefits smoothly without getting denied. When claiming benefits for unemployment, a petitioner must understand the stipulations for calculating benefits, the limitations on benefits and how federal income taxes are applied to recipients.
To learn more about how to claim unemployment benefits in MS, read the following sections:
After the former workers claim unemployment benefits in Mississippi, MDES sends a request to all employers listed on the claim for information regarding reasons for separation. Each employer has 14 days to respond. Information provided by the employer after the 14-day period will not be considered. To receive unemployment insurance coverage, an applicant cannot have quit, or separated from his or her former employer due to reasons of his or her own fault, to include misconduct.
Once the wage and separation information is complete, MDES issues the claimant a “Monetary Determination” advising the beginning and ending dates of the benefit year, the weekly benefit amount, the maximum federal unemployment benefits amount and the quarterly wages reported by each base-period employer. Benefits may be paid until benefits are exhausted or until the end of the benefit year, whichever comes first. Anytime the individual files a claim for benefits that benefit year, they will file on the same claim.
The time to complete an MS unemployment benefits claim is the Sunday prior to the date the claim was filed. Backdated claims may be allowed under certain situations.
For those wondering how to qualify for unemployment, it should be noted that it is based on the claimant qualifying monetarily. To qualify monetarily, the applicant must have earned wages in insured work during the “base period,” must have been paid wages in insured working during at least two quarters of the base period and earned no less than $780 in at least one base period quarter. When claiming benefits for unemployment in MS, a “benefit year” is established for a period of 52 weeks beginning with the “effective date” of the claim. A benefit year is established only if the applicant meets the monetary requirements of the Mississippi Employment Security Law.
A claimant who qualifies for unemployment can calculate the expected benefit amount before the determination letter arrives. For example: Employer 1 reports their wages of $12,000 for each of the second and third quarters of 2014. Employer 2 reports their wages of $14,500 for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Total base period wages are $53,000. The unemployment insurance petitioner satisfies the two requirements of base-period wages of at least $780 in one quarter, and wages in at least two quarters. The weekly benefit amount can be solved by dividing the total wages in the highest quarter ($14,500) by 26, which equals $557.69. The maximum weekly benefit amount per MS law is $235, which then becomes the claimant’s weekly unemployment benefit amount. The maximum benefit amount allowable is 26 times the weekly benefit amount, or one third of the total base-period wages whichever is less. In this case 26 x $235 = $6100, $53,000 divided by three = $17,666.67. The claimant’s maximum benefit amount is $6100. Finally, it must be determined if the individual has earned at least 40 times the weekly benefit amount. 40 x $235 = $9400. In this example, the unemployment insurance applicant qualifies monetarily and will be issued a Monetary Determination advising the beginning and ending dates of the benefit year, the weekly benefit amount, the maximum benefit amount and the quarterly wages paid by each base-period employer.
The minimum weekly benefit amount in Mississippi is $30. If applicants claim unemployment benefits and MDES determines that they do not have adequate wages in their base period to qualify, they may reapply again after the quarter changes if they are still unemployed.
Regarding the unemployment benefits claim, Mississippi Department of Employment Security law requires that child support be deducted from the former worker’s unemployment benefits if so directed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. They will be notified by MDES is child support will be deducted from their weekly unemployment benefits.
There are other provisions that fall under the heading Trade Readjustment Allowances which provide for compensation and/or training to persons unemployed or underemployed due to increased activity of foreign imports. These benefits include training, relocation allowance, relocation move, job search allowance, health coverage tax credit, and alternative trade adjustment assistance.
MS federal unemployment benefits are taxable. The former worker will be furnished a statement, Form 1099-G or the equivalent at the end of the year that the benefits are paid. The law requires the applicant to pay 90 percent of their tax for the year through withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments. The applicant may choose to have 10 percent of his or her unemployment payments withheld for Federal Income Tax. The tax will be deducted after other deductions are made (earnings, overpayments, pensions, child support payments). They will be permitted to change a previously selected option by reporting to the Unemployment Insurance office.
For the Mississippi unemployment benefits claim, weekly claim certifications can be filed online or through the MDES Call Center. The claimant’s failure to file a weekly claim certification in a timely manner will affect his or her benefits. The week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. Candidates must file a weekly claim certification after the week has ended, but before the next week begins at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. In claiming benefits for unemployment online, the applicant needs a User ID and a password. He or she may file online during normal business hours.
Additionally, in order to receive federal unemployment benefits, the former employee must be registered for work through the local WIN Job Center, must contact three employers each week to apply for work (an actual application must be completed with at least one of the three employer contacts and must provide a detailed record of the employers contacted each week.
To claim unemployment benefits, the claimant’s work search details must include: how it was completed, the date it was performed, the company name and the name and phone number of the person with whom they spoke. If an applicant filed a weekly certification for benefits online, he or she will be directed to complete his or her work search details first. If he or she filed the weekly certification for benefits via the Interactive Voice Response system, he or she must complete the weekly work search by calling the Call Center, Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide the work search details.