Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Information

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    Available for Suitable Work

    • To become eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Minnesota, employees must have sufficient earnings in their base period, be unemployed or have reduced work hours, be legal U.S. residents and must actively seek employment and be ready to accept suitable work. Minnesota does not provide unemployment insurance benefits to unemployed workers who voluntarily terminated employment without good cause or those fired for misconduct. Minnesota does not allow benefits to unemployed workers during the weeks they are on vacation or travel outside of their commuting area, unless they are looking for work in another area. Claimants cannot receive benefits during the weeks they were not able to look for work or were too ill to work or look for work.

    Educational Limits

    • Claimants who are in school are still eligible to receive unemployment benefits, according to Minnesota law. However, students must be willing to quit or rearrange their school schedules to accommodate any employment offers. The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program also allows for exceptions to the mandatory work-search requirement for students if the state determines an applicant needs the training or further education to find another job. Under Minnesota law, high school students are never eligible for state unemployment benefits.

    Earnings During Unemployment

    • Employees who work at least 32 hours in one week cannot receive an unemployment benefit check for that week. Similarly, employees who work less than 32 hours cannot qualify for unemployment benefits in weeks their earnings exceed their unemployment benefits. Employees who work less than 32 hours receive reduced benefits during the weeks they work part-time. The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance agency will take 55 percent of their part-time compensation each week and reduce it accordingly by the amount they earned in non-unemployment benefits. Claimants who receive severance pay are not eligible for any unemployment benefits during the weeks they receive payments. In fact, any type of earnings may affect a claimant's weekly unemployment benefits, including vacation and sick leave payouts.

    Total Weeks of Benefits

    • Eligible applicants receive about half of their gross pre-unemployment wages each week, limited to $578 for 26 weeks. Claimants must request benefits every week (or two weeks, in some situations) to receive benefits for that week. Under Minnesota law, applicants must wait one week after applying before they begin receiving benefits. They will not receive compensation during this mandatory seven-day waiting period. If they subsequently find employment but become unemployed again, employees do not have to go through another weeklong waiting period when reapplying for benefits if they reapply within the same year.


    • Since state laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

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