ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says it has seen a dramatic increase in the number of employees hoping to collect unemployment insurance.
The spike comes just one day after Gov. Tim Walz announced that all employees impacted by the spread of COVID-19 have full access to unemployment.
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove says the department has seen the most applications coming from the food and beverage industry.
"Just to give you a perspective, last week we saw about 150 people apply for benefits in that sector. Today that’s up to about 5,600. Those are spikes that we thought were going to take place when this announcement went out, and it’s happening across other sectors as well,” Grove said.
According to DEED, employees who have been laid off, or are experiencing reduced hours through no fault of their own are eligible for Unemployment Insurance. If you qualify you will be paid from the moment you faced unemployment. Qualified employees will receive half of their wages per week, with a maximum of $740 per week, for up to 26 weeks.
DEED says you are eligible if:
- You have temporarily or permanently lost your job, or have reduced hours because of COVID-19.
- A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered you to avoid contact with others due to COVID-19.
- You have been ORDERED not to come to the workplace due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
- Your child’s school district, daycare, or other childcare is unavailable and you’ve made reasonable attempts to find other childcare and requested time off from work, or requested other accommodations from employer, but nothing was available.
In order to apply, employees should visit UIMN.org. There are phone lines available that are reserved for those that don’t have access to the internet, or a computer, or those that need assistance in another language.
For employees in the Twin Cities, call 651-296-3644. For those that live in Greater Minnesota, you’re asked to call 1-877-898-9090
For more information, visit https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-releases/?id=423352.