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Reeves makes unemployment easier to get for workers affected by COVID-19



Gov. Tate Reeves signed an emergency declaration to help unemployed workers March 21, 2020. (file photo)

Gov. Tate Reeves is making unemployment benefits easier to get for Mississippians affected by COVID-19 business shutdowns and layoffs.

Reeves signed an executive order Saturday to waive the one week waiting period to receive benefits for all claims between March 8 and June 27. The order will also suspend work search requirements to receive unemployment benefits.

In a release, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security said it has modified its existing unemployment compensation rules to allow workers to file a claim for unemployment benefits if they are or have been:

  • Quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency
  • Laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Caring for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

To file an Unemployment Claim, visit the MDES website at or call the MDES Contact Center at 1-888-844-3577.

The Contact Center will be open this weekend, March 21 and 22, and available to take calls between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Beginning Monday, March 23, the contact center hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.


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