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FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS | 04/22/20 Update from Speaker Gunn

Federal Unemployment Benefits

• Today, April 22, 2002, we are happy to announce that MDES has finally set up their system to process federal unemployment claims for people who are not eligible for state unemployment compensation.

• As you may recall, some people who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits, like the self-employed, may still qualify for the $600 in federal benefits under the CARES Act.

• To this point in time, MDES was not set up to process these “federal only” claims and was devoting all their resources to processing state claims and the related federal benefit for those who qualified for state benefits.

• They now tell us they are ready to processing these “federal only” claims known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

• In order to receive this PUA money, you should file a claim online with MDES here: https://accessms.mdes.ms.gov/accessms/faces/login/login.xhtml

• You can also call 1-833-919-0334 to speak with a representative about filing your PUA claim.

• After you have filed your claim or emailed with a question, please wait 5-7 business days before contacting MDES to follow up.

• For those of you who have filed a state claim and have already been approved for state unemployment benefits, you do not have to file another claim to receive federal benefits. Your claim for the federal benefits is automatically made when your claim for state benefits is approved.

Do your unemployment compensation weekly certifications even before you get a claim decision.

• Many people contacting our office have been confused about weekly certifications.

• Anyone applying for unemployment compensation must provide a certification each week that they are able and available to work.

• Due to the unprecedented volume of claims, it will likely take more than one week for your claim to be processed.

• MDES tells my office that applicants must use the online system to do these weekly certifications, even before they get a claim decision.

• So, if you have filed your claim, even if you haven’t gotten a decision, or even if you got a notification that there was an issue with your claim, you still should do your online weekly certifications each week.

• Don’t wait until you get a claim decision to start doing your weekly certifications.

• If you never do a weekly certification, you will not receive benefits for that week.

• MDES understands that people may be confused in this situation. So, if you have not yet done your weekly certifications because you are waiting on a claim decision, MDES tells us they will exercise leniency and will offer you an opportunity to go back and retroactively do those weekly certifications.

• But, it will make things easier for them and you if you go ahead and do them each week.

Update on number of cases.

• 178 new cases reported yesterday. • Total cases statewide now number 4,894. • Unfortunately, we now have 193 deaths. • 74 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Call if you need help.

• We have had phone calls to our office forwarded to our staff. If you need any help at all, please call us at 601-359-3300.

• We have also set up an email address for you to ask questions or seek help. That address is covid19questions@house.ms.gov.







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