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



Tate Reeves
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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