Governor extends unemployment benefits

Published 2:41 pm Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday afternoon, Gov. Tate Reeves announced efforts to extend unemployment benefits provided to help Mississippi’s workers and their families hit hard by COVID-19.

Reeves signed a new executive order updating instructions to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to further relieve undue burdens caused by the pandemic. This new order replaces the governor’s initial unemployment order, which began the process of expediting payments to unemployed Mississippians.

“There is no real government replacement for a job. I know most Mississippians are ready and eager to work. Please do not let the window pass you by. If you are lucky enough to get an offer to earn a living, please do not reject it. I do not want you to wake up in August with no job to return to,” Reeves said.

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This order waives the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits for all claims filed from March 8 until Dec. 26. The initial order waived the waiting period until June 27.

Further extending financial support to those out of work due to COVID-19, Reeves increased the $40 earning allowance to $200 from May 3 until June 27.

For employers, the governor has also waived any interest on all collection activities suspended under the executive order from April 1 until June 27. The offset of future benefits due to overpayments will be reduced to 25% from March 29 until June 27.

Additional updates include:

For employers:

  • Any charges related to COVID-19 and associated charges to both rated and reimbursable employers’ accounts are waived from March 8 to June 27. Interest will not accrue during this period.
  • The First Quarter 2020 pay date imposed for contributions of both rated and reimbursable employers has been suspended and moved to July 31.
  • Penalties for late reporting and contribution payments from March 8 to July 31 are suspended.


For workers:

  • Those unable to search for work because of COVID-19, including because they have contracted the virus, have been under quarantine or have had their movements restricted, will be interpreted as such for claims filed between March 8 and June 27.
  • Work registration requirements from March 8 to June 27 are suspended, and individuals are not required to report in-person, to help limit transmission.