News & Events

Mississippi Expands Unemployment Benefits to Workers Affected by COVID-19

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed Executive Order 1462 on March 21, 2020, to make unemployment benefits more available to Mississippi workers affected by COVID-19. The Order made the following temporary changes to Mississippi’s unemployment laws:

  • Eliminated the one-week waiting period for receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits for claims made between March 8 to June 27, 2020;
  • Suspended the requirement for unemployment benefit recipients to search for new employment through June 27, 2020;
  • Suspended Mississippi Department of Employment Security’s (“MDES“) collection efforts for overpayments and other delinquencies through June 27, 2020;
  • Adopted all waivers (and future waivers) granted by the United States Congress related to COVID-19; and
  • Empowered MDES to perform acts necessary to effectuate the Order.

MDES issued a press release stating that based on guidance from the United States Department of Labor and Governor Reeves, existing unemployment compensation rules have been modified to allow workers to file claims for unemployment benefits who are:

  1. quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency;
  2. laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers due to COVID-19 concerns;
  3. diagnosed with COVID-19; or
  4. caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

MDES’s press release may be found at: https://mdes.ms.gov/news/2020/03/20/mississippi-announces-support-for-workers-impacted-by-covid-19/

Executive Order 1462 may be found at: https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/ExecutiveOrders/1462.pdf