Gov. extends unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19

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Governor Tate Reeves has signed an executive order which will extend unemployment benefits provided to help Mississippi workers and their families impacted by COVID-19.

According to a news release from the Governor’s office, the order updates instructions to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) to further relieve undue burdens caused by the pandemic. This new executive order replaces the Governor’s initial unemployment order, Executive Order No. 1462, which began the process of expediting payments to unemployed Mississippians.

As Mississippi businesses begin to reopen, the Governor urged everyone who has the chance to return to work to do so. 

“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,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

Below, you can watch the Governor’s full remarks from today’s press briefing. 

In this latest executive order, Governor Reeves is waiving the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits for all claims filed from March 8, 2020 to December 26, 2020. Under the initial Executive Order No. 1462, the waiting period was waived until June 27.

Further extending financial support of Mississippians out of work due to COVID-19, the Governor is increasing the $40 earning allowance to $200 from May 3, 2020 until June 27, 2020.

Supporting employers struggling under the weight of COVID-19, Governor Reeves has also waived any interest from April 1, 2020 to June 27, 2020 on all collection activities suspended under the Executive Order. The offset of future benefits due to overpayments will be reduced to 25% from March 29, 2020 until June 27, 2020.

Additional updates under Executive Order No. 1481 to support Mississippi’s employers and workforce include:

For employers:

  • Any charges related to COVID-19 and associated charges to both rated and reimbursable employers’ accounts are waived from March 8, 2020 to June 27, 2020. Interest will not be accrued 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, 2020.
  • Penalties for late reporting and contribution payments from March 8, 2020 to July 31, 2020 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, 2020 to June 27, 2020.
  • Work registration requirements from March 8, 2020 to June 27, 2020 are suspended, and individuals are not required to report in-person to help limit transmission.

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