Workers affected by coronavirus can apply for unemployment

An empty mall
A pedestrian passes through a sparsely populated retail hub at the World Financial Center, Monday in New York.
John Minchillo | AP Photo file

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is encouraging people who’ve lost work because of the novel coronavirus to apply for unemployment benefits promptly.

Workers can file for benefits if they had their hours reduced or lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state agency says people should apply for benefits as soon as possible. Delaying may result in some benefit losses.

Applications may be made online, or by phone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Workers may apply for benefits if they cannot work because they're sick with COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus. Among those also eligible are people out of work because they're caring for family members ill or quarantined because of COVID-19.

Unemployment benefits only cover a portion of lost wages. It’s unclear what additional financial aid may be available to help workers make up for wage losses. Self-employed people typically do not qualify for benefits.

More information is available on the DEED website.

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