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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance now available in Mississippi

Updated: Apr. 21, 2020 at 3:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is now available for applications. Mississippians can apply at www.mdes.ms.gov or by calling 1-833-919-0334 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Anyone not covered for regular unemployment benefits can apply. This includes those who are self-employed, independent contractors, employees of a church or religious entity, employees of non-profit organizations or gig economy workers.

Others eligible to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are those who:

  1. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis
  2. became the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19
  3. quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19
  4. their place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  5. have a member of their household that has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  6. is providing care for a family member or a member of their household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  7. has a child or other person in the household for which they have primary caregiving responsibility that is unable to attend school or another facility closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work
  8. is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  9. was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
  10. is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves says the state has made great progress on the unemployment process but admitted the process can be frustrating.

Unemployment payouts are up from $1 million per week to $72 million in the last week.

Tuesday, Reeves discussed the need for social distancing even as the state begins to re-open.

“Our re-opening strategy will be continuous and slow,” Reeves said.

He says there will continue to be rules in place and Mississippians will not be able to get back to their previously normal life right away.

Reeves says we are still “in the eye of the storm,” and that people should not let their guard down. He says the daily number of cases is not a good indicators of where the state is in the battle with the virus.

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