Governor Tate Reeves extends unemployment benefits for Miss. workers affected by coronavirus

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 2:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves held a press briefing to give an update on the current situation of COVID-19 in Mississippi and discuss the state’s ongoing strategy to flatten the curve.

Reeves announced efforts to extend the unemployment benefits provided to help Mississippi workers and their families.

Governor Reeves signed a new executive order updating instructions to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES).

“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.

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.

The Governor is also increasing the $40 earning allowance to $200 from May 3, 2020 until June 27, 2020.

Supporting employers struggling under the weight of COVID-19, interest has been waived 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.

You can view the text version of Executive Order No. 1481 here.

Today, barbershops, salons, and gyms re-opened to the public with new restrictions in place.

Currently there are 9,674 cases of coronavirus identified by Missississippi Department of Health and 430 deaths.

Click here to watch the news conference.

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