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Returning to work | Stay safe at work | Unemployment | Resources for workers

Stay safe at work


For all guidance documents provided by the State of Minnesota, including information about staying safe in daily activities, Minnesotans are encouraged to visit

Beginning on June 10, 2020

Restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor service as long as they:

Gyms, studios and fitness centers can reopen as long as they:

Seated and recreational entertainment and meeting venues can reopen as long as they:

Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) can reopen to provide services indoor as long as they:

Safety requirements in the workplace during COVID-19

  • On May 13, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-54, which clarifies the required worker protections
  • Businesses must follow all CDC and MDH guidance and OSHA standards for health and safety
  • Workers should continue to work from home when possible

In order to reopen, any non-critical sector business or retail establishment must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place to protect the health and safety of their workers.

  • Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), DEED, and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) have developed a template plan and guidance that businesses can use as a starting point. A business’s plan needs to follow CDC and MDH guidelines and OSHA standards.
  • Businesses are not required to submit their plans to the state for approval, but businesses should be prepared to provide a copy of their plan if requested.
  • Copies of the plan must be shared with workers in advance of reopening and posted at the workplace.

Report health and safety problems at work

If a worker feels that their employer is not operating with a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and/or not following health and safety protocols, there is action they can take.

  • If the worker raises safety questions with their employer and these have not been resolved, or of the is not comfortable raising their concerns with their employer, or has additional concerns about the safety of their workplace, the worker should contact Minnesota OSHA at 651-284-5050 or [email protected].
  • Raising an issue is the way to tell us that you have a question regarding an employee’s eligibility for unemployment. You can find more information about how to raise an issue here.

Workplace safety guides

Unemployment and reduced employment

If you have lost your job or had your hours significantly reduced because of COVID-19, you may qualify for unemployment assistance. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) administers Minnesota's unemployment assistance program.

Expanded access to assistance

By executive order, an increased number of workers have access to unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. You are now also eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  • A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered you to avoid contact with others.
  • You have been ordered not to come to the workplace due to an outbreak of a communicable disease.
  • You have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or your ordinary childcare is unavailable, provided that you made reasonable effort to obtain other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from the employer but no reasonable accommodation was available.

Self-employed, independent contractors and others

DEED has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors and others who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

How to apply

You are strongly encouraged to apply for unemployment online. The online system is available Sunday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also call Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except on holidays).

  • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
  • TTY - users: 1-866-814-1252
  • If you or someone you know, needs help in another language, call center staff will provide an interpreter.

Application schedule

The table below lists the day and time to start an application based on the last digit of your SSN. For example: a person with the SSN XXX-XX-XXX6 would apply on Wednesday.

If the last digit of your Social Security number is:

Apply online 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on this day:
0, 1 or 2Monday
3, 4 or 5Tuesday
6, 7, 8 or 9Wednesday

Important Things to Know

  • The date of application will not affect the amount of benefits you will be paid.
  • If you already have an Unemployment Insurance account, you can still login anytime.
  • Please do not call the Unemployment Insurance office to ask about the status of your application. Your online account will be updated when more information is available.

Help and FAQs

Frequently asked questions about unemployment

Phone assistance

  • Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
  • Greater Minnesota: 877-898-9090
  • TTY - users: 1-866-814-1252
  • If you need help in another language, call center staff will provide an interpreter.
To get through to a customer service representative more easily, you should:
  1. Call on the correct day according to the table below. Call before 2:00 p.m., as there is a chance they will not get to your call if you are still in the queue after that point.
    Password issuesAccount questionsApply by phone  
    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Monday - Thursday
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  2. Plan on waiting to speak to a representative. UI is taking an unprecedented number of calls. Once you are on hold in the queue, stay on the line. Hanging up and then calling again will put you in the back of the call queue.
  3. If you call and hear a busy signal, wait a few minutes and call again. A busy signal may mean is that the call queue is full, and UI is unable to add more people to the queue. Once you are in the queue, stay in the queue.
  4. Try to find the answer to your question online at or in your online account. UI has many frequently asked questions and informational pages that likely can answer your questions. If you have a question about your eligibility for benefits under the CARES Act, please see this informational page.

UI application resources

Non-English resources


Additional Resources

COVID-19 information for childcare providers and families   

•  Prioritization of children from families working in critical sectors for summer programming and child care  
•  Map of childcare providers


Last updated Jul 22, 2020



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