Benefit Eligibility Requirements

Benefit Eligibility Requirements

The maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) allowed in Mississippi at this time is $235.00. Your WBA for unemployment insurance benefits is based on the total wages in the highest quarter of your Base Period and by dividing that amount by 26. The base period of a claim includes the first four (4) of the last five (5) completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim.  The minimum WBA in Mississippi is $30.00. To estimate your WBA you must first determine what your wages are for the highest quarter during your Base Period. You may find this amount on the Benefit Chart in column A., and your estimated weekly benefit amount will be shown in column B.

Download the Benefit Chart

To qualify for benefits, you:
Must have worked in at least two quarters of your base period.
Must have earned at least $780.00 in the highest quarter of your base period.
Must have earned 40 times your weekly benefit amount in your base period.

The maximum amount of benefits that can be paid to you during your Benefit Year is 26 times your WBA, or one-third of your total Base Period wages, whichever is the lesser.

If you file a claim for benefits and it is determined that you do not have sufficient wages in your base period to qualify, you may reapply again after the quarter changes, if you are still unemployed.

Wages are reported by employers on a quarterly (3 month) basis. When an individual applies for unemployment benefits the claim will be based on four quarters of wages, called the “Base Period”. The base period is always the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim. “Quarter Change” occurs on the first Sunday of January, April, July, and October; at that time the oldest quarter of wages drops off and a more recent quarter is added. 

Other Eligibility Requirements: 

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must:
Be unemployed through no fault of your own
Be able to work
Be available for work and seeking full time work
File a claim for benefits
Serve a one-week waiting period (benefits cannot be paid for this week)
Have earned sufficient wage credits
Be registered for work at the WIN Job Center in your area

NOTE: In cases where an individual is separated from employment for reasons other than lack of work, an investigation will be conducted to determine eligibility.


Although you may meet the above eligibility requirements, your benefits may be delayed or denied if you:
Left work without good cause under the Law
Are discharged for misconduct connected with your work
Fail to apply for or accept suitable employment
Are unemployed because of a labor dispute
Are receiving a pension toward which a base period employer contribute
Are receiving or seeking unemployment benefits from another state