New employers in the state of Mississippi, you most likely will have to participate in that state’s unemployment insurance system too. The way it works with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, or the MDES, is that new employers are liable to pay unemployment insurance if they match the proper employer status, if they have bought or acquired another company that was already liable for unemployment insurance taxes, or if they voluntarily decide to be liable for the taxes.
What I meant before when I said that a new employer could be liable if “they match the proper employer status” was that liability for unemployment insurance tax is determined by how much you are paying out to your employees, and what type of employees they are. For instance, even for domestic workers—such as nannies, baby sitters, house cleaners—you could be considered a liable employer if you pay them more than $1000 in a quarter.
When it comes to agricultural companies, you could be a liable employer if you pay more than $20,000 in wages in a calendar quarter or have 10 or more workers on your pay roll in some portion of a day during 20 different weeks in the year. Nonprofits even have to pay unemployment insurance taxes if they have more than four workers employed on some portion of a day in 20 or more different weeks out of the year.
For your standard for-profit business, which I am suspecting most of you are, the liability levels come at the payment of more than $1500 of wages in a quarter, or one worker employed during the course of a day in at least 20 weeks out of the year.
Just registering with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to determine your level of liability for unemployment insurance taxes is just one of the steps that a new employer must do in the state. Don’t forget that you also need a unemployment insurance benefits poster for each and every one of your work sites.
Given the devastation of Hurricane Katrina it is understandable that Mississippi Unemployment Insurance posters inform employers and workers about Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The purpose of the program is to provide assistance for a limited period of time to individuals who are left jobless as a direct result of a major disaster.
Mississippi Unemployment Insurance posters differ from the posters of most other states. The significant differences in the scope of eligibility for benefits between Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and traditional unemployment insurance are readily apparent on Mississippi Unemployment Insurance posters.
Employees who have been working or residing in an officially declared disaster area and are now unemployed as a result of the disaster may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation Benefits or Disaster Unemployment Assistance if they are (1) unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster; (2) unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the major disaster; or (3) scheduled to start work and do not have a job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of the major disaster; or (4) have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the major disaster; or (5) cannot work because of an injury caused by a direct result of the major disaster. Individuals who are eligible for regular state unemployment insurance benefits must exhaust those benefits before receiving DUA benefits.
The Weekly DUA Amount is based upon the individual’s prior earnings. The maximum weekly amount cannot exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount provided under the Mississippi Department of Employment Security Law. A disaster assistance period will begin with the first week following the date the major disaster began, and will end 26 weeks after the declaration date. An individual’s eligibility for DUA is determined on a week-to-week basis.
Employers do not contribute to the cost of this program and benefits do not affect their ratings.
Although unemployment insurance has been around a long time, I thought it would be good to go over the requirements and eligibility. Most people who have jobs in Mississippi work for an employer who is “covered” by unemployment insurance. That’s an employer who pays at least $1500 or more per quarter in wages, or who has at least one employee—even part time—for 20 weeks of the year.
People who become unemployed through no fault of their own from a business that pays unemployment insurance can file a claim to get payments. I am sure that most people know you can lose eligibility for certain actions, and that if you get fired from a job you are not qualified to receive unemployment. In order to get the payment, you must register, report to the local employment office, and be willing and available to work, as well as able to work.
After you file your claim, you’ll have to wait one week before benefits can be paid. You have to have earned wage credits to qualify, which means you should have worked during at least two of the past five quarters, earned at least $780 in the highest quarter, and you should have earned a total of forty times your weekly benefit during your base period. If they turn you down, you have the right to an appeal.
I have heard that if you have to make child support payments, you’re supposed to report that when you file your unemployment claim. The child support payments are deducted from your unemployment benefits by the Department of Human Services.
After you start receiving unemployment benefits, you must actively search for work. You have to report all earnings and offers of work. You must file a weekly claim form and certify weekly.
Unemployment insurance laws and the full details of all state, federal, and OSHA laws can be found on the Mississippi Complete Labor Law poster.