MN Youth Unemployment Information

(Last updated: December 20, 2020)

Are you or do you know a Minnesota high school student who lost a job because of COVID-19?

For generations, high school students have played a key role as employees supporting the local economy, their families, and themselves. We believe those hard working students deserve unemployment benefits like their fellow employees and high school students in the rest of the country.

A group of high school students and Youthprise, supported by youth organizations and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, decided to sue the state of Minnesota for high school students who lost wages after January 27, 2020, due to the pandemic. CLICK HERE to learn more. And on December 1, 2020, we received an official ruling in our favor!

AN UPDATE FROM DEED (12/20/20): DEED will be hosting a series of Q&A sessions on their YouTube page (@deedminnesota), see times below. DEED has asked folks to send their questions ahead of time on social media using #APPLY4UI.



1. REFERENCE THE CHART below to determine what day you are allowed to apply for Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

2. Using the "APPLY NOW" button below fill out your application for Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Benefits. APPLICATIONS MUST BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 26, 2020. CLICK HERE FOR STEP BY STEP DIRECTIONSPlease note: If you have already applied, there is no need to reapply because the benefits are retroactive!

3. SPREAD THE WORD! Share this link with your friends and family, and make sure high school students who lost a job due to the pandemic know their rights and apply today! Preserve your rights to pandemic unemployment!


  • When is the deadline to apply? December 26, 2020
  • What do I need to have to apply? Great question! CLICK HERE for videos and a list of what to have on hand to fill out the application.
  • If I've already applied … do I need to apply again? The simple answer is no. DEED has told us the newly awarded benefits will be awarded retroactively as long as you have already applied for unemployment insurance through the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website since the start of the pandemic.
  • I'm not sure if I applied, what should I do? When in doubt ... apply again!
  • I applied and was denied, what should I do now? Confirm that you did in fact apply and then be patient. The benefits are retroactive, and DEED should hopefully reconsider your application soon.
  • I know I applied, but I'm still confused. Is there a way to check the status? Not necessarily, but DEED has informed us that if you applied correctly, you should have an account. "Students who have already applied should log in to their account to verify whether any additional information is needed."
  • I was approved and asked to pay back money, what should I do? We recommend filing an appeal based on this new information. If you are eligible for this newly available Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, it will be retroactive.
  • When can I expect my unemployment money? To be completely transparent, we don't have that answer. At this point, we know that benefits are retroactive, but unfortunately, we do not have an exact timeline for when young people will start receiving their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. If you have questions specific to your case, we encourage you to contact Minnesota Unemployment directly.
  • I still have questions, where should I go? If you have specific questions regarding your situation, we recommend reaching out to DEED directly. CLICK HERE to contact DEED.