Money Talks


Money Talks: Unemployment

What a jam packed podcast! We took so many calls and emails with our guests: Jackie Turner, Executive Director and Timothy Rush, Director of Unemployment Insurance from MDES. Have a listen - maybe we answered your questions.

The big takeaway from the show - have patience. This is happening fast. The 900 phone lines are jammed. Try again, try another phone line, try to email. Have patience.

  • Visit the MDES website at or call the MDES Contact Center at 1-888-844-3577.
  • The contact center hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty filing your Unemployment Insurance claim, you can contact your local WIN Job Center by phone or email for assistance. WIN Job Center lobbies are currently closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Calls dealt with:

  • email about weekly job search filing
  • how to contact
  • help for self employed
  • out of state employment
  • reduced wages
  • partial wage loss
  • gig workers
  • 1099 religious workers
  • Social Security recipient - stimulus check
  • when do checks start
  • who's eligible

Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will not be required to serve a waiting period week for initial claims filed from now through June 27, 2020.

Work search requirements that normally must be met to be considered eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits will be suspended beginning March 21, 2020, until June 27, 2020. So to remain eligible for benefits, you don’t have to report job searching.

Who is eligible to file a claim due to COVID-19?

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency,
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers due to COVID-19 concerns,
  • Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19,
  • Or, those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

CARE Act relief check: If you don’t have direct deposit on file with the IRS, there will be an online portal where you can add your information. The IRS hasn’t set that up yet, but once it does, you’ll be able to access it.

You don’t have to do anything to get your payment as long as you have filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019. If you receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits and don’t typically file a tax return, you don’t have to do anything. The IRS will use your benefit payment information to generate your relief payment.

More Episodes


Money Talks: Need Help

This broadcast highlighted many of the organizations that provide help during the pandemic and our recent podcasts that dealt with some of these issues. Unemployment The CARES Act added $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. July 13th, this benefit end. The legislation also adds 13 weeks of unemployment insurance.Typically, self-employed people, freelancers and contractors can't apply for unemployment. The CARES Act created a new, temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through the end of this year to help people who lose work as a direct result of the public health emergency.On our April 7th Money Talks, we had executives from Mississippi Department of Economic Security. filing is encouraged! A claim may be filed on-line at twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a the MDES Contact Center at 1-888-844-3577you may contact your local WIN Job Center – there are over 40 of them - for assistance. off from workEligible employees get 2 weeks of paid sick leave as long as they’ve been at employed at least 30 days.Some workers can also get 12 weeks of paid leave to care for children whose’ s schools were closed or whose child care provider is unavailable. The leave law expires December 31st. banks and pantriesMS Food Network's executive director was on the show June 9th talked about how many people who had never needed a food pantry before were now looking for assistance. 601-353-7286is their phone number where you can find out where pantries are near you. Their web sitemsfoodnet.orgSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan (SNAP) provides nutritional food assistance for those who meet eligibility requirements., Infants and Children (WIC) provides low-income women, infants and children with food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services. Department of Human Services provides many services for individuals, families, children, and seniors in need. assistance and forbearance Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) has reopened the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) to provide short-term mortgage assistance to those who have lost employment or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow MHC to pay monthly mortgage payment assistance. People can submit applications through an online portal : mshomesaver.comIf you have a federally backed mortgage, and if you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you have a right to request a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request an extension for up to another 180 days. You must contact your loan servicer to request this forbearance. There will be no additional fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account. You do not need to submit additional documentation to qualify other than your claim to have a pandemic-related financial hardship. is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause (suspend), or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time while you regain your financial footing.Forbearance doesn’t mean your payments are forgiven or erased. You are still required to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future.Make sure you understand how the forbearance will be repaid. There can be different forbearance programs or options, depending on the type of your loan.If and when your income is restored, reach out to your servicer and resume making payments as soon as you can so your future obligation is limited.Credit CardsOn May 12th we had a guest on our show from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. In addition to mortgage forbearance, he talked about credit cards and asking for help with your debt. your provider to formally request financial assistance.Tell them you’ve been impacted by the coronavirus pandemicAsk questions about the credit card relief packages they offerGet a written copy of your agreementAsk to lower your monthly minimum payment or ask for waiving or refunding late fees. Reduce your interest rate. Establish a payment plan to pay off existing balances.,after%20your%20forbearance%20period%20ends.Small business assistanceOn May 20, 2020, Governor Tate Reeves signed SB2772 into law, establishing the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program. The grants will be used to help businesses in Mississippi with 50 or fewer employees recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, including operating expenses and salaries.The Mississippi Development Authority is now accepting applications on this site from small businesses. CareThe Childcare Crisis Assistance in Isolation Response Plan (CCAIR) is designed to serve as temporary, emergency childcare facilities during this crisis period for families listed as essential workers in Executive Order 1463. For more information on CCAIR, as well as what steps that must be taken before being considered for certification as a CCAIR site, you can go to't forget to redeem your gift cards before stores go out of businessUnited Way and Salvation Army might be of assistance for you. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health has resources on its website and a phone number to call for help. 1-877-210-8579 for self employedGet my payment and EIP

Money Talks: Travel during Coronavirus

Have you gotten your Economic Impact Payment? Will you be traveling during the "Summer of Coronavirus"? who have lost or destroyed their Visa prepaid debit cards now can request a free replacement through MetaBank’s customer service department. You can call 800-240-8100 (select option 2 from the main menu). If your address changed, you may need to go through the process of changing it on file with the IRS. One way to do so is by filing Form 8822, Change of Address.To trace your payment, call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or you may submit Form 3911.Can you say Stay-Cation?What are some examples of some free things to do near your home? Catch a magnificent sunset or sunriseTake a walk or bike ride.Play in the park.Swim at the beach or lake.Visit a state park and walk their trailsVisit a market.Are you driving somewhere?Improve the Efficiency of Your Car: When taking road trips make sure your car is operating efficiently and is fully serviced. Some tips:Check the pressure of your car tires.Drive slower.Use the right oil to increase mile usage.Watch your luggage – the heavier the car the more fuel you’ll use.Pack inside your car not on top.What about the availability of rest stops for each state, their welcome center and any COVID-19 information you may need to know? in a hotel?Consider staying more than 1 night for a discountCall the hotel directly to get a cheap room or obtain special information.Could you save by staying over a Sunday night?

Money Talks: MS Food Network

Our guest is Dr. Charles Beady, the Executive Director of Mississippi Food Network, which began in 1983 as a warehouse facility that would accumulate, store, and distribute food for charities who would then make the final distributions to needy people in their community. MFN is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. are 430 agencies that distribute the food that MS Food Network accumulates.No.1 requested food donation: canned meatWhen NOT during a pandemic, volunteers who have registered help at the warehouse each month your organization would like to host a food drive, please contact Stacey Cain at 601-973-7089 or you are interested in making a corporate donation, please call Mack Matthews atmmatthews@msfoodnet.orgor 601-353-7215.There are other ways to give:Monetary donationsShop at Kroger. When shopping at Kroger Stores, make a donation to MFN by registering your Kroger card with the Community Rewards Program ( through the scan card program found at all registers.Shop Amazon Smile. It’s just like “regular” shopping at, but .05 percent of your purchase can be designated for MFN.Sign up to support Mississippi Food Network today( contact MS Food Network:Mississippi Food NetworkP.O. Box 411Jackson MS 39205-0411info@msfoodnet.orgU. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Unemployment data