COVID-19 Unemployment Information

Minor league players are normally ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because of COVID-19, most minor league players are eligible and should apply!

 

Si usted es de la Republica Dominicana, Venezuela, Mexico, o cualquier otro país, también es elegible para los beneficios de desempleo si trabajaste en los Estados Unidos en 2019. Tendremos una traduccion aquí.

 

We hosted a Q&A with George Wentworth, Senior Counsel for the National Employment Law Project. That video can be found at the bottom of the page.

How to apply?

Visit the website of the state you last earned wages in, or the state where you earned the majority of your wages in 2019. Linked here is a site that has each state unemployment page.

  • Your application will likely be processed as an "interstate claim" meaning that you've earned wages in multiple states. As long as you apply in a state in which you earned wages in 2019, you should be eligible.

  • When applying, indicate the minor league team you played for as well as the team that pays your salary.

  • The Florida unemployment website is currently having issues, but you should be able to apply as soon as it opens back up.

  • If you earned income that was not reported (lessons during the offseason, cash payments), those do NOT have to be reported on the claim form

Am I really eligible?

Yes! Even if you're receiving $400 a week from your team. Those funds are not wages, but rather a stipend payment paid out by MLB. This should be specified in your application.

What should I do if my claim is rejected or if the site says my estimated benefits are $0?

Do not give up. There are multiple assistance programs under unemployment during COVID-19. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program that assists people who are not normally eligible for unemployment. If you are rejected, you should be able to apply specifically for PUA after you receive your rejection notice.

Furthermore, you are entitled to appeal your unemployment claim. This process must be done within 7-21 days depending on the state and will take place mostly over the phone. 

You are eligible, and a rejection is most likely a misunderstanding of your current employment status as a professional athlete.

I have a specific question that wasn't answered on this page

Send us a message. Simon@morethanbaseball.org Simon Rosenblum-Larson, our President and Director of Operations can pass your question along to our unemployment expert if he can't answer it himself! Take a look at the Q&A with George Wentworth to get all pertinent questions answered as well.

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