Unemployment Insurance in Missouri is a joint state-federal initiative for unemployed workers who lost their job through no fault of their own. The program helps job seekers find work while providing them with temporary financial assistance.
Missouri UI Benefits Calculator
The Missouri Unemployment Benefits Calculator helps you estimate your UI weekly benefits amount.
The Unemployment Insurance program is handled by the Missouri Department of Employment and Security (DES). Explore more about how to apply for benefits in Missouri, the eligibility criteria, documents needed and other important details you’ll need to know to apply for benefits in the state of Missouri.
Eligibility Requirements or UI Benefits In Missouri
To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Missouri, you must have been employed and earned a requisite amount of wages during your base period. You will also have to establish the reason for separation with your previous employer. You must also be a United States citizen or be legally allowed to work in the state of Missouri. Once you begin receiving the benefits, you will have to maintain your eligibility criteria by promptly making an effort to find job opportunities.
In order to verify if you have the monetary eligibility, your work history will determine if the wages you’ve earned during the base period meets the necessary criteria. The Missouri DES will consider the duration worked and the wages earned in the base period to evaluate if you qualify for unemployment benefits in Missouri.
To be eligible for UI benefits in Missouri, you must have earned a minimum of $2,250 (at least $1,500 in just one calendar quarter, and a minimum of $750 during the rest of the year) from an insured employer during your Base Period. Also, your total wages during the base period must be at least 1.5 times the highest quarter wages.
If your base period wages are not at least 1.5 times your highest-earning quarter. You must have received at least 1.5 times the wages you received during your highest-earning quarter in at least two of the four quarters.
You will need the following documents to apply for benefits in the state of Missouri:
File an initial claim for UI benefits using Missouri’s UInteract portal. Once you create an account and verify your identity, you can log in to file a new claim, request weekly payments, track the status of your claim, and more. Before applying, make sure you have your Social Security number, pay stubs, employer information, and bank information if you want to set up direct deposit.
After you are approved for Missouri unemployment benefits, you must continue to file weekly claims to receive payments. Weekly certifications are done online through the UInteract system. You must certify each week that you are able and available to work, and are actively seeing work. You will be asked to perform 3 work search requirements each week and report any earnings or job offers.
Your roles and responsibilities do not end once you file for unemployment insurance benefits in Missouri. You are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations as dictated by the DLIR throughout the benefits period to receive unemployment benefits in Missouri without any hindrance.
There are also many services given by the state, which are aiming at making you more competent. You need to be aware of the training programs and their eligibility requirements to make use of such opportunities.
Overpayments and Fraud
Overpayments occur when claimants receive benefits they don’t deserve. This may occur for a number of reasons, such as:
Failing to report your earnings during the benefit period
Appeal judgment decreasing the weekly benefit amount
If you get a job but also file a weekly claim, the UI benefits amount you received will be considered an overpayment
You are required to repay the excessive amount you received to the DES if the department serves you a notice for an overpayment. The DES will inform when and by how much you were overpaid. If you have any qualms with the notice, you have the right to appeal and request a hearing with the Appeals Tribunal.
If the DES finds out that you committed Missouri unemployment fraud, your benefits will be denied. You may face penalties of up to 100% of the overpaid amount. Such fraudulent activities can also lead to criminal charges.
Normally, Missouri unemployment benefits last up to 20 weeks. However, if the unemployment rate is too high, Missouri may offer extended benefits. There is also Disaster Unemployment Assistance which can be triggered when a region experiences a natural disaster. During the COVID pandemic, the CARES Act provided additional benefits like Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), but those programs expired in 2021. Learn more about Missouri unemployment benefit extensions.
Job Training Assistance
If you wish to improve your skills and participate in programs that give you a competitive edge in the job market, take a look at the training programs offered by https://jobs.mo.gov/.
Visit a Missouri Career Center to plan your career through comprehensive self-assessment which helps you to become more visible in the job market. Trained staff can help with the following reemployment services:
Most jobs require specialized training that is well beyond a high school diploma. Most Missouri employers prefer candidates who have undergone at required safety training backed by industry-level credentials. It’s helpful to identify the appropriate training programs that add value to your resume.
The waiting week is the first week of your claim for which you are eligible for unemployment benefits but not paid these benefits. You must file a weekly request for payment for this week. You may receive compensation for the waiting week as the last payment on your regular unemployment claim.
Q. Can I Work Part-Time and Receive Benefits?
You may be eligible to receive some benefits for a week if you work less than full time. You must continue to look for and be able to work full time. You must report your gross wages (wages before deductions) and not just take home pay.
The benefits you will be paid when working less than full time will be the difference between your weekly benefit amount and that part of your wages for the week that are in excess of $20 or 20% of your weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater. Benefits that are payable to you are rounded down to the next lower whole dollar. Any withholdings for federal taxes, etc. are taken out of the payable amount.
Q. Can Benefits Be Denied?
You may be an insured worker and still be ineligible or disqualified for benefits. Some examples of when you may be held ineligible from receiving benefits are if you are not able to work full-time:
Due to an injury or illness
You are not available because of your school attendance
Lack of transportation or childcare for the hours of work you are seeking
You were not making an active and earnest search for work
Q. Should I report vacation, holiday, or WARN pay?
Vacation, holiday, and WARN pay must be reported when filing for unemployment benefits without fail.
Vacation pay is the amount of vacation time that an employee has earned as per a company's employee benefits policy, but which has not yet been used or paid.
Holiday pay is paid time off for a declared holiday.
WARN pay is monies paid out by an employer who has experienced a mass layoff or closure but is required by law to provide 60-day advance notice to employees prior to closure or mass layoff.
Q. Will the employer be notified when a claim is filed?
When a new claim is filed and the Division of Employment Security finds the claimant has sufficient wages to qualify for unemployment benefits. A notice of the claim will be sent particularly to the last employer for which the claimant worked for and also to all the other employers in the claimant′s base period.
If a claimant renews this claim for benefits at any time during this benefit year, a similar notice will be sent to the last employing unit for which the claimant worked. It will also be sent to other base period employers who have filed a request to be notified.
Q. How can I obtain an unemployment verification letter?
The quickest way to obtain an unemployment verification letter is by logging into your account at uinteract.labor.mo.gov . On the ‘Claim Summary’ page click on the Unemployment Verification link. A summary of your most recent claim will display as well as the option to print. The information provided will include:
Current mailing address on record
Weekly Benefit Amount
Maximum Benefit Amount
Remaining balance on the claim
Date of most recent weekly request for payment
Detail of weeks requested
An unemployment verification letter can also be requested in writing to the Division of Employment Security. A written request is to be sent to Division of Employment, P.O. Box 59, Jefferson City, MO 65102, faxed to 573-751-7197 or emailed to email@example.com. The unemployment verification request cannot be requested verbally over the phone.