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Updated : May 19th, 2023

Missouri Unemployment Benefits

Missouri Unemployment Benefits

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.

UI Benefits Calculator
Calculate Your Missouri Unemployment Benefits

See our Missouri unemployment calculator to estimate your UI benefit payments.

Missouri Unemployment Calculator

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.

Monetary Eligibility

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.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

Missouri law states that you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. You must explain the reason why you separated from your employer in order to qualify for UI benefits.

You may be disqualified if you were fired or quit your job without a good reason.

  • You were asked to leave due to your incapacity or unwillingness to carry out work-related tasks
  • You quit your previous organization due to lack of interest
  • You were asked to leave from your previous organization due to misconduct
  • You were involved in criminal activity

The reason for your job separation will be verified by the state of Missouri to ensure that you have not made a false statement. The officials may contact your ex-employer to verify your statements.

Eligibility Calculator

Maintaining Eligibility

In order to receive weekly unemployment compensation, you must meet ongoing eligibility requirements.

Each week, you must satisfy work search requirements and report any earned income every time you apply for benefits. Payments may be halted if there are any issues concerning your eligibility.

Your weekly payments may be stopped if any of the following points apply to you:

  • You were not able to work during the benefit period due to a prolonged health issue affecting your ability to work
  • You were not available for work during the benefit period
  • You are physically and/or mentally incapable of working
  • You did not apply for jobs or perform 3 weekly work search activities
  • You refuse a suitable job offer

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In Missouri

You will need the following documents to apply for benefits in the state of Missouri:

Apply Online:

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.

Learn how to apply for Missouri UI benefits

How To File Weekly Claims

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.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

Things To Know After Filing An Application

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
  • You did not meet the job search requirements
  • 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.

Benefits Extension

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

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:

  • Career planning
  • Resume writing
  • Self-assessment
  • Career exploration
  • Labor Statistics
  • Wage bargaining
  • Interview preparation

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.

Find job training opportunities in MO

Missouri unemployment contact information

If you have questions about your claim for Missouri unemployment benefits, or need help filing, you can call the Regional Claims Center.

If you are looking for help with finding a new job, including resume writing help and training programs, visit your local Missouri Job Center.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What is a waiting week?
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. How do I change my contact information?
You can change your information online by going to Somethings you can change online are:
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Correspondence
  • Payment Method (direct deposit/ Missouri Access MasterCard® debit card)
  • Sign up for alerts and reminders.
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 . 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:
    • Your name
    • 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 The unemployment verification request cannot be requested verbally over the phone.

    Questions & Answers

    1. I was recently down-sized after working 17 years 50 to 60 hours a week and knowing that I would most likely nit find a job due to my age of 63 I signed up for unemployment the first time. I drew for 20 weeks then got a notification that I did not report wages received the first week of my claim. However, I told them that I worked on that Monday then was given an early retirement at the end of my shift. The unreported consisted of part of the early retirement packet stating I was to receive a pay out of my earned PTO hours, but I thought I did because I sent a copy of my pay stub to Jefferson City who determined that would also be my waiting week. Now a Deputy is claiming that since I was paid for 46.38 hours of PTO time and worked 10.25 hours in one day that it is has to be spread out over 2 weeks and I know must pay back one week of the benefits I received. The deputy said that I wasn’t at fault when I spoke to her on the phone but on the claim it clearly states that it is my fault. I received one check from my employer which I reported How can the Claims Department decide that because of the number of hours paid that it has to be spread out over 2 weeks instead of the one that I actually received the check? Also I was told that my employer reported the earnings over this time period but I still have access to my wages through the company and they do not reflex the time period the Deputy claimed. I do not feel that I was at fault since I did send the pay stub with my claim I feel they should have notified me sooner now my claim has been exhausted and I am still not working and barely scraping by, this may be fraud but not by me. What are my options? Where are these rules written? I have been looking all day and cannot find any ruling on this.
      Will writing on this forum doesn’t cause me more problems than I already have?

      • Gayla,

        It’s a democratic country and you will not be in trouble for writing here. If you suspect fraud, please report it immediately. If you think you were wrongly denied, keep all the relevant documentation handy and file an “Appeal”.

    2. Missouri sent me a letter saying I received $1500 from unemployment. I never received a check from them. So where is the money? Trying to file my taxes, so who do I go to for that answer? And if I have the money, where is the card I was supposed to be sent?

      • Ina,

        Please call the Unemployment Office and talk to them immediately. This might be a case of fraud or error on behalf of the office. Make sure to follow up at regular intervals until you put an end to this issue.

      • Rogelio,

        Please call the Claims Center for status. The phone numbers will be available on the official website of the Unemployment Office.

    3. I was injured at work and was off on worker’s compensation having multiple surgeries. I went back to work for 3 months then my surgeon did another MRI and found out I needed more surgery so off on worker’s comp I went again. After mu surgeon put me at MMI my employer refused to give me a job. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    4. How long does it take after my husband filed an appeal for unemployment benefits? Also, is there a phone number he can call to find out about his appeal?

      • It depends on case to case basis. Usually, the representatives will keep you in the loop. The relevant information including contact information can be found on the official website of the Unemployment Office.

    5. Hello, I am filing a NEW claim and the automated number is telling me my claim was denied. However, I first filed in June and that claim was denied. I have worked since then and the assignment ended earlier than expect so I filed a NEW claim in November and it seems like nothing is getting done regarding my new claim.

      • You’re either not qualified this time or there are no benefits left in your kitty.

        Please speak to the Claims Center for further information.

        • Who holds missouri Department of Labor / Unemployment accountable for mistakes or false information or infringing on my LEGITIMATE Rights & Qualified eligibility to MY BENEFITS. Who do I sue, file a complaint or lawsuit against? Enuff is enuff.

    6. I understand I am eligible for unemployment (job was down sized, given part-time job with same company) the question I have is. When I calculate my old “salary” do I include the mileage reimbursement part? I used to travel and get paid $.34 a mile, approx. $5,000 a year, do I include it?

      • Not sure if you should be including fringe monetary benefits.

        Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for precise information.

    7. I tried to apply for benefits online and the response was Based on current information, we are unable to complete your unemployment claim through this online process. You may file your claim by calling one of our Regional Claim Center during regular business hours. Why is this?

      • Not sure of the background information. Perhaps, they want to speak to you.

        Please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

    8. I filed a claim 12-01-15 and I am behind on bills I’m not sure what to do because I haven’t heard anything back

    9. I filed for unemployment benefits in Iowa because I worked in Iowa but I live in Missouri my question is I got denied and my appeal for Iowa becausethey said. I couldn’t prove that I am unable to work for the company anymore due to 3 Times I have.worked for them in 6 years. I quit without good cause although I was being harassed and asked My Staffing employer to handle it as well as the company’s supervisor who I worked under to talk to them and they do not so when I left work voluntarily I am NOT eligible and my appeal denied that unemployment benefits because I left without good cause because it was a temp service and am refusing future assignments although the staffing company will not rehire me. I called in June to see if I could work there again and they said no . Also the company didn’t even call in for the appeal. So me not being able to prove I’m not able to work for the company anymore is what they denied me for. Not for me leaving with out good cause or me leaving voluntary. So since iowa denied me can I file in missouri??

    10. I am a pizza delivery driver,for the past 5 years,& about 3-4 weeks ago my car broke down due to a fire under the hood that I had to put out myself. Being that a working car is a must for me to do my job. Would my broken down car make me eledgible to collect Missouri unemployment benefits?

      • If you’re out of job because of your car breaking down,please consider applying for UI benefits in your state.

    11. I’ve been working in Kansas for 2 years and reside in Kansas City, Missouri. Unfortunatly my car broke down and I haven”t any transportation to and from Missouri to Kansas anymore. If I relenquish my job properly and explain to HR my situation, does this disqualify me from recieving UI? I dont know what to do. Please help.

      • Please note that an voluntary reasons for separation from the job is not generally a qualifier.

        There can be exceptions.

      • Please be more specific. We are not a govt. organisation or a state agency.

        You may get in touch with the labor department in your state for specific details on a claim.

    12. I work 6 months in 2013 and can only draw 114a weak in unemployment a lot of pople that I work with are getting close to 300 for weak why is mine so low

      • When you received your financial determination, did you have anything to compare it to – pay stubs etc.? Perhaps you have child support deductions, perhaps the people collecting more had more earnings. Check your handbook – see how many credit weeks you need and how much you have to earn in a week for it to count as a credit week. Never hesitate to call the local office for clarification. All claims are based on the circumstances of the individual but calculations used to determine benefit amounts are basically the same for everyone. I say basically, because you can ask if they would consider using an alternate base year to improve your benefit amount. Again the same rules are used for you as with anyone else to determine if the representative can do it or not. If your circumstances were precisely the same as another person, your benefit amounts should pretty much be the same. Mistakes can be made however, that’s why I thought perhaps you should look at paystubs and compare to the figures shown on the financial determination.

    13. I was terminated june 7, 2013. My mother had been hospitalized since mar.3, with surgery. during this time, she had a setback. I had been working regularly until then. At the time of her setback, my father, who had been with her from the start, suffered a heart attack. 3 days later, underwent surgery himself. He required a triple bypass surgery. At the time, I was the only member of my family present in the state. my sister was able to make it from Utah 3 days later. When this happened, obviously, actions had to be taken. I couldn’t make it to work day after this happened, which was a Saturday, we were scheduled on sat. for overtime. I called to inform my supervisor, left all info. I was employed with a company which provides labor for other companies. when I came into work that Monday, I was told, and I knew I would probably have to answer for my absence, that I had breached my absences be 1/2 a day. I knew this when I called on sat. a well. but with my situation, I was without any choice.I applied for unemployment benefits that week and have submitted weekly claims on time since. I have also been actively been busy with employment searches actively and expect to put all of this behind me asap. obviously, they have filed to have my benefits denied due to their reason for termination. I have sent my appeal form that was sent to me and am waiting for word from the state. this has been 6 weeks of benefit claims, and should hear from state this week? hopefully. my questions are 1)my options pending for these weeks claimed. 2) financial relief for rent, utilities, etc. my family includes mysels and my daughter 12yrs., with no aid from family, etc., we have received food stamps and am trying to get through this as quickly as possible. I apologise for too much info and any help that your agency may or may not be able to assist.

    14. I have been working at a “new” job for almost 2 months. I have been getting harrassed and I feel uncomfortable working there any longer. I brung the issue up to the manager and now everybody is really mean and ignorant to me, so I dont want to work there anymore for sure. If I quit, will I be elligable for UI?

      • Hi Damian,

        In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must have lost job through no fault of your own. Also, you should have earned a minimum amount in the base period. You may be able to receive unemployment compensation if you quit the job, but the proof of burden will be on you. So, before quitting the job, please record all your efforts put to convey your inconvenience. You can use this to prove your innocence.

    15. I changed my method of payment as I haven’t received my benefits for last week yet. How long does it take for the changes to take effect?

    16. I recently lost my full time status to part time due to downsizing. I am
      now working 30 hours weekly with no benefits. My question is if I am entitled to any unemployment benefits.

      • Hi Marcia,

        You are mostly eligible to receive unemployment compensation as the working hours have been significantly decreased. It is important to qualify for other eligibility requirements.

    17. I stopped receiving my unemployment about 6 months ago. I took a job during which I stayed for about 2 months when i was offered a position with better opportunity & benefits. The say the grass is always greener & they are so right. Now I have been with the other position for a little over 3 months, & I see what everyone has been saying. I live in fear every day that I will be fired. I have alteady been warned that im not “aggressive” enough & have heard too many insults. coworkers all say that this is what happens every few months. They clean house and find reasons to fire people & start over. I am making myself sick from the stress if not knowing. If I get let go, will I qualify with my old unemployment, or would I need another 6 months with these recent jobs to qualify again.

      • Hi Soleil,

        You may have an option to reopen your claim if claiming within a year. So, new experience might not be needed. You might want to discuss your problems with your manager or boss before quitting as quitting without a good cause might leave you ineligible to receiver benefits.

    18. my employer sends me home and tells me that he hasn’t enough work for me to do. and tells me not to come in 1 to 2 days a week because he hasn’t enough work for me to do. am I eligible to apply for unemployment ? and will that time I miss go towards my two (2) week waiting period ?

    19. I had to pay back my unemployment claims due to wrong amounts on my pay stub and what I had claim during the week. I want know if I can refile for benefits sense I have been discharge from my job now?

    20. have worked for the same company for fifteen years and have been bullied, humiliated in front of other salespeople, told in front of them i lied, cheated and stole. ..from my manager of 8 years..he recently told me he never liked me and wanted me to quit because i made more money than him. in late december he was promoted because of a health issue with our supervisor to his position..he let me work thru December and on January 4th he came out and said he was going to write me up and put me on final job jeopardy as soon as possible or i could go to a store that was not near as successful and i had to be their top performer…i was so involved in doing such a great job i basicly went into shock…couldnt stop crying…panic husband had to take me to two rivers and only because i said i wasnt suicidal did i get to take their outpatient program….since mid January until first of March. all of my benefits will end April 8th…I was planning on working about 4-5 more years. I am 66 and started taking social security benefits last year…If you are on social security and was just working 44 hours a week for l5 years and had to quit because of employer…my psychiatrist and my therapist say, and are willing to write a letter, that it is a toxic enviroment , can i collect unemployment benefits even though old enough to collect social security and work full time…and did until i had to go to two rivers.

    21. If a person is a convicted felon for the charge of fraud, due to accepting payments for foster children not living in the home, are they exempt from unemployment eligibility? I ask because of the specific nature of the fraud against a government office or department?

    22. I injured myself outside of work. This was a new job which I was still into my 3 months probation period. I was told it would be ok to resign my position. And that once I get ‘fixed’ I could be welcome to apply for a position-only if one were to be available. I have no insurance and I’m unable to work. I was turned down for Medicaid due to not having any children at home.
      Am eligable for Unemployment benefits?

      • Since you have been laid off temporarily, you might be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Be sure to tell your unemployment counselor about it. In case your unemployment application is denied, you also have the right to appeal the decision.

      • I work construction and my boss had to lay a few people off without knowing when I could come back. He called and said I can come back to help start the next project In about a month. Do I still need to do job searches each week? I am required to do a phone interview for some company next week that’s over 4 hours away and failure to do phone interview could stop me from receiving my unemployment. What should I do???

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