Missouri Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Insurance in Missouri is a joint state-federal initiative introduced to help those who have lost jobs for reasons that don’t implicate them. The benefits are given for a stipulated period of time to help job seekers find new jobs without facing monetary difficulties.
The unemployment insurance program is handled by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) in Missouri. 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 to Apply for UI Benefits in Missouri
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, 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. 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 be used to find out if the wages you’ve earned during the base period meets the criteria set by the state of Missouri. The DLIR will take into consideration the duration worked and the wages earned in the base period to evaluate if you qualify for unemployment benefits in Missouri or not.
The base period in Missouri is defined as the first four quarters of the last five calendar quarters, which precedes the quarter in which the UI claims begin.
For instance, if you are applying for benefits for the quarter- January-March 2019, your base period will then be – October-December 2017 (quarter 1), January-March 2018 (quarter 2),
April-June 2018 (quarter 3), and July-September 2018 (quarter 4). Use the base period calculator to get a clear idea of your base period.
To gain eligibility 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.
Note that an insured employer is one who has periodically paid taxes towards the unemployment insurance. If the employer you worked for did not pay UI taxes, you will not be eligible for UI benefits in Missouri.
You must establish the reason why you separated from your organization as an important step to qualify for UI benefits in Missouri. To gain eligibility, you must have lost the job for no fault of your own.
The reason to separate from the organization must not implicate you or your choice to leave the organization unless there was a strong reason to do so. Your eligibility will be negatively affected if any of the following points apply to you:
- You were asked to leave due to your fault or your incapacity 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 from your end
- You were involved in criminal activity, leading to getting fired from your previous organization
The reason for job-separation provided by you will be verified by the state to make sure that you have not made a false statement. The officials may contact your ex-employer to verify your statements.
Satisfying the eligibility criteria related to monetary conditions and conditions related to job separation will make you eligible for weekly benefits in Missouri. This does not guarantee unhindered benefits throughout the benefits weeks.
Claimants must satisfy job-search criteria and must disclose their income promptly every time they apply for benefits. The payment of benefits may be halted if there are any issues concerning maintaining eligibility during the benefit period.
Your weekly payments will 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 contact the prescribed number of employers for work in a week
- You refuse to take up job opportunities given to you during the benefits weeks
How to Apply For UI Benefits in Missouri?
You will need the following documents to apply for benefits in the state of Missouri:
One of the most convenient ways to apply for unemployment benefits in Missouri by filing for claims on the DLIR website – uinteract.labor.mo.gov. Log in the portal, fill in the necessary details and click on submit button to complete the filing process.
One may also file for unemployment benefits via placing a call to Missouri’s DLIR. Call the Regional Claims Center and answer all the questions until you hear- ”Your weekly claim has been filed”.
How to File Weekly Claims
Once you contact the department to file the claims and submit the documents to establish your eligibility, the officials will verify the veracity of the documents and your eligibility status.
If the department finds no shortcomings, your application will duly be approved. Your claim will effectively commence at the beginning of the week (Sunday) of the week that you file. As your claim gets approved, Notice of Initial Determination Status will be sent to you by the Division of Employment Security, which will denote the following information:
- Your weekly benefit amount, and your maximum benefit amount
- The date of the beginning of your claim
- The base period
- Wages earned in each quarter as reported by each employer in the base period
UI Benefit Amount
The calculator below will let you find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Missouri.
Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Pennsylvania.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
Your roles and responsibilities as a claimant do not end once you file for unemployment 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 the applicants more competent. You need to be aware of the training programs and their eligibility requirements to make use of such opportunities.
Overpayments and Fraud
According to The Division of Employment Security (DES), overpayment, in Missouri occurs when claimants draw benefits from the department to which they are not entitled to. This may occur for a number of reasons, such as:
- Overpayments may occur if you fail to report your earnings during the benefit period
- Appeal judgment decreasing the weekly benefit amount
- The benefits paid to you might be declared as an overpayment if you do not meet the job search requirements
- If you find employment during the course of the benefit period but fail to notify the state, the UI benefits amount you received will be deemed as an overpayment
The DES is tasked with the responsibility to conduct the Benefit Payment Control Program to identify and prevent improper payments. One of the important ways that the DES uses to identify overpayments is by conducting cross-matches with new-hire data and quarterly wages reported for claimants by employers.
If a match is made, the DES will send out an audit and investigation form to the employer to find out if the claimant is concealing information on wages, or the information of getting employment. Apart from this, there is a fraud hotline which can be used by anyone who has any information on any claimant making illegal claims. To report fraud, you may dial 573-751-0057 and submit any information you have on any fraudulent claims.
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 against the decision.
To repay the excessive amount, you may choose to make a lump sum payment or you can request for a payment plan. If you fail to make the payment, the DES will have the right to recover the dues from your future benefits. They could also offset the balance amount by claiming your state and federal income tax returns, and lottery winnings.
If the DES finds out that you deliberately made a false statement or did not disclose important information to get higher UI benefits, your benefits rights will be instantly be canceled. You may face penalties of up to 100 percent of the overpaid amount. Such fraudulent activities may, along with the penalties, also lead to your imprisonment.
The state of Missouri presently does not offer any benefit extension programs. The maximum duration of unemployment benefits is 13 weeks, and once that is exhausted, no other alternative exists in the state presently.
For more information, contact the DLIR, Missouri, to know more about the extension programs offered by Missouri and by the federal government.
Job Training Assistance
If you wish to improve your skillset 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/.
The platform allows you to plan your career through comprehensive self-assessment and helps you to become more visible in the job market. Using the platform, you can find help with the following tasks:
- Career planning
- Career exploration
- Wage bargaining
If you are looking for training programs to improve your skillset, The Missouri Division of Workforce Development offers Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS) to help you find training programs that are suited to you.
The ETPS is an online list of education and training providers who offers programs that are approved by WIOA or other similar federal funding programs.
Most jobs require specialized training that is well beyond a high school diploma. Most employers prefer candidates who have undergone at least a short-term training backed by industry-level credentials. It, therefore, becomes crucial to identify the appropriate training programs that add value to your profile.
To assist you in finding the right training program, the MoScores page allows you to find the training programs that are suited to your requirements.