Missouri Unemployment Eligibility

To be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments in Missouri, you must meet certain requirements.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • You lost your job recently through no fault of your own
  • You must be available, able and willing to work.  This means you have no illness, injury, or personal circumstances that would keep you from working
  • You are unable to work due to a natural disaster
  • You have quit your job for good cause directly attributable to the employer
  • Termination from job for misconduct
  • You must report all wages earned each week, even if you won’t be paid until later. This includes tips, commissions, bonuses, show-up time, military reserve pay, board, and lodging
  • Refusing an offer of work may result in denial of UI benefits

Monetary Eligibility

  • Make at least $2,250—at least $1,500 during one of the calendar quarters, and at least $750 during the remainder of the base period—from an insured employer during your base period
  • AND your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times your highest quarter wages.
  • OR you must make at least $19,500 during two of the four base period quarters.

Eligible claimants may receive up to 20 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the state.

Eligibility Questions

Can I draw unemployment if I am fired?

To qualify for unemployment benefits as a terminated employee, you must be able to prove that your employer terminated you illegally.

You cannot receive unemployment benefits if your separation from employment happened because of a termination for misconduct. Missouri court rulings have defined misconduct as “wanton or willful” policy or procedural violations. A blatant refusal to follow reasonable work directives is an example of misconduct. Occasional absenteeism, or extended absenteeism because of a legitimate reason such as an illness or family emergency, usually is not misconduct. Isolated poor performances or honest mistakes are not instances of misconduct.

Your employer cannot terminate you for filing a wage complaint, filing a complaint based on discriminatory conduct or for exercising any other of your legally protected rights. If your employer terminated you because of your age, race, national origin, religion, gender or disability, then you will be eligible for unemployment benefits, but you may be required to prove your employer terminated you for those reasons.

If the state approves your claim, you will receive weekly benefits for up to 26 weeks, and you may qualify for additional federal benefits if you are still not working after exhausting your state benefits. You will be required to submit a weekly certification that you are looking for a job and able to work.

I have quit my job. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

Unemployment benefits in Missouri are for employees whose separation from employment is because of a lack of work or another reason they cannot control.

If you quit your job, you usually will not be entitled for unemployment benefits. The state makes an exception if you have “good cause directly attributable to the employer.” Leaving for personal reasons, or because you are bored or dissatisfied with your job, for example, generally will not allow you to receive unemployment benefits. On the other hand, mistreatment by your employer, such as verbal abuse or harassment, usually is good cause.

Can I obtain unemployment benefits after getting laid-off?

Normally, in Missouri you have to lose your job through no fault of your own in order to collect unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. It simply implies that the company in which you worked did not have enough work for you to do, and could no longer afford to pay you to do your job.

If you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

I was on EUC08 and was told I qualify for a new claim. The weekly benefit amount is lower than my EUC08. Can I stay on the EUC08?

In most conditions, the regular Missouri unemployment claim must run out of money before EUC08 payments can be made. However, a claimant can carry on collecting EUC08 payments instead of regular UI payments if the WBA on the regular claim is at least 25 percent less than the WBA on the EUC08 claim. You can go back to your regular claim if you either draw out all the money on your EUC08 claim or the EUC08 programs ends on Dec. 28, 2013, providing the regular claim is still in effect.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. Hello, My son is a seasonal employee – can he collect unemployment benefits during his off season? If so, can he attend school during that period? Thank you!

    • I don’t think seasonal employment is a qualifier.Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  2. I was recently terminated from my job and the best reason for it they could give me was they didn’t feel it would work out with me at the company. When I asked for my letter of termination I was told that they don’t do termination letters. Since i still requested one and told them I still needed a letter of termination I was still given the same answer. I still need that letter for when i have to apply for unemployment if I am not mistaken who else can I contact about having this company give the termination letter I have requested on multiple occasion since March 14th of this year?

    • You can contact the labor dept in your state to see if they can help you address grievance regarding behavior of your last employer.

      They should be in a position to help.

  3. I am 50 years old and have been working since I was 16. I have a B.A. and Associates. I have been fired from 6 jobs, one in particular causing employment problems. Long story short… why haven’t I ever been able to receive unemployment benefits. I am a U.S. citizen and pay my taxes, what’s up?

    • Kandee,

      I hope you’ve filed for UI benefits in your state.If you’ve and not heard from the labor dept, please follow up for update on status.

  4. Can it be considered harassment if an employer is constantly comparing wages on a sales floor during work? the manager was standing behind the three of us comparing one persons eleven dollar an hour sum to the other two of us whom are only making the sum of four an hour. This is extremely disheartening, and the work isn’t just a normal sales configuration- they consider the business “Customer Life-cycle Management”. I would be receiving call ONLY from extremely angry jilted customers. and for this I am a “poor salesperson”?… help

  5. I accidently uploaded photos from my IPhone to my hard drive computer at work by charging the phone. In no way did I intentionally download the images which were in a private file from my phone which contained some nudity. Is that considered an eligibility to qualify for unemployment?

  6. My husband works in a warehouse and has lots of Health issues diabetes, high blood pressure, and just this past Monday had prostrate surgery. He has a dr. excuse keeping him off work intll 03/03/14 but is boss is begging for him to come back next week 7 days after surgery to do light duty for the next four weeks. My question is if he were to quit would he able to collect unemployment if he quit and tried applying for ssi disability?

    • UI is provided to those who are able and available to work. Since your husband underwent a surgery,he needs some rest.You can explore other state sponsored benefits such as Workers compensation which provide good benefits.

  7. I was recently laid off (Missouri)and it does not look good to be called back. I filed for unemployment and currently receiving benefits. I am 62 yrs old. I’ve considered taking my social security. Can I still receive my unemployment benefits if I am still looking for employment or is it reduced or terminated?

  8. My employer is eliminating my position and has given me a termination letter with 60 days notice. They are also offering me a severance package with eight weeks pay, but want me to sign a separation agreement releasing them of all claims brought against them. Would I still qualify for unemployment benefits if I sign the separation agreement?

    • It is more likely the separation letter refers to something other than unemployment. Even if they are attempting to be absolved of their responsibility to unemployment, this is not how it would happen. So I think it is safe to sign the letter. Call the unemployment office to confirm. It would be in your best interest to call them to find out how / when to initiate a claim as the company is giving you eight weeks pay that you do not have to be “physically present” to earn.

  9. I am relocating to St. Louis, Mo. from Louisiana. Can I file for unemployment there until I find work. I have been applying online for work in the medical field, but has not been successful.

  10. I worked in Missouri from March 18-May 31 and then returned to live in California after termination of my job. I earned $22,000 during this period… How do I file for unemployment?

    • Check the Missouri Unemployment website. Do you have wages in anyother state? First off, you can apply in any state in which you have wages and check the website or call the local office to find out if you qualify. If you have no other wages, they will tell you if the above mentioned wages are distributed in such a manner as to make you eligible. They go back 5 completed quarters and use the first four. Then they look at the highest quarter and compare those earnings to the rest of the four. You can ask if they would consider an alternate base year. Without knowing if there are more wages, I am just giving you a general idea of what you may encounter. If you worked in two states, they can combine those wages if needed.

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