Missouri Unemployment Eligibility
Missouri Unemployment Eligibility Calculator
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Missouri unemployment benefits exist to support you if you become unemployed through no fault of your own. If you find yourself jobless in cities like Kansas City or St. Louis, or anywhere across the state, the Missouri Department of Employment Security can help.
How to qualify for Missouri unemployment benefits
Eligibility for Missouri UI benefits depends on several factors, such as your base period wages, work history, and the reason why you are unemployed.
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
- You must have earned enough insured wages during the previous year
- You must be able to work
- You must be available to work
- You must be searching for work
- You must not refuse any suitable job offers
- You must be a United States citizen or be authorized to work in Missouri
Eligibility requirements in Missouri can be divided into three groups: monetary requirements, non-monetary requirements, and ongoing requirements.
To qualify for Missouri unemployment benefits, there are certain monetary requirements you must meet.
You must have made at least $2,250 in the past year from a job that pays into the Missouri unemployment insurance program. At least $1,500 must have been earned during one quarter (3-month period) of that year. The remaining $750 can be from the rest of the year.
There are two ways you can show you’ve earned enough to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
1. The total amount of money you made during the year is at least 1.5 times more than the amount you made in your highest earning quarter.
2. You made at least 1.5 times the minimum amount of taxable earnings during at least two of the four quarters in the year.
If you’re submitting a new application for unemployment benefits but you also collected unemployment during the previous year, there are even more rules. Since you last collected benefits, you must have earned more than 5 times your weekly benefit amount if you worked in Missouri, or more than 10 times your weekly benefit amount if you worked outside of Missouri. This is to make sure that you are actively seeking work and not just relying on the unemployment benefit.
Understanding the Base Period
When you file an unemployment claim in Missouri, the 12-month period that’s used to determine your eligibility is called a base period. The base period consists of the first 4 of the last 5 quarters before you applied for benefits.
Missouri Base Period
|wdt_ID||If your claim begins between:||Your base period is:|
|1||January 1 - March 31||October 1 - September 30|
|2||April 1 - June 30||January 1 - December 31|
|3||July 1 - September 30||April 1 - March 31|
|4||October 1 - December 31||July 1 - June 30|
For example, if you’re filing your claim in May, you would look at the previous five quarters – January to March of the current year, and all four quarters of the previous year. The first four quarters will be your base period.
Base periods in Missouri start on the first Sunday of each quarter. If there are any days in a month before the first Sunday, they count as part of the previous base period.
The amount you earn during your base period not only determines your eligibility but it is also used to calculate your weekly benefit amount.
There are also several non-monetary eligibility requirements for Missouri unemployment.
United States Citizenship
You must be a United States citizen or be legally authorized to work in Missouri.
Be able and available to work
You must be able and available for work each week. This means you have no illness, injury, or personal circumstances that would keep you from working full time.
Be actively searching for work
You must be actively looking for work or you can be denied benefits.
You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. This typically means you were laid off instead of fired. You will likely be denied benefits if you were fired for misconduct, or if you quit your job without good cause.
Examples of quitting for a good cause:
Unsafe Working Conditions: You can quit and still qualify for UI benefits if your employer is not providing a safe and healthy working environment.
Hostile Work Environment: If your working conditions became so intolerable that you had no choice but to quit, this might count as good cause. This could include things like harassment, discrimination, or significant changes to your job duties or pay.
Relocation of Spouse: If your spouse has to relocate for their job, and you have to quit your job to move with them, you might be eligible for Missouri unemployment benefits.
Change in Job Terms: If your Missouri employer significantly changes the terms of your job, such as a reduction in pay or hours, or a change in work shift, you might be able to quit for good cause.
Remember, quitting for a good cause does not automatically guarantee that you will receive unemployment benefits. You would still need to meet other eligibility requirements, and the specifics of your situation will be considered. Try to resolve any issues with your employer before you quit –the Missouri Department of Labor will consider whether you took reasonable steps to keep your job before quitting.
Ongoing Eligibility Requirements
To continue receiving your unemployment insurance benefits, there are a few steps you need to follow every week. If you skip these steps, you might risk losing your benefits.
File your weekly claim
Every week, starting as early as Sunday, you need to request payment by filing a weekly claim. Have your Social Security Number, your Personal Identification Number (PIN), your earnings before any deductions, and any vacation or holiday pay info ready. You will be asked to verify that you are able, available, and actively searching for work.
Once you’ve filed your weekly request using the internet, you’ll get a confirmation. Make sure you keep this safe, as it’s your record that you’ve made the request.
Remember, you must file a claim each week that you want to receive your UI benefits.
Sometimes, you might be required to report in person to a Missouri Job Center for reemployment services. If this is necessary, you will be notified. Your benefits can be denied if you fail to attend mandatory in-person meetings.
Actively Looking for Work
As an unemployment claimant, you’re also required to actively search for work. Each week, you need to document 3 job search activities per Missouri work search requirements. Make sure you keep a record of all your job contacts on the Work Search Record. The Missouri Department of Employment Security may ask to see it at any time, so it’s important to have this information readily available.
Please note that if you refuse a suitable job offer, you may be denied UI benefits.
Register with Jobs.mo.gov
At jobs.mo.gov you can create your resume and begin searching through thousands of jobs posted statewide.
To remain eligible for Missouri unemployment insurance, you must register with jobs.mo.gov and visit the website at least once a month.
How long will my Missouri UI benefits last?
You can receive weekly unemployment payments for up to 20 weeks. On rare occasions, UI benefit extensions can be activated when the Missouri unemployment rate gets too high.
Why was my Missouri UI claim denied?
There are several reasons why your claim for benefits was denied.
Losing Your Job Due to Misconduct
If you were discharged or let go from your job because you didn’t follow the rules or you misbehaved at work, you might not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
If you’re still working or if you’re self-employed, then you’re not considered unemployed. This means you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits. It’s important to always provide honest, accurate information to avoid accusations of Missouri unemployment fraud.
Earning Too Much Money
If you earned too much money working part time, you might not be eligible for benefits. However, you may still qualify depending on your weekly benefit amount and how much you earned.
Involved in a Labor Dispute
If there’s a disagreement or fight between your employer and your union, you might not be eligible for benefits.
Not a United States Citizen or Authorized to Work
If you’re not a U.S. citizen and you don’t have legal permission to work in the United States, you won’t be able to get unemployment benefits.
Not Available for Work
If you’re not available to work or if you’re not actively looking for work, you might not be eligible for benefits. You have to be ready and able to work, and you have to make a certain number of job contacts each week.
Not Able to Work
If you have a physical or emotional problem that’s preventing you from working full-time, you might not be eligible for benefits.
Receiving Benefits from Another State
If you’re already getting unemployment benefits from another state, you might not be eligible for UI benefits. The state of Missouri has ways to verify this information.
Receiving a Pension
If you’re getting a pension that’s funded completely or partly by a former employer, you might not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Quitting Without a Good Reason
If you quit your job without a good reason, you might not be eligible for benefits.
Refusing Suitable Work
If you’re offered a suitable job and you refuse it, you might not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Failing to Report
If you don’t report to a Missouri Job Center when you’re supposed to, or fail to provide more information when requested, you can lose your UI benefits.
If you’ve retired, you might not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Vacation or Holiday Pay
If you get a lot of vacation pay or holiday pay, you might not be eligible for benefits. It depends on the amount of pay you received and your weekly benefit amount. Visit the Missouri unemployment calculator for full information.
If you’re getting worker’s compensation, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are too injured to work.
If you are denied benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. You have 30 days from the date of the denial. You will be able to present evidence and witness testimony to the Appeals Tribunal. Learn more about the Missouri appeals process.