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. I was just denied unemployment because it said my medical reason is personal. I had a seizure on the way home from work and totaled my car. I live about 15 to 20 mins away from where I work, and the company I work for travels. My doctor said I was able to go to work but I can’t drive for six months from my last seizure (which I haven’t had much luck in that area). The company I work for has been super good to me, and even told me that if I filed for unemployment they wouldn’t fight it. I appealed the decision and basically wrote that “You denied me because you said it was personal, but not being able to drive to a job that is 20 mins away from where I live (and without a car) is not personal it’s fact. Also paying for a ride to and from work would cost me over $200 a WEEK, which is not feasible.” It’s my first time ever filing in my life so this is all new to me, I’m frustrated. I can work and I’m trying to find a work from home job, and I told her that on the phone. I just think that sometimes the system is a little outdated. I’m now sure it will be months before it kicks in if I win the appeal whenever that will be. Doesn’t look good for me right now, and basically don’t know what else I can do.

    1. Dear Gary,

      You were right to appeal, as your ability to work (anywhere) is constricted by not being able to drive. Unforunately, in my experience the gov’t does not care whether you can get to and from work. However, I would begin the process of filing for SSI/SSDI, which you can do online. You can get an attorney to help with that and they only charge you (20% of your backpay) if they win disability for you. Disability insurance is an entitlement program for anyone with a work history. If you are having seizures not well controlled by meds you may qualify.

      Obviously, you will continue to appeal if that is an option. Consider, too, finding housing assistance and food stamps as every little bit helps.



  2. If I resign from my job due to vision problems and chronic knee pain can I still apply for unemployment?

    1. Dear Millicent Walker,

      Yes, you can apply but it will be up the Unemployment Office to decide if that is “good cause.” It would be helpful to have your employer write down that you cannot do the job sufficiently because of vision and knee pain.

      In the meantime, you may want to apply for SSI and/or SSDI. If you are over 50, you have a good chance of qualifying if your impairment(s) mean you can’t do your usual work.



  3. I was in a terrible motorcycle accident broke my hip and leg,, that was in no way my fault. I was the passenger on the bike and we got hit by another driver being negligent. I contacted my place of employment informing them I couldn’t work for 3-6mths minimum depending on healing. I was put on a 12 wk LOA and was told it was about to expire and if I didn’t return to work Jan 10 they were terminating my employment. I could not return to work via my Dr as I told them in Nov&Dec. I was denied unemployment bcuz they said I “voluntarily resigned” how is that a voluntarily resignation? I didn’t want to lose my job but had no choice as they wouldn’t accommodate light duty for me. Can I appeal that?

    1. Unfortunately, the system does not consider personal reasons for unemployment. Benefits are provided to claimants who’re available for work.

      Hope you get well soon.

      1. So for the last 4 days I haven’t been going to work because as my boss would say has no work for me. So everyone else gets to work including the new guys he just hired. Can I claim unemployment while waiting to get back to work?

        1. Josh,

          You should be able to claim UI benefits for loss of hours (temp. off from work). Please consider applying.

  4. I was fired from an employer after 6 months with no warnings, write ups, or disciplinary actions. I raised $50,000 in donations and asked that the money be used for a position to help me continue my work. I was handed a box, told I was terminated immediately and was handed a check for 1-21-22 pay range to 1-31-22 with benefits terminating at/on 1-31-22. When asked why I was terminated, I was told “you’ll have to ask HR.” Called hr in front of my boss-was told “get off the phone!” I was packing my car and had to call HR from outside and was told “you’re not a good fit.” I asked for an elaboration and I was told, “it means you’ll fit better somewhere else.” I have had no poor performance reviews, I had emails validating that I was performing well with nothing to show or evidence poor placement or fit. Can I file for wrongful termination? This is a church/non profit 503b and they tell us you cannot collect unemployment benefits either. I feel like a dog that has been dropped off in a field and left. Feelings don’t count in business but it was a traumatic event with threats to call the police if I didn’t pack my car up faster.

    Can you provide any guidance, please?

    1. This looks like a termination without proper reasoning. You can be eligible under such circumstances. Make sure to keep supporting docs/facts handy in case your employer raises a dispute after you apply.

  5. I was fired from my job due to a sexual harassment claim, even though I didn’t do anything on my end, but my job believed otherwise without hearing from any other witnesses – can I still get unemployment, as after 35 years in the work place, this is the FIRST time I’ve ever been accused of something that I didn’t do.

    1. Duane,

      This is a tricky situation. If you’re able to prove it you were not involved in case of a dispute, you will be eligible to claim.

  6. My employer terminated me and told me I can draw my unemployment. Now that I have filed my former employer is contesting it stating I was terminated for mis conduct. Can I still receive benefits

    1. Neveah,

      That is strange! If you were denied wrongfully, you can file an “appeal”. Make sure to keep all supporting documents handy.

  7. My employer fired me because he said he caught me on camera hiding out and not trying to work when that’s not true at all. He also implied because I was sick. I had a fever for two days but he let me go. Is it possible for me to get benefits?

    1. Christopher,

      You can be eligible to claim as long as you can prove otherwise (with supporting docs) in case of a dispute.

  8. If I give two-weeks notice, and they fire me before the effective date of my resignation, do I qualify for unemployment?

    1. Harriet,

      It depends on the ‘reason’ for job separation. If it’s involuntary (not related to performance/behavior etc), you can be eligible to claim UI benefits.

    2. My husband lives 2 hrs away from his job which he had worked at for 3+ years for a “distance program”. Their policy as of last year was 10 call in days per year, which has been restricted to 8 days per year this past month. He has called in throughout the year due to illness and snowy weather, totaling 5 call in days according to his count. Weather pending, the manager stated she “did not want to lose him as staff” but that call ins “continue to be an issue,” and that he must come in regardless of weather. The implication was that his job was on the line. My question is, if they fire him if he needs to call in when it is unsafe to drive that distance to work, would he be eligible for unemployment, and if so what documentation would we need to provide?

      1. Hi, a person is eligible for UI when they become unemployed through no fault of their own. However, they might not be eligible when the termination is due to cause or misconduct. Note that cause for termination doesn’t apply to any cause. It instead applies to any negative actions by the employee. The state unemployment agencies take the final call, and the eligibility criteria may vary for each.
        We advise you to check information pertaining to the documentation on our website’s state pages.

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