How to Apply for Unemployment in Missouri

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If you're a Missourian and you've lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or another reason, this is how to apply for unemployment benefits.

If you're a Missourian and you've lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or another reason, this is how to apply for unemployment benefits.

Missouri state officials report a 900% increase in employment claims so far during the novel coronavirus outbreak. If you are one of those filing for benefits, you likely have questions. 

To be eligible for unemployment benefit payments in Missouri, you must:

  • Have lost your job through no fault of your own, or have quit your job for a good cause related to the work or employer.
  • Earn at least $2,250 during your base period, with $1,500 of that earned during one quarter, and at least $750 earned during the remainder of the base period. "Base period" refers to the first four quarters of your last five quarters worked. 
  • Your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times your highest quarter wages. 
  • Alternatively, you must have earned at least 1.5 times the taxable wage base during two of the four quarters. The taxable wage base for 2020 is $11,500.
  • Register at jobs.mo.gov.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

The easiest way to apply for Missouri unemployment benefits is online. Due to long wait times, you may want to avoid applying via the toll-free telephone number (800) 320-2519.

Be prepared to provide:

  • Personal identification
  • Last date of employment
  • Date you expect to return to work (if applicable)
  • Amount of vacation or holiday pay at time of termination
  • Pension information
  • If you received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter, you will also need to provide it when you file your claim.

How much money will I receive in unemployment benefits? 

The maximum weekly benefit in Missouri is $320. If you are eligible to receive unemployment, your benefit will be 4% of your average quarterly wages during the two highest paid quarters of your base period.

You can choose to have your benefit check automatically deposited in your bank account, or loaded onto a prepaid debit card.

How long can I collect unemployment benefits?  

Missouri allows recipients to collect benefits for up to 20 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 33 weeks.

What if my unemployment claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision through UInteract, by mail, or by fax. You have 30 days from the date printed on the Letter of Determination to file an appeal. An Appeals Tribunal referee will conduct a hearing, during which you will have a chance to present evidence and argue your case.  

Just as the current pandemic will pass, so will this period of job loss. In the meantime, your unemployment benefits can help get you through. 

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