Missouri Unemployment Benefits Information

Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Missouri

Claiming benefits for unemployment in Missouri is a procedure available to qualified state employees who are able to work and are currently seeking a new job. The federal unemployment benefits of the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program were implemented to provide financial stability to jobless workers during the interim period between employments. However, in order to submit a Missouri unemployment benefits claim, UI applicants must meet the program's requirements, which are administered on a state level by the MO Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. In general, only UI petitioners who were laid off due to lack of work or who have left their employment with good cause, such as intolerable working conditions, can claim unemployment benefits in MO. Former state workers who qualify for benefits can receive a maximum amount of 20 weeks of benefits. In order to continue receiving payments, however, UI beneficiaries must maintain their eligibility for unemployment benefits on a weekly basis. Furthermore, in times of high unemployment rates, certain MO workers may be eligible for unemployment benefits extensions beyond the standard 20-week duration. 

Read the sections below to learn how to claim unemployment benefits in Missouri and whether or not they are taxable:

How to claim unemployment benefits in Missouri
How to maintain your unemployment benefits claim in Missouri
Federal income taxes and federal unemployment benefits in Missouri

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Missouri

Employees who would like to claim unemployment benefits in Missouri must ensure they meet the state UI requirements prior to submitting their unemployment benefits claim. Per the program's main requirements, unemployment claimants must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and they must have earned sufficient amount of wages during a prior 12-month base period in order to be eligible for UI benefits. For instance, if you have been fired from your last job due to misconduct, you will not qualify for unemployment coverage in MO. On the other hand, if you have earned less than $2,250 during your base period, you will again be disqualified from the UI program.
After you collect the documents and information necessary to prove your eligibility for federal unemployment benefits in Missouri, you can submit your unemployment benefits claim in one of several methods:
Via the department's Online Claims Filing System
In person at one of the department's Regional Claims Centers (RCC)
By contacting your local RCC via telephone

Note: Part-time workers may also be eligible for limited unemployment benefits.

What is continued eligibility for unemployment benefits in Missouri?


Claiming benefits for unemployment in Missouri is not a one-time task. If you would like to receive insurance for every week of unemployment, you must claim unemployment benefits accordingly. However, many recipients mistake unemployment benefits extension for continued eligibility. Namely, extended benefits are only available when emergency programs are activated in periods of high unemployment. 
On the other hand, continued eligibility is a mandatory procedure in which you must report your weekly wages from your employment period, your job-seeking activities, results from your job search or any offers you have received during this period. This is necessary if you would like to prove the DOL that you are still eligible to claim unemployment benefits. In MO, you can do this by phone, online or by mail. Failure to do so will lead to possible termination of federal unemployment benefits.

Federal Income Taxes and Federal Unemployment Benefits in Missouri

Unemployment benefits claims in MO are not subject to federal income taxes, but recipients do have a choice to pay such taxes by completing a special application. The authorization form is sent to the Department of Labor in Missouri and you need to enter some information about yourself such as the following:

Your name
Your address
Your state
Your ZIP code
Your Social Security Number
Then, you should select the appropriate option, i.e. whether you would like to have federal income tax withheld from your unemployment benefits. You also have the option to cancel this deduction. The complete form, together with a date and your signature, should be submitted by mail or fax to the Missouri Division of Employment Security. 

Your request will be processed and begin the week in which your form is received by the division’s Benefits Section. Note that unemployment benefits are subject to federal income tax only if you are required to file a tax return. The department will deduct 10 percent of your weekly unemployment benefits claim if you enable federal income tax deduction. 


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