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Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
There are a number of eligibility criteria that must be fulfilled in order to qualify for weekly unemployment benefits. Once the DES determines that you are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you can receive weekly benefit payments as long as you continue to meet both state and federal eligibility criteria. If you fail to maintain Missouri unemployment benefits eligibility at any time during your benefit period, your payments could be withheld. If you deliberately provide misleading information in order to remain eligible, you could be convicted of unemployment fraud as well as penalized with jail time, fines, or both.
There are two types of eligibility criteria, work eligibility and wage eligibility.
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Work Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for Missouri unemployment, you must have:
o Lost your job through no fault of your own
o Quit for a good reason related to the job or employer
o Had hours reduced through no fault of your own*
o Be able and available for work – no illness, injury, or personal circumstance
*If your hours were reduced, you may qualify for partial unemployment benefits
Learn more about Missouri Unemployment Benefits eligibility criteria here: http://labor.mo.gov/DES/Claims/eligibility_web.
Wages Eligibility Criteria
To meet Missouri wage requirements, you must have earned at least:
- $2,250 from an insured employer during your base period
- $1,500 during one of your calendar quarters
- $750 during the rest of your base period
- Made a total of at least 1.5 times as much as the earnings in your highest quarter
The alternative to the wage requirements above is you must have made at least $19,500 during two of your base period quarters.
In addition to the wage requirements listed above, you will also need to report all wages earned each week, including tips, commissions, bonuses, military pay, lodging, and board.
Unemployment Availability Limits
Missouri residents can receive a maximum of $320 per week in unemployment benefits for up to 20 weeks, for a total of $6400. The minimum payment you can receive is $35 per week.
If you owe back child support, The Division of Child Support Enforcement can take up to 50 percent of your weekly benefit check. The DES cannot intervene with benefits seized for child support. If you have questions about your unemployment benefits and child support payments, call Child Support Enforcement at 866-313-9960.
There are currently no unemployment extensions available. If the unemployment rate rises to 6 percent or higher overall or in a particular job sector, Emergency Unemployment Compensation or Extended Benefits may become available. If extensions do become available and you are currently receiving unemployment compensation, a DES representative will contact you.