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Unemployment Information

Important Information

5/11/2021 – Check back often for updated information as conditions change.

After June 12, 2021, the benefits through federal unemployment programs (including FPUC, PUA, PEUC and MEUC) will no longer be available in Missouri. The Division of Employment Security will continue to process any pending weeks claimed through the week ending June 12, 2021, under these federal programs. These weeks will continue to be processed, and benefits will be paid if found eligible.

Due to extremely high call volumes, the Missouri Access card provider is experiencing longer than normal wait times to answer calls. If you need to check the balance on your MoAccess debit card, ask how to use the card, or have any other card-related questions, you can access your card account information at www.mo-access.com. If you need to check the status of your unemployment claim, please access UInteract.labor.mo.gov. UInteract can quickly give you information about the status of your claim, weekly payments, claim balance, and much more.

For Employers: If you are an employer and need more information on the services available through the Missouri Division of Employment Security (DES), please click:

Or to contact a tax representative by email: esemptax@labor.mo.gov

For Employees: 

Regional Claims Center representatives are available by phone Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM by calling:

Jefferson City                          573-751-9040
Kansas City                             816-889-3101
Springfield                              417-895-6851
St. Louis                                 314-340-4950
Outside Local Calling Area        800-320-2519

UInteract (uinteract.labor.mo.gov) is an easy to use mobile-friendly online Unemployment Insurance application that is available to workers and employers 24/7. Ninety percent of claimants are able to file online, without assistance.

If you need more information on Unemployment Insurance:

Filing - Eligibility, Waiting Week, Employer Protest, Work Searches, RESEA

If this is your first time filing for unemployment, please read our Information for Workers brochure and watch this video on unemployment basics.  You can also visit our video library for more information.

Visit UInteract to file for unemployment and access our video gallery at uinteract.labor.mo.gov, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To contact a Regional Claims Center representative click here

Regional Claims Center representatives are available by phone Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM by calling:

Jefferson City                          573-751-9040
Kansas City                             816-889-3101
Springfield                              417-895-6851
St. Louis                                 314-340-4950
Outside Local Calling Area        800-320-2519

UInteract (uinteract.labor.mo.gov) is an easy-to-use mobile-friendly online Unemployment Insurance application that is available to workers and employers 24/7. Ninety percent of claimants are able to file online, without assistance.

If you need more information on Unemployment Insurance:

·       Visit the Missouri Division of Employment Security website at labor.mo.gov/DES.

·       Visit the Unemployment Video Library at labor.mo.gov/DES/videos

 

FAQ

Question: What is the best method to reset my userid for the UInteract system so I can file a claim?
Answer:
If you do not remember answers to your security questions, are unable to reset your userid, and get locked out, you can try again in 24 hours.  If you are still locked out, click here for assistance. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and last four digits of your social security with your request. Due to the volume of inquiries, it may take a few days to respond to your request.

Question: Can I reset my own password if I’ve forgotten it?
Answer: 
Yes. You can click on “Forgot Password” to reset your password.  If you have made too many attempts and are locked out, you can try again within 24 hours.  There is no need to call the claims center staff to reset passwords.

Question: If I’m self-employed, can I receive unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
Please click here for details about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors whose businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus are encouraged to apply for unemployment assistance.  Under the PUA program, those who qualify will be eligible for weekly benefit payments of between $133 and $320 per week plus a $600 federal supplement available under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The federal guidelines provide the FPUC payments only apply to weeks payable from March 29, 2020, through July 25, 2020. These two programs are not regular unemployment insurance but are new, fully federally funded assistance programs. Both of these provisions have been enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Missouri is processing PUA claims beginning with the week of April 19, 2020.

Question: I filed for regular unemployment and was denied.  What should I do next?
Answer: 
If you are unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19 you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if you qualify under one of the following reasons.

·       The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

·       A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

·       The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

·       A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.

·       The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

·       The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.

·       The individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19.

·       The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual is an independent contractor who is unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 health emergency has severely limited their ability to continue performing their customary work activities, and have been forced to suspend such activities.

·       The individual was denied continued unemployment benefits because he or she refused to return to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite that, in either instance, was not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to, those related to facial mask-wearing, physical distancing measures, or the provision of personal protective equipment consistent with public health guidelines.

·       The individual provides services to an educational institution or educational service agency and is unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule that is directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, changes in schedules and partial closures.

·       The individual is an employee and his or her hours have been reduced or he or she was laid off as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·        

For more details regarding PUA, click here. You may file a claim for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance at UInteract.labor.mo.gov.

Question: Can I file for unemployment if I am still working part-time or working for another employer but laid off of one job?
Answer:
Yes. You may file for unemployment. When you file your weekly request for payment, you will be asked to report your weekly earnings before taxes and other deductions. If your earnings are not excessive, you may receive a partial unemployment benefit. To calculate your partial benefit payment, visit labor.mo.gov/DES/Claims/partial_benefit. Misreporting or underreporting earnings to obtain additional funds under the regular unemployment program or the CARES Act qualifies as fraud. If an individual obtains benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must pay back the benefits received, and is subject to criminal prosecution.

Beginning with the week of July 5, 2020, individuals wishing to continue to receive unemployment benefits (including any federal supplemental payments) will be required to perform work search activities that had been lifted for those that had filed a coronavirus-related unemployment claim.

Question: Has Missouri waived the waiting week for those eligible to receive unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus? 
Answer: 
Under the authority of Missouri EO20-4, the Missouri Department of Labor waived any waiting week requirement served for all claims filed as a result of the coronavirus through July 4, 2020. That means, unlike prior to the order, eligible individuals received payment for the waiting week as their first payment and did not have to wait until they had exhausted benefits to be paid for the waiting week. However, individuals are not paid until after the protest period, which appears as a pending protest online.

For those initially filing for unemployment in Missouri on or after July 5, 2020, the waiting week requirement is in place. The waiting week is the first week of a claim for which the individual is eligible for unemployment benefits, but during this week, the individual is not paid benefits. Eligible individuals who are approved for benefits for the waiting week will receive compensation for the waiting week as the last payment on the regular unemployment claim.

Question: Why is there a protest period for unemployment claims?
Answer: 
Unemployment insurance is paid by employers. There is no money taken out of any employee’s paycheck to pay for it and it is not paid for by your taxes. It is strictly paid for out of your employer’s unemployment account. Because of this, your last employer and all of your base period employers have the right to protest an employee’s unemployment claim.  In fact, because employers pay taxes that fund the account from which unemployment benefits are paid, we have to notify employers in your base period and give them an opportunity to protest before we pay benefits out of the fund to you. This is called a protest period and will show online on your claim as a pending protest. This is a usual part of the process and is a period of about ten days. If after that time, no issues are discovered and no protests are received, you would receive back payment for any money due. However, it is important that during this time you continue to request payments weekly.

Question: How long will it take for a claims payment to be made?  What is the fastest way to get paid?
Answer: 
Typically, you would be requesting payments for 2-3 weeks during the protest period before receiving any payments and then we back pay you for those weeks if you are eligible. If you don’t already have a Missouri Access Debit card, the quickest way to receive payment is by direct deposit. Typically, after we process a payment to you (as viewed online), you will see the payment in your account within a day or two depending on how long your bank holds funds. For each week that you wish to be paid, you must file a weekly request for payment online. You cannot request payment until that calendar week is over. If you wish to be paid for the waiting week, you must request payment for that week also. 

Question: It says I have a pending issue online.  What does that mean?
Answer:
If during a protest period, we receive a protest or an issue is discovered that requires investigation, your payment can be delayed until the investigation is completed. You can view your claim status online under the inquiry tab and any correspondence under the correspondence tab. Should we ask for additional information during the course of our investigation, please respond to the deputy’s request for additional information. Once we have completed our investigation, if we find in your favor, you will receive back pay for the weeks for which you have requested payment. If we do not find in your favor, you will receive correspondence (can also be found under the correspondence tab online) and give you the opportunity to appeal. In either case, you would want to continue to request payment for each week for which you wish to be paid.

Question: If the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes my employer to shut down operations temporarily or close, will I qualify for unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
In most situations, yes. Missouri unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer must shut down operations temporarily because of COVID-19 and no work is available, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the eligibility criteria. Employers may be able to avoid a lay-off with a partial shut down by applying for the Missouri Shared Work program. See question below.

Question: Can an employer participate in Missouri’s Shared Work program whose business has temporarily declined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Answer: 
An employer can participate in a Shared Work plan if they meet the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program. It can be a particularly beneficial program in returning employees to work during an uncertain time as it allows employers the flexibility to scale up or scale down the workforce based on changing business needs and can help to return employees safely back to work while social distancing and providing flexible scheduling. The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Accounts for contributory and reimbursable employers participating in the Shared Work program will not be charged for Shared Work through December 26, 2020.

For more information about the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program, please visit www.sharedwork.mo.gov, email shared.work@labor.mo.gov. or call 573-751-WORK (9675). Employees that are eligible for Shared Work during a week are also eligible for the $600 FPUC supplement for that week.

Question: Do I need to search for work if I am laid off due to COVID-19?
Answer: 
Individuals wishing to continue to receive unemployment benefits (including any available federal supplemental payments) are required to perform work search activities. To be eligible for unemployment benefits you are required to complete at least three work search activities each week, unless directed otherwise by the Division. 

A work search activity is an attempt made to obtain employment or to resume work. Any part-time work performed during the week also satisfies the completion of a work search activity on a per-day basis. For each week you make a Weekly Request for Payment of Unemployment Insurance benefits, you are required to complete three work search activities unless you are in approved training, have a definite recall date from an employer, or are part of a Shared Work Program. 

Make sure your work search activity record is up to date in uinteract.labor.mo.gov. You may enter your work search activities during the week or when filing your Weekly Request for Payment. After logging in, select Weekly Request for Payment and then select Enter Work Search Details. Click the Save button after each work search activity is entered. Failure to complete three work search activities may result in the denial of benefits. You may update your work searches anytime throughout the week, but you will still need to file your Weekly Request for Payment after the week has ended in order to receive benefits for the week.

 

Examples of Acceptable Work Search Activities:

Work search activities can be completed in various ways.  Some examples of valid work search activities include, but are not limited to: 

Part-time employment performed during the week credited on a per-day basis. (Ex. – An individual who works on Tuesday and Thursday of the week will be credited as having completed two work search activities).

Earnings from any employment during the week must be reported when a Weekly Request for Payment is made.

 

Missouri Job Center Assisted:

·       Accessing and searching for work on MoJobs.gov

·       Participating in a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment

·       Responding to a Missouri Job Center work referral

·       Participating in a Missouri Job Center workshop
 

​In-person: 

·       Submitting a paper application for employment

·       Visiting employer(s) about job openings

·       Attending job interview(s)

·       Attending Job Fair(s)

·       Following up with employer(s) about job openings
 

Online: 

·       Employer Website (Completing web-application)

·       Virtual job interviews

·       Creating a personal user profile on web-based networking and job posting sites (Ex. - Monster, Craig’s List, LinkedIn, Indeed)

·       Creating a reemployment plan

·       Creating a resume

·       Participating in online training during the week credited on a per-day basis. (Ex. – An individual who attends training on Tuesday and Thursday of the week will be credited as having completed two work search activities).


Union Member with a Hiring Hall:

If you are a union member with a hiring or referral hall, contacting your hall 3 times during the week or participating in union-sponsored training is acceptable.

 

Self-Employed (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Claims only):

Self-employed individuals may satisfy the work search activity requirement by any of the methods described above to include recording any days worked during the week. Additionally, the self-employed may satisfy work search activities by performing such activities that aid them in their return to work in self-employment. Examples may include but are not limited to: 

·       Client Contacts

·       Advertising

·       Contract application including submitting bids or proposals

·       Attending training

 

Missouri Job Centers are available to assist unemployed workers with these requirements by providing customized job searches through jobs.mo.gov, job fairs, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointments, workshops to help develop and refine skills, and other training programs. Employers are encouraged to post job openings on MoJobs. For more information about services available through the Missouri Job Centers, visit jobs.mo.gov.

Examples of Acceptable Work Search Activities:

Work search activities can be completed in various ways.  Some examples of valid work search activities include, but are not limited to: 

Part-time employment performed during the week credited on a per-day basis. (Ex. – An individual who works on Tuesday and Thursday of the week will be credited as having completed two work search activities).

Earnings from any employment during the week must be reported when a Weekly Request for Payment is made.

Missouri Job Center Assisted:

·       Accessing and searching for work on MoJobs.gov

·       Participating in a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment

·       Responding to a Missouri Job Center work referral

·       Participating in a Missouri Job Center workshop

 

​In-person: 

·       Submitting a paper application for employment

·       Visiting employer(s) about job openings

·       Attending job interview(s)

·       Attending Job Fair(s)

·       Following up with employer(s) about job openings 

Online: 

·       Employer Website (Completing web-application)

·       Virtual job interviews

·       Creating a personal user profile on web-based networking and job posting Sites (Ex. - Monster, Craig’s List, LinkedIn, Indeed)

·       Creating a reemployment plan

·       Creating a resume

·       Participating in online training during the week credited on a per-day basis. (Ex. – An individual who attends training on Tuesday and Thursday of the week will be credited as having completed two work search activities). 

 Union Member with a Hiring Hall:

If you are a union member with a hiring or referral hall, contacting your hall 3 times during the week or participating in union-sponsored training is acceptable.

Self-Employed (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Claims only):

Self-employed individuals may satisfy the work search activity requirement by any of the methods described above to include recording any days worked during the week. Additionally, the self-employed may satisfy work search activities by performing such activities that aid them in their return to work in self-employment. Examples may include but are not limited to: 

·       Client Contacts

·       Advertising

·       Contract application including submitting bids or proposals

·       Attending training

Missouri Job Centers are available to assist unemployed workers with these requirements by providing customized job searches through jobs.mo.gov, job fairs, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointments, workshops to help develop and refine skills, and other training programs. Employers are encouraged to post job openings on MoJobs. For more information about services available through the Missouri Job Centers, visit jobs.mo.gov.

Question: If I am off of work due to the coronavirus and am receiving pay such as paid sick leave, vacation pay, or family medical leave, am I eligible to receive unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
No. Generally speaking, an individual still receiving pay while off of work is not “unemployed” and is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Question: Will an employee be eligible for unemployment benefits if they are in mandatory quarantine because of suspicion of having the coronavirus?
Answer: 
In most situations, yes.

Question: My employer has remained open because it is essential. I’m not sick, nor is anyone in my household sick. I do not have children or care for someone who cannot care for themselves. However, I’m afraid of getting coronavirus from customers coming to the store, so I quit and filed for unemployment. Can I obtain benefits under the CARES Act?
Answer:
No. Under the CARES Act, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet one of the circumstances listed in the Act, but none include the scenario described. On these facts, you are not eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) because you do not meet any of the qualifying circumstances.

There are, however, circumstances under the CARES Act in which specific, credible health concerns could require an individual to quit his or her job and thereby make the individual eligible for PUA. For example, an individual may be eligible for PUA if he or she was diagnosed with COVID-19 by a qualified medical professional, and although the individual no longer has COVID-19, the illness caused health complications that render the individual objectively unable to perform his or her essential job functions, with or without a reasonable accommodation. However, voluntarily deciding to quit your job out of a general concern about exposure to COVID-19 does not make you eligible for PUA. If you believe your employer’s response to the possible spread of COVID-19 creates a serious safety hazard or if you think your employer is not following OSHA standards, you can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

As a general matter, you are likely to be eligible for PUA due to concerns about exposure to the coronavirus only if you have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine as a result of such concerns. For instance, an individual whose immune system is compromised by virtue of a serious health condition, and who is therefore advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine in order to avoid the greater-than-average health risks that the individual might face if he or she were to become infected by the coronavirus will be eligible for PUA if all other eligibility requirements are met.


Question: If an individual leaves work to care for children due to school/daycare closures as a result of COVID-19, are they eligible to receive unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
For regular unemployment, in most cases, no. Unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are totally or partially unemployed due to no fault of their own. In this example, the individual is not available for work due to caring for children and would be ineligible. However, the facts of each circumstance are essential in determining eligibility for unemployment benefits. Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision of the CARES Act, they may be eligible. The PUA is not regular unemployment insurance, but instead a fully federally funded assistance program.

Question: If an individual is ill because of the coronavirus, will they be eligible for unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
Maybe. The facts of each circumstance are essential in determining eligibility for unemployment benefits and each situation must be handled on a case by case basis. An employee would first use available sick leave or other paid leave if the employee is ill. PUA is also generally not payable to individuals who have the ability to telework with pay or who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits. However, if individuals have exhausted available leave, they can be eligible for PUA if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis. 

Question: When should an individual file for unemployment benefits?
Answer:
Once the individual is separated from work, they should immediately file a claim for unemployment benefits.

Question: What if a claimant is required to participate in the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program?
Answer: 
If an individual is required to participate in the RESEA program the RESEA interview will be completed over the phone at this time. Claimants should contact the MO Job Center at the phone number listed on the appointment letter. If the individual is unable to participate, they may reschedule their interview appointment by contacting the job center at the phone number listed on their appointment letter.

Reasonable Assurance - Educational Employees

What is reasonable assurance?
Educational employees expecting to return to the same or similar job after a scheduled break or school year have reasonable assurance. There does not have to be a written agreement for the reasonable assurance provision to apply. For more information about reasonable assurance, please click here.

When does reasonable assurance apply to me?
Reasonable assurance applies to your unemployment claim during a scheduled customary break.  Customary breaks are usually during Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring, and summer.

How does reasonable assurance affect my claim?
If it is determined you have reasonable assurance, you will be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits during a scheduled customary break.

Who is an educational employee?
An educational employee is a person who works for an educational institution or educational service agency.

If you work for a private bus company or food service provider, for example, then you are not directly employed by the educational institution or educational service agency and the reasonable assurance provision does not apply to you. 

What is the distinction between a “non-professional” and “professional” employee?
The reasonable assurance provision affects all school employees who work in either a non-professional or professional role.  For unemployment purposes, these two roles are based on the type of work performed.  Non-professional employees include cooks, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, maintenance workers, and custodial staff.  Professional employees include teachers, substitute teachers, and staff who perform administrative or research work.

What happens if the reasonable assurance that I was given doesn’t turn into actual employment?
Non-professional employees can be retroactively paid for every week claimed if they are not allowed to perform services for the upcoming academic year or term.

Professional employees are not entitled to retroactive payment. 

If an educational employee does not qualify for regular benefits, can they qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?
Employees who are not working because of a holiday break or summer recess are not eligible for PUA.  Employees who are directly impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for PUA.  To file a PUA claim online, go to uinteract.labor.mo.gov and click Unemployment Claim ->Pandemic Assistance (PUA) -> File PUA Claim. 

What if I worked for both a school and a non-school employer?
If you have reasonable assurance of returning to work, you may be able to receive benefits based only on your non-school wages in the base period.  All other eligibility requirements have to be met. 

How can I find out if I am eligible for unemployment benefits?
The only way to know if you are eligible is to file an unemployment claim.  Every case presents its different circumstances.  Specific facts to a case are obtained and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Overpayments

The establishment and collection of overpayments is part of the Division of Employment Security’s (DES’) efforts to prevent fraud and waste in an employer-funded (as is the case with Regular unemployment) or a federally funded unemployment program, as well as to ensure that benefits are available to those who are eligible for them.

An overpayment occurs when a person is paid unemployment insurance benefits they are not entitled to receive, even if an honest mistake occurred that was not their fault. The establishment of an overpayment happens after a person begins receiving benefits if new or additional information is received that changes the initial determination of benefits.

Individuals are notified of the overpayment as soon as possible after it is determined. The notice lists the reason for the overpayment, the section of law that covers the overpayment, and the weeks overpaid.  The notice also includes instructions for filing an appeal if the individual believes that the overpayment decision is incorrect. To learn more about overpayments click here.


Question: Will I be able to collect regular unemployment or the $600 federal supplement if I have an existing overpayment?  Can you waive the fraud penalties on my overpayment? 
Answer: 
If you have an existing non-fraud overpayment, any weekly benefit payment for which you are eligible will be applied to the overpayment. If you have an existing fraud penalty, you are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, but could potentially be eligible for a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim, including the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement. Part of the benefit payment may be taken for offset of an overpayment. If you have questions regarding your overpayment, you may call 573-751-4058.

Question: Why did I receive an Overpayment Determination?
Answer:
You received an Overpayment Determination because you were paid Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits that you were not eligible to receive. The DES classifies overpayments into two categories: fraud or non-fraud.

Question: What is a non-fraud overpayment?
Answer:
 A non-fraud overpayment occurs if you receive benefits you were not eligible to receive, but the Division of Employment Security finds that you are not at fault or you did not intentionally give false information or withhold information to get benefits.

Question:  What is an example of a situation that would cause a non-fraud overpayment?
Answer:
 An example would be receiving additional pay that you were not expecting and did not report, such as vacation pay or holiday pay. Another example would be if you received benefits for a week, and additional information was received, which requires the Division to review your eligibility. Based on this review it could be determined that you were not eligible for those benefits and could cause a non-fraud overpayment.

Question: What is an example of a situation that would cause a fraud overpayment?
Answer:
 If the Division finds that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information and, as a result, received benefits that you should not have received, the overpayment is considered fraud. Withholding or giving false information to obtain benefits is a serious offense that can result in penalties and criminal prosecution.

Question: What if I disagree with the overpayment determination?
Answer:
 You may file an appeal with the Division’s Appeals Tribunal.  Instructions for filing an appeal will be included on the overpayment determination. 

Question: How do I file an appeal to an overpayment determination? 
Answer: 
An appeal may be filed by U.S. postal mail or fax. The appeal may be mailed to the Appeals Tribunal, P.O. Box 59, Jefferson City, MO 65104-0059.  The appeal may be faxed to 573-751-1321. 

Question: How long do I have to file an appeal to an overpayment determination?
Answer:
 The appeal must be filed within thirty days from the date the overpayment determination was mailed. 

Question: What can I expect after I file my appeal? 
Answer:
 You will receive a notice confirming that your appeal has been filed.  With the confirmation notice, you will also receive a pamphlet containing general information about the appeal process. 

Question: How will I know when a hearing is scheduled? 
Answer:
 When a hearing is scheduled, you will be mailed a packet containing division records and documents concerning your overpayment.  Inside the packet will be a notice of hearing with the date and time of your hearing.  The notice will also have instructions on how you call in for your hearing.  Read and follow the instructions.  It is important that you have the packet of documents with you at the time of the hearing.  The packet will be used during the hearing. 

Question: Should I have an attorney?
Answer:
 It is your choice whether you have an attorney.  You may be represented by a Missouri licensed attorney, but you are not required to have an attorney.  You may also be represented by an individual (agent) who is not paid to represent you. 

Question: What will happen during the hearing?
Answer: You will have an opportunity to give evidence.  While it is not required, you may also have witnesses give evidence on your behalf.  The hearing officer (Referee) will ask questions of all individuals that give evidence. 

Question: What will happen after the hearing is over? 
Answer:
 The Referee will issue a written decision based upon the evidence given at the hearing.  A copy of the decision will be mailed to you. 

Question: What if I do not agree with the decision? 
Answer:
 You may file an appeal to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.  You will have thirty days from the date the Referee’s decision was mailed to you to file an appeal to the Commission.  The appeal to the Commission may be filed by U.S. postal mail or fax.  Instructions for filing the appeal will be included in the decision. 

Question: When can I expect a hearing on my appeal?
Answer:
 At present, the Appeals Tribunal has a large number of appeals to be heard.  It may be some time before your hearing can be scheduled.  

 

Appeals

Question 51: How do I file an appeal to an overpayment determination? 
Answer:
An appeal may be filed by U.S. postal mail or fax. The appeal may be mailed to the Appeals Tribunal, P.O. Box 59, Jefferson City, MO 65104-0059.  The appeal may be faxed to 573-751-1321. 

Question 52: How long do I have to file an appeal to an overpayment determination?
Answer:
The appeal must be filed within thirty days from the date the overpayment determination was mailed. 

Question 53: What can I expect after I file my appeal? 
Answer:
You will receive a notice confirming that your appeal has been filed.  With the confirmation notice, you will also receive a pamphlet containing general information about the appeal process. 

Question 54: How will I know when a hearing is scheduled? 
Answer:
When a hearing is scheduled, you will be mailed a packet containing division records and documents concerning your overpayment.  Inside the packet will be a notice of hearing with the date and time of your hearing.  The notice will also have instructions on how you call in for your hearing.  Read and follow the instructions.  It is important that you have the packet of documents with you at the time of the hearing.  The packet will be used during the hearing. 

Question 55: Should I have an attorney?
Answer:
It is your choice whether you have an attorney.  You may be represented by a Missouri licensed attorney, but you are not required to have an attorney.  You may also be represented by an individual (agent) who is not paid to represent you. 

Question 56: What will happen during the hearing?
Answer: You will have an opportunity to give evidence.  While it is not required, you may also have witnesses give evidence on your behalf.  The hearing officer (Referee) will ask questions of all individuals that give evidence. 

Question 57: What will happen after the hearing is over? 
Answer:
The Referee will issue a written decision based upon the evidence given at the hearing.  A copy of the decision will be mailed to you. 

Question 58: What if I do not agree with the decision? 
Answer:
You may file an appeal to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.  You will have thirty days from the date the Referee’s decision was mailed to you to file an appeal to the Commission.  The appeal to the Commission may be filed by U.S. postal mail or fax.  Instructions for filing the appeal will be included in the decision. 

Question 59: When can I expect a hearing on my appeal?
Answer:
At present, the Appeals Tribunal has a large number of appeals to be heard.  It may be some time before your hearing can be scheduled.  

Employers - Shared Work, Mass Claim, Taxes

Question: Is there any assistance available to keep my employees on the payroll during this time? What is the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?

Answer: The Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. For more information on which businesses qualify and other questions about this loan visit sba.gov. For other resources to help businesses, visit the Missouri Department of Health's page

Question: Can an employer participate in Missouri’s Shared Work program whose business has temporarily declined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Answer: An employer can participate in a Shared Work plan if they meet the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program. It can be a particularly beneficial program in returning employees to work during an uncertain time as it allows employers the flexibility to scale up or scale down the workforce based on changing business needs and can help to return employees safely back to work while social distancing and providing flexible scheduling. The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Accounts for contributory and reimbursable employers participating in the Shared Work program will not be charged for Shared Work through December 26, 2020.

For more information about the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program, please visit www.sharedwork.mo.gov, email shared.work@labor.mo.gov. or call 573-751-WORK (9675). Employees that are eligible for Shared Work during a week are also eligible for the $600 or $300 FPUC supplement for that week.

Question: Will an employer’s unemployment taxes increase if an employee receives unemployment benefits because of a coronavirus-related business shutdown? 

Answer: Under the authority of the Governor’s Executive Order, the Missouri Department of Labor temporarily waived any charges to contributory employers for benefits paid out to claimants as a result of a loss of work due to the coronavirus from March 8 through July 4, 2020. Accounts for contributory and reimbursable employers participating in the Shared Work program will not be charged for Shared Work through December 26, 2020.

The CARES Act provides relief for reimbursable employers such as state and local governmental entities, certain nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian tribes by providing for a 50% reimbursement for quarterly charges on qualifying weeks that have been paid in full. Federal government agencies and federal employees are excluded from this provision. All benefits charged to the reimbursable employer for weeks of unemployment ending March 21, 2020, through December 26, 2020, will qualify for the 50% reimbursement. The reimbursable employer must first pay all qualifying charges on their bill in full. Reimbursement back to the employer will require a minimum of 10 business days from the full payment process date for the quarter/year benefit charges. 

 Question: Are employer unemployment taxes and reports for the first quarter still due on April 30, 2020?

Answer: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the first quarter employer Contribution and Wage payment due date has been extended until June 1, 2020. Contribution and Wage reports are still due by April 30, 2020.

Question: Can an employer participate in a mass claim filing?

Answer: Yes.  The Electronic Mass Claims Filing System is available to employers during a temporary mass lay-off. Employee information provided by the employer, allows the DES to file an initial or renewed unemployment claim on behalf of employees quickly and efficiently. An employer can participate in a mass claim filing if they meet the eligibility requirements below:

  •        The lay-off must be due to a lack of work;
  •        The lay-off must be less than eight weeks in duration;
  •        An employee is not on a leave of absence;
  •        The employee is not receiving pay; for example, sick pay, vacation pay, family medical leave pay, etc.
  •        For more information about the Mass Claims Filing System, please visit labor.mo.gov/mass-claims.

PPP

Question: Is there any assistance available to keep my employees on the payroll during this time? What is the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
Answer: 
The Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. For more information on which businesses qualify and other questions about this loan visit sba.gov. For other resources to help businesses, visit the Missouri Department of Health's page

Question: I filed a Mass Claim for my employees and have received the PPP loan for those employees.  What can I do now?
Answer: 
You will need to contact the Division of Employment Security (DES) by emailing DOLIR.MassClaims@labor.mo.gov or you can call 573-751-0436. DES will need a list of the employees that you are paying through the PPP loan. You will need to include the start date of when the employees will be getting paid.

Question: My employer notified me that they will be paying me through the PPP loan.  Can I choose to receive unemployment instead of a paycheck from my employer?  Can I still collect unemployment? 
Answer:
 If your employer has chosen to receive the PPP loan to pay employees, you do not have the choice of receiving unemployment benefits rather than the paycheck from the employer. If your employer has notified you that you will be receiving paychecks through the PPP loan, you must report your gross earnings for the week. If you are being paid by your employer through the PPP and the amount is greater than what is allowed above your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) in unemployment, you would be considered employed, and therefore not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.  Any unemployment payments made to you during the same time that you were being paid by your employer through the PPP loan would be considered overpaid and you will need to pay those benefits back to the Division.

Question: What do I do if I’ve already received unemployment benefits and my employer is back paying me through a PPP loan?
Answer:
If you have already claimed unemployment for those weeks, you will need to report your earnings immediately to the DES by calling 573-751-4058 and select option 4. A specialist will assist you in reporting these earnings.  Any unemployment that was paid to you, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments, will need to be paid back by you for those weeks for which your employer was also paying you through the PPP. If you were overpaid you will receive a letter from the DES with information on how to repay the unemployment funds that were incorrectly paid to you. If your earnings through the PPP loan are less than your WBA, you may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits.  You are still required to report these earnings for each week the funds are specified to be paid. (Example- If, you were paid on 4/22/2020 for the week of 4/12/2020 through 4/18/2020, you would need to report those earnings for the week ending 4/18/2020.)

Question: Can I claim unemployment if the amount my employer is paying me through the PPP loan is less than my Weekly Benefit Amount?
Answer:
Yes, you can claim unemployment if the earnings you are receiving through the PPP loan are less than your Weekly Benefit Amount. You are required to report these earnings for each week the funds were specified to be paid. (Example - You were paid on 4/22/2020 for the week of 4/12/2020 through 4/18/2020 you would need to report those earnings when you request your weekly payment for the week ending 4/18/2020.)

For those filing for unemployment on or after July 5, 2020, a waiting weekwill again be imposed. The waiting week is the first week of a claim for which an individual is elligible for unemployment benefits, but during this week, such individual is not paid unemployment benefits. Individuals who are approved for benefits may receive compensation for the waiting week as the last payment on the regular unemployment claim. 

Question: What can happen if I do not report the wages from the PPP loan to the Division?
Answer:
When the DES determines a claimant receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits failed to report earnings, the claimant will be required to repay those benefits. Some overpayments are the result of honest mistakes. However, if the claimant committed fraud in obtaining UI benefits, he/she can be assessed an additional monetary penalty, as well as possibly having his/her benefit rights canceled and being arrested, fined and imprisoned.

Extensions

Question: I've exhausted my benefits; am I eligible for unemployment assistance?

Answer: Missouri set up the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program beginning the week of April 26, 2020. This program may provide up to an additional 24 weeks of unemployment benefits to those that have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits through the week ending March 13th, 2021. Claimants that certify the week ending March 13th, 2021, are paid and have remaining entitlement under these programs may continue to file through the week ending April 10th and will be paid as long as they have a remaining balance. While DES will mail and email potentially eligible individuals who have previously applied for benefits, those individuals do not need to wait for the DES to contact them. They may log into UInteract and look under their correspondence tab for instructions on how to file for a PEUC claim. The DES encourages claimants who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and still have an active benefit year, to continue to file weekly requests for payments.

Refusal to Work

Question: What if an employee refuses to return to work?  Will they still be eligible for unemployment benefits?
Answer: 
Missourians who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose regular unemployment benefits. 

Employees in any of these positions are strongly encouraged to work with their employer in the best way to handle the situation to return to work including any availability for working remotely. 

The US Department of Labor’s (USDOL’s) guidance states that general fear of COVID-19 will not support continuation of unemployment benefits under regular unemployment or any of the federally funded programs available under the CARES Act. If an employer provides the employee with suitable work, and the employee chooses not to return to work, then unemployment benefits will cease. The DES has developed a portal for employers to submit information about employees who refuse to return to work or quit their jobs. Employers would need to login to UInteract at uinteract.labor.mo.gov, click on “Benefits” and then on “Work Offer Refusal Detail.” Instructions can be found on a Help button on the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen. Click here for instructions to find the detail screen and template.  Employers may complete the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen or upload a completed Excel template provided on the site. Alternatively, employers have the option to provide employee work refusal information without having to login to UInteract by clicking here . Employers should report quits or work refusals as soon as possible.

An employee notice poster is available here. For a chart that compares the common signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to other illnesses and allergies click here.

Question: My employer has remained open because it is essential. I’m not sick, nor is anyone in my household sick. I do not have children or care for someone who cannot care for themselves. However, I’m afraid of getting coronavirus from customers coming to the store, so I quit and filed for unemployment. Can I obtain benefits under the CARES Act?
Answer: No. Under the CARES Act, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet one of the circumstances listed in the Act, but none include the scenario described. On these facts, you are not eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) because you do not meet any of the qualifying circumstances.

There are, however, circumstances under the CARES Act in which specific, credible health concerns could require an individual to quit his or her job and thereby make the individual eligible for PUA. For example, an individual may be eligible for PUA if he or she was diagnosed with COVID-19 by a qualified medical professional, and although the individual no longer has COVID-19, the illness caused health complications that render the individual objectively unable to perform his or her essential job functions, with or without a reasonable accommodation. However, voluntarily deciding to quit your job out of a general concern about exposure to COVID-19 does not make you eligible for PUA. If you believe your employer’s response to the possible spread of COVID-19 creates a serious safety hazard or if you think your employer is not following OSHA standards, you can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

As a general matter, you are likely to be eligible for PUA due to concerns about exposure to the coronavirus only if you have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine as a result of such concerns. For instance, an individual whose immune system is compromised by virtue of a serious health condition, and who is therefore advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine in order to avoid the greater-than-average health risks that the individual might face if he or she were to become infected by the coronavirus will be eligible for PUA if all other eligibility requirements are met.

     
Question: If an individual leaves work to care for children due to school/daycare closures as a result of COVID-19, are they eligible to receive unemployment benefits?
Answer:
For regular unemployment, in most cases , no. Unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are totally or partially unemployed due to no fault of their own. In this example, the individual is not available for work due to caring for children and would be ineligible. However, the facts of each circumstance are essential in determining eligibility for unemployment benefits. Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision of the CARES Act, they may be eligible. The PUA is not regular unemployment insurance, but instead a fully federally funded assistance program.

Fraud

Question:  What do I do if I believe that I have been a victim of identity theft?  What do I do if I receive a 1099-G Form but have not drawn any unemployment?

Answer:  If you believe you are a victim of identity theft or have received a 1099-G Form from DES and you have not drawn unemployment benefits during that tax year, please call 573-751-4058 and press option 5 to reach our Special Investigations Unit.  They will ask you to verify your identity; this will likely require you to visit your local Missouri Job Center and present proof of identity. 

Additionally, if your identity has been stolen, it is also important to report it to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster

Click here for a PDF Document form to email to the Special Investigation Unit at special.investigations@labor.mo.gov. The Special Investigations Unit will investigate and contact you once a determination has been made.

Question:  What do I do if I suspect that someone I know is fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits?

Answer: The DES appreciates all tips regarding individuals fraudulently receiving benefits. To report UI claims fraud, please email: ReportUIFraud@labor.mo.gov, or call 573-751-4058 and select option 4. Due to strict DES confidentiality laws, we cannot confirm or deny an investigation initiated by a UI Fraud submission or disclose information about an employer or claimant. For additional information, visit labor.mo.gov/DES/report_fraud and click here to read a fraud alert from the US Department of Labor’s Office of Inspectors General.

Question: Will I be able to collect regular unemployment or the $600 or $300 federal supplement if I have an existing overpayment?  Can you waive the fraud penalties on my overpayment? 

Answer: If you have an existing non-fraud overpayment, any weekly benefit payment for which you are eligible will be applied to the overpayment. If you have an existing fraud penalty, you are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, but could potentially be eligible for a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim, including the $600 or $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement. Part of the benefit payment may be taken for offset of an overpayment.  If you have questions regarding your overpayment, you may call 573-751-4058.

Question: What is an example of a situation that would cause a fraud overpayment?

Answer: If the Division finds that you intentionally gave false information or withheld information and, as a result, received benefits that you should not have received, the overpayment is considered fraud. Withholding or giving false information to obtain benefits is a serious offense that can result in penalties and criminal prosecution.

Back to Work

Question: My employer has called me back to work.  Do I still qualify for unemployment or the $300 supplement? How do I notify DES and close my account?
Answer: You may or may not be eligible for partial unemployment and the $300 federal supplement.  If you go back to work full-time, you don’t need to notify DES.  Just simply stop requesting payments and your claim will automatically close after 28 days.

Whether working full-time, part-time or temporary, remember to answer the first question on your weekly request for payment honestly and correctly. “Did you do any work during the week?” If you are working part-time, you may still be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for the week.  Report the wages you earned during the week, regardless of when you are paid; if you worked at all from Sunday through Saturday, report your total earnings when filing your weekly request for payment. To do that, simply add the total number of hours worked between Sunday and Saturday and multiply that by your hourly rate of pay; report the total earnings for the week you are requesting payment. Remember total earnings is your gross pay, not the net amount you take home; it is the amount before any deductions for taxes or benefits. For example, if you worked 15 hours between Sunday and Saturday and make $10 an hour, you should report $150 (15 hours x $10) as your earnings for the week. Be sure to add tips or commission. If you are eligible for even one dollar in benefit payments during the week, you may receive your partial unemployment benefit and the additional $300 federal supplement available March 29, 2020 through July 25, 2020. If you are not eligible for any benefits, you will not be receiving the $300 federal supplement. Misreporting or underreporting earnings to obtain additional funds under the regular unemployment program or the CARES Act qualifies as fraud. If an individual obtains benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must pay back the benefits received and is subject to criminal prosecution.  

If you wish to estimate your weekly partial benefit amount when working part-time, you can use our partial benefit calculator at labor.mo.gov/DES/Claims/partial_benefit. If your wages from part-time or temporary work are greater than your weekly benefit allowance and you are not receiving any weekly benefit payments, you should stop claiming. Your claim will automatically close after 28 days.  

Question: Will I still receive the unemployment owed to me once I return to work?
Answer
: After you’ve returned to work, the DES will pay any outstanding unemployment benefit payments for weeks for which you are eligible, have requested payment and are still owed payment.

Question: Can an employer participate in Missouri’s Shared Work program whose business has temporarily declined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Answer:
 An employer can participate in a Shared Work plan if they meet the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program. It can be a particularly beneficial program in returning employees to work during an uncertain time as it allows employers the flexibility to scale up or scale down the workforce based on changing business needs and can help to return employees safely back to work while social distancing and providing flexible scheduling. The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Accounts for contributory and reimbursable employers participating in the Shared Work program will not be charged for Shared Work through December 26, 2020.

For more information about the eligibility requirements for Missouri’s Shared Work program, please visit www.sharedwork.mo.gov, email shared.work@labor.mo.gov. or call 573-751-WORK (9675). Employees that are eligible for Shared Work during a week are also eligible for the $600 FPUC supplement for that week.

Tax Form 1099-G

Question: What is a Form 1099-G?

Answer:  Form 1099-G provides important tax information that must be reported on your federal income tax return. Your form 1099-G from the Missouri Department of Labor reports the amount of all state and/or federal unemployment benefits that you received during the previous year.

Question: What is included in my Form 1099-G from DES?

Answer: All taxable unemployment benefits paid in 2020.  This will include benefits paid from State programs as well as Federal unemployment programs.  Those who have received unemployment insurance benefits on more than one program will receive only one Form 1099-G from the DES that includes the total gross compensation. Programs include regular state benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Lost Wages Assistance, Shared Work, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance.  The total also includes any amount that you requested to be withheld for payment of federal income taxes and amounts that may be required to be deducted and paid on your behalf, such as child support payments. If you received benefit payments for which you were not entitled in tax year 2020, were overpaid, and those benefits were not repaid in tax year 2020 they will appear on your 1099 and are taxable. 

Question: How can I get a copy of the Form 1099-G?

Answer: Tax Form 1099-G is available online for Missourians who claimed unemployment benefits in 2020.  From the UInteract home screen, a claimant can select the “View and Print 1099" tab and simply select the year to view and print that year’s 1099-G tax form. Claimants who access their 1099-G form online or have elected to go paperless will not be mailed a paper copy.  If a claimant views their 1099-G online BEFORE January 31, 2021, or has elected to go paperless, a printed form WILL NOT be mailed. If the form is not viewed online and the claimant has not elected to go paperless, a printed form will be mailed to the address on record.

 

Question: What should I do with my Form 1099-G amount? Do I need to pay the amount shown?

Answer: The amount on Form 1099-G is a report of benefits you received from the Missouri Department of Labor. It is not a bill, and you should not send any type of payment in response to the form. If a professional preparer handles your taxes, you should give this form to the preparer, along with your other tax information, such as W-2 form(s). If you prepare your own taxes, you should review the federal return instructions for reporting unemployment benefits or visit the Internal Revenue Service's website at irs.gov for more information. 

Question: What do I do if I believe my Form 1099-G is not correct?

Answer: Contact the Missouri Division of Employment Security at 800-320-2519. All taxable unemployment benefits paid in 2020 are included on the 1099-G including benefits paid from State programs as well as Federal unemployment programs.

Question: Can I access my Form 1099-G from prior tax years on UInteract?

Answer: Yes, you will have the ability to view forms from the last four tax years online.

Question: Why are federal unemployment supplements included on my 1099-G?

Answer: All unemployment benefits, including any federal supplements, are taxable.

Question: What if my unemployment benefits were applied to a prior overpayment?

Answer: Unemployment benefits intercepted to offset a prior overpayment are still considered benefits paid and are reportable and taxable.  

Question:  What do I do if I believe that I have been a victim of identity theft?  What do I do if I receive a 1099-G Form but have not drawn any unemployment?

Answer:  If you believe you are a victim of identity theft or have received a 1099-G Form from DES and you have not drawn unemployment benefits during that tax year, please call 573-751-4058 and press option 5 to reach our Special Investigations Unit.  They will ask you to verify your identity; this will likely require you to visit your local Missouri Job Center and present proof of identity. 

You will be asked to do the following:

The Special Investigations Unit will investigate the claim and contact you once a determination has been made.

Question:  Is Missouri participating in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 unemployment tax relief? What do I do if I already filed?

Answer:  For information regarding tax relief on unemployment benefits, visit the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Frequently Asked Questions at https://dor.mo.gov/faq/personal/unemployment.php?fbclid=IwAR3UGU7n4oOScy...

Federal Programs

Federal Unemployment Benefits Ending 

Question: When do the Federal Unemployment Programs end in Missouri?

Answer: After June 12, 2021, the benefits through federal unemployment programs (including FPUC, PUA, PEUC, and MEUC) will no longer be available in Missouri. The Division of Employment Security will continue to process any pending weeks claimed through the week ending June 12, 2021, under these federal programs. These weeks will continue to be processed, and benefits will be paid if found eligible.

FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PROGRAM

Question: Who pays for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program?

Answer: The FPUC is 100% federally funded.

Question: Can I quit my job to collect unemployment and the weekly FPUC payment?
 

Answer: Missouri’s regular unemployment insurance program continues to be in effect. Under Missouri unemployment law, most people who are currently employed and quit are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If an employer offers sick leave and/or other leave or remote work options to address COVID-19 in lieu of layoffs, then a person who quits on his/her own volition would not qualify for unemployment benefits. If an employer provides the employee with suitable work, and the employee quits, then unemployment benefits will cease. The DES has developed a portal for employers to submit information about employees who quit their jobs. Employers would need to login to UInteract at uinteract.labor.mo.gov, click on “Benefits” and then on “Work Offer Refusal Detail.” Instructions can be found on a Help button on the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen. Click here for a PDF Document for instructions to find the detail screen and template. Employers may complete the Work Offer Refusal Detail Screen or upload a completed Excel template provided on the site. Employers should report quits or work refusals as soon as possible.

Quitting without good cause to obtain additional funds under the regular unemployment program or the CARES Act qualifies as fraud. If an individual obtains benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must pay back the benefits received, and is subject to criminal prosecution. An employee notice poster is available here.

Question: What does the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provide and when do I receive the benefits?
 

Answer: The FPUC provides an additional $600 payment per week (from March 29, 2020 – July 25, 2020) or $300 per week beginning December 27, 2020 to those eligible for at least one dollar ($1 US) in unemployment benefits during that week. The $600 federal supplement provided under the FPUC is effective the week beginning March 29, 2020; payments to eligible recipients began the week of April 12, 2020. The last payable week under the $600 FPUC was the week ending July 25, 2020.

The $300 FPUC benefits are only payable effective with the week beginning December 27, 2020. Weeks for which payment was requested before that date will not include the $300 FPUC supplement. Payments will be made retroactively to eligible claimants who requested payment for the week beginning December 27, 2020 until the Federal Program ends in Missouri.

SELF-EMPLOYED / PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

The US Department of Labor has issued new guidance to states regarding the expansion of eligibility for workers who declined to work due to pandemic safety concerns and for limited scenarios involving working for an educational institution or educational service agency. The earliest that the USDOL anticipates that this expanded eligibility will be available the end of March. DES will provide further updates when available. Claims representatives have no further information on this program at this time. 

Question: If I’m self-employed, can I receive unemployment benefits?

Answer: Please click here for details about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors whose businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus are encouraged to apply for unemployment assistance.  Under the PUA program, those who qualify will be eligible for weekly benefit payments of between $133 and $320 per week plus any federal supplement available for qualifying weeks under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. 

Question: When can self-employed individuals apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?  When I filed, I was denied; it said I was “not an insured worker.”  I don’t have enough work history, can I apply for PUA?  I was about to begin a new job but couldn’t because of the coronavirus, can I file for PUA?

Answer: Please click here for details about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance may be eligible for a PUA claim. As such, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found ineligible (i.e. Be denied for Regular UI). Most self-employed individuals who file a claim will receive a notice that they are not an insured worker. This is because they are not covered under the regular unemployment insurance system. 

Individuals in these groups who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus, and have not already filed a claim, are encouraged to file online at uinteract.labor.mo.gov. When filing, individuals should:

·       Indicate “none” when asked for states in which they have worked, unless they have worked for an employer in the last 18 months. This is important because those that were self-employed and impacted by coronavirus may have worked for an employer in the last 18 months and could be eligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program. 

·       Receive a notification from DES with further instructions on what information will be needed and how to complete the filing process for the PUA. If those unemployed select to be notified electronically, an email will be sent the following day after the claim is filed stating to check their correspondence tab in UInteract. All others will be mailed the instructions and should receive the instructions within the time it takes to be delivered by the US Postal Service.

The Continued Assistance Act of 2020 requires that any individual that files a new PUA claim or continues to certify weeks under PUA after December 27, 2020, must provide proof of self-employment/employment within 21 days (for new PUA claims) or 90 days (for continued PUA claims) from date of notification. DES is sending letters to impacted claimants that provides guidance on how to submit the required documentation. Failure to provide the required proof of self-employment/employment will result in a denial and stoppage of the PUA claim and any weeks paid after December 27, 2020, will be overpaid requiring the claimant to repay those benefits received.

Self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits may also choose to provide proof of earnings to potentially increase the amount of benefits received each week. Until additional proof of earnings is provided to increase PUA benefit payments, those eligible for PUA benefits will receive the minimum PUA payment of $133 for each week for which they are eligible to receive payments. Examples of acceptable forms of proof of earnings will include copies of the 2019 income tax returns with related Schedules C, E, F, and SE, Form K-1, and/or Form 1099-Misc. If the individual has not filed their 2019 taxes, the 2019 supporting tax documents will be acceptable proof. These are any documents used to file the income tax return which show 2019 earnings, such as Form 1099, W-2, etc. Individuals will receive instructions from the DES on how to securely submit proof through the UInteract system.

The PUA benefits will be retroactive to when an individual was negatively affected by the coronavirus. PUA payments are estimated to be issued within 10 days of eligibility determination. Claimants should log into UInteract.labor.mo.gov for the most up-to-date status of eligibility and payments.

Individuals who do not have enough work history or who were unable to begin their new job because of the pandemic are also encouraged to apply for unemployment. If they receive a notice that they are not an insured worker, they will also receive notification from the DES on how to complete their application for the PUA program. Anyone eligible for a PUA claim will also be required to file weekly requests for payment for weeks for which they wish to be paid.

The Continued Assistance Act of 2020 requires that any individual that files a new PUA claim or continues to certify weeks under PUA after December 27, 2020, must provide proof of self-employment/employment within 21 days (for new PUA claims) or 90 days (for continued PUA claims) from date of notification. DES has sent letters to impacted claimants that provide guidance on how to submit the required documentation. Failure to provide the required proof of self-employment/employment will result in a denial and stoppage of the PUA claim and any weeks paid after December 27, 2020, will be overpaid requiring the claimant to repay those benefits received.

Question: How do I qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program?

Answer: Please click here for details about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. To be eligible for a PUA claim, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found not eligible (see above).  Additionally, the individual applying for the PUA must self-certify, under penalty of perjury, that they fall into one of the categories listed below and that intentional misrepresentation in one or more of these categories is fraud and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

To be covered under the PUA, an individual must self-certify that they are able to work and available to work as provided by state law except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, unable to work, or unavailable to work due to at least one of the following categories:

·       The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

·       A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

·       The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

·       A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.

·       The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

·       The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.

·       The individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19.

·       The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

·       The individual is an independent contractor who is unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 health emergency has severely limited their ability to continue performing their customary work activities, and have been forced to suspend such activities.

·       The individual was denied continued unemployment benefits because he or she refused to return to work or accept an offer of work at a worksite that, in either instance, was not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to, those related to facial mask-wearing, physical distancing measures, or the provision of personal protective equipment consistent with public health guidelines.

·       The individual provides services to an educational institution or educational service agency and is unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule that is directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, changes in schedules and partial closures.

·       The individual is an employee and his or her hours have been reduced or he or she was laid off as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The US Department of Labor has issued new guidence to states regarding the expansion of eligibility for workers who decline to work due to pandemic safety concerns and for limited scenarios involving working for an educational institution or educational service agency.

The Continued Assistance Act of 2020 requires that any individual that files a new PUA claim or continues to certify weeks under PUA after December 27, 2020, must provide proof of self-employment/employment within 21 days (for new PUA claims) or 90 days (for continued PUA claims) from date of notification. DES is sending letters to impacted claimants that provide guidance on how to submit the required documentation. Failure to provide the required proof of self-employment/employment will result in a denial and stoppage of the PUA claim and any weeks paid after December 27, 2020, will be overpaid requiring the claimant to repay those benefits received.

PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

Question: I've exhausted my benefits; am I eligible for unemployment assistance?

Answer: Missouri set up the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program beginning the week of April 26, 2020. With the extension and expansion of the program under the Continued Assistance Act of 2020, this program may provide up to an additional 24 weeks of unemployment benefits to those that have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. While DES will mail and email potentially eligible individuals who have previously applied for benefits, those individuals do not need to wait for the DES to contact them. They may log into UInteract and look under their correspondence tab for instructions on how to file for a PEUC claim. The DES encourages claimants who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and still have an active benefit year, to continue to file weekly requests for payments.

MIXED EARNERS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

Question: What is the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program?

Answer: The MEUC program was authorized under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.  Beginning December 27, 2020 individuals who were previously self-employed may be eligible for an additional $100 supplemental payment under the MEUC program. For more answers about the MEUC program, click here or check out this video about the program.

Question: Do I qualify for MEUC and if so, how do I file for MEUC to receive payment?

Answer: Individuals must 1) have earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income in the most recent taxable year before they applied for regular unemployment, 2) submit documentation substantiating their self-employment income, and 3) must be receiving benefits from regular unemployment, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Shared Work or Trade Act Readjustment Assistance (TRA).  Based on federal guidance, individuals receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for MEUC.

Individuals eligible for the MEUC program and paid at least $1 in regular unemployment, PEUC, Shared Work, or TRA benefits for any week of unemployment will receive the $100 MEUC supplement in addition to the $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement.

To file an MEUC claim online visit uinteract.labor.mo.gov. Click ‘Unemployment Claim,’ ‘Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC),’ ‘File MEUC Claim.’ Those who file for MEUC online will be directed to upload documentation such as a 1040 tax return Schedule C, F, or SE for the most recent taxable year before they applied for regular unemployment.

After an individual files for MEUC and submits the required documentation, no additional action is required except to continue to make weekly requests for payment. MEUC payment may affect an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

 LOST WAGE ASSISTANCE

Question: What is the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?

Answer: The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program is a $300 per week supplement to unemployment insurance benefits beginning with the week ending August 1, 2020, through September 5, 2020. Eligible individuals must be unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 and must have a calculated weekly benefit amount of at least $100. The LWA program is only payable for six weeks, from the week ending August 1 through the week ending September 5, 2020. The week ending September 5, 2020, is the last payable week for LWA. For any weeks to be payable for LWA, they must be certified prior to 12/27/20DES and its representatives are not able to alter any LWA eligibility requirements or extend the weeks that can be paid through this federal program. Any pending payments to eligible recipients for qualifying weeks will be paid retroactively as allowed by federal guidelines.

Question: Who is eligible for the LWA program?

Answer: Eligible individuals include those whose weekly benefit amount (WBA) is at least $100 per week in the following unemployment-related assistance programs:

  • Regular Unemployment Compensation (state benefits)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
  • Short-Time Compensation (Shared Work)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUA) 
  • In addition, an individual must have become unemployed due to COVID-19 on the initial or renewed claim filing.

Individuals whose WBA is less than $100 or who are not unemployed or partially unemployed because of COVID-19 are not eligible to receive the additional $300 supplement.

Question: Do I need to submit an application for the LWA program?

Answer: No, there is not an application for the LWA program. Individuals determined eligible under the LWA program will automatically receive the $300 stimulus for any weekly request for payment made for the week ending August 1, 2020, through the week ending September 5, 2020. Any pending payments to eligible recipients will be paid retroactively as allowed by federal guidelines. The weeks ending August 1, 2020, through the week ending September 5, 2020, must be claimed prior to December 27, 2020 to qualify for the payment.

Federal Legislation

Important Information

Updated 8/17/2020 

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order authorizing additional payments for eligible individuals receiving unemployment benefits.  On August 15, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Missouri’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, making Missouri one of the first states in the nation to receive approval under the program. Missourians whose unemployment is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are eligible for at least $100 per week of unemployment benefits, may qualify for the additional weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020.  While awaiting additional guidance from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Missouri will continue as expeditiously as possible to implement the LWA program for eligible unemployed Missourians to be able to receive the additional benefits as soon as possible.  We will update our website as more information becomes available, including any additional eligibility requirements and timelines for payment.  Our unemployment call agents are not able to provide any additional information at this time.  


Updates include the status of CARES Act Implementation

With Congress and the President responding to COVID-19 in multiple ways, it is challenging to keep up with how these recent changes to federal law may impact an individual’s situation at work. The Department is closely tracking recent legislative changes and how they may apply to state government operations and programs. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relation (DOLIR) will provide updates on this FAQs page as changes are received.

NOTE: The regular unemployment insurance (UI) program continues to be in effect. In Missouri, most people who are currently employed and quit or refuse work are not eligible for unemployment benefits. If an employer offers sick leave and/or other leave options to address COVID-19 in lieu of layoffs, then a person who quits on his/her own volition would not qualify for UI benefits. At this point, no federal legislation changes this part of Missouri’s program eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)

On Friday, March 27th, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act which, in addition to many other things, added many programs that extend the length, eligibility, and benefit amount for Unemployment Insurance (UI). The next day, DOLIR Director Anna Hui, at Governor Parson’s direction, signed an agreement with the US Department of Labor (USDOL) to administer the programs under the CARES Act once guidance is issued.

The CARES Act has six programs that affect UI, including the following:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is separate from the regular unemployment insurance program, which will continue to operate. PUA may cover individuals who are not eligible for regular and extended benefits, or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). This could include independent contractors, self-employed, agricultural workers, etc.
     
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – Under Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional amount of $600 may be paid on top of weekly unemployment benefits for up to four (4) months, through the week ending July 25, 2020. In order to receive the $600 FPUC, workers must be eligible for regular unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
     
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law. The Missouri Department of Labor does not administer this act.

On March 28, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published additional implementation guidance pursuant to the FFCRA. The new guidance includes application of new paid leave requirements, fact sheets, and other materials, including  two posters – one for federal workers and one for all other employees – that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under the new law. In addition, the WHD released a question and answer document about paid leave and posting requirements.

As a reminder, the WHD website is the best place for guidance on how the FFCRA applies to an individual’s particular circumstances:

Fact Sheet for Employees

Fact Sheet for Employers

Questions and Answers

  

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental

  Signed by President Trump and became law on March 6, 2020.  The Missouri Department of Labor does not administer this Act.

Workers' Compensation

Important Operational Information

Visitors are encouraged to bring and wear their own masks and are required to wear masks in accordance with the effective local ordinances.

The Division continues to offer most services remotely and electronically with some in-person matters heard by appointment only. Please read the health and safety guidelines for in-person appointments below.

UPDATED: Notarized signatures for pro se claimants

When a stipulation for compromise settlement is signed by the pro se claimant after the telephone appearance before an ALJ the signature must be notarized. Electronic notary information is available on the MO Secretary of State’s website.

Division notices and emails: please read carefully as some direct attorneys to call the local office, or call a WebEx number, or contact the pro se claimant, or report the status of the case to the Division by email or letter.

Pre-hearings: It is preferred that Attorneys agree to submit one status report which will be reviewed by an ALJ who will make a minute entry and add the status report to the legal file. If an Attorney has not responded to attempts to communicate about the case then that can be expressed in the status report submitted to the Division.

Requests for settings: Attorneys must communicate with one another about the case before requesting a setting of any type before an ALJ; the setting is intended to provide assistance with unresolved issues.

Hearings: The Division will schedule hearings by teleconference, videoconference, and in-person settings with priority given to emergency hearings, PTDs, and some complex PPDs where credibility and liability are at issue. The Division may schedule other types of hearings and complex mediations as time/space allows.

A request for hearing should demonstrate that all discovery is complete and issues are ready for final resolution. Expect to participate in a pre-trial conference to discuss issues, witnesses, how the hearing will take place, and how to submit exhibits electronically in advance of the hearing through Box.com.

Filings submitted to the Division:

Attorneys - Claims for Compensation and Answers to Claims for Compensation should be submitted electronically through Box.com. Instructions are available.

Local Office Docketing Contact Chart

 

Local Office Docketing Contact Chart:
Local Office Phone Number Docketing Email Address
Cape Girardeau 573-290-5757 CGDocketing@labor.mo.gov
Jefferson City 573-751-4231 JCDocketing@labor.mo.gov
Joplin 417-629-3032 JoplinDocketing@labor.mo.gov
Kansas City 816-889-2481 KCDocketing@labor.mo.gov
Springfield 417-888-4100 SGFDocketing@labor.mo.gov
St. Charles 636-949-1999 STCDocketing@labor.mo.gov
St. Joseph 816-387-2275 STJoeDocketing@labor.mo.gov
St. Louis 314-340-6865 STLDocketing@labor.mo.gov

IMPORTANT MATTERS TO CONSIDER BEFORE IN-PERSON HEARINGS

The safety of the Division’s employees, visitors, parties and attorneys is paramount and therefore sufficient planning and preparation needs to occur before attending in-person hearings.

If you, your client, or a witness can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, please request a continuance and make arrangements for a telephone/video conference meeting by contacting the docket clerk at the local adjudication office.

Do you, or a person you live with, have:

A temperature of 100.4⁰F or higher, OR
Two or more of the following: chills, new loss of taste or smell, or unexplained body aches, headache, or sore throat, OR 
One or more of the following: dry, non-productive cough (new onset or worsening of chronic cough), shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, OR
Been with someone who has been regarded as being at high risk for infection, been tested positive for the virus or are in self-quarantine, or are assessing, treating and caring for those with COVID-19 symptoms in the health care field or in a hospital.

Please remember that if you are attending an in-person hearing you need to practice social distancing and follow the guidelines posted at the Division’s facilities. These guidelines ask that you not enter the facilities if you answer “Yes” to any of the above questions.

Visitors are encouraged to bring and wear their own masks. However, we are not requiring Division’s staff or visitors to wear facemasks at this time (unless 6 feet social distancing is not attainable). 

April 3 2021, NOTICE OF LIMITED USE OF FAX COMMUNICATIONS

USE OF BOX.COM

July 28, 2020, OPERATIONAL UPDATE – COVID-19 – Notice

June 22, 2020, OPERATIONAL UPDATE Notice

April 17, 2020, NOTICE OF CANCELLATIONS – COVID-19 – DOCKETING Notice

April 7, 2020, PRESUMPTION OF OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE – EMERGENCY RULE – Notice

April 2, 2020, NOTICE OF CANCELLATIONS – COVID-19 – CHANGE IN OPERATIONS

March 27, 2020, EDI Claims Announcement – COVID-19 - Notice

March 19, 2020, URGENT NOTICE – COVID-19 – CHANGE IN OPERATIONS

 

EDI Claims Announcement

Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Division of Workers' Compensation (MODWC) EDI Claims Announcement:

MODWC Claim Administrators and Vendors - New Nature and Cause of Injury Codes for COVID-19 Pandemic

Date: March 27, 2020
To: MODWC Claim Administrators and EDI Vendors

The WCIO has updated the Injury Description Tables that are used by the IAIABC to reflect specific coding in response to COVID-19. A new Cause of Injury Code (DN0037) - 83 for “Pandemic” and a new Nature of Injury Code (DN0035) - 83 for “COVID-19” were approved. The codes are anticipated to be used for the reporting for any claim effective December 2019 or later. The IAIABC recommends that EDI reporting and collection systems be modified to recognize these new codes by April 1, 2020. The new Injury Description Tables may be found on the WCIO website, Injury Description Table page at: wcio.org/Document%20Library/InjuryDescriptionTablePage.aspx. MODWC will be ready to accept these new codes in R1 as recommended by the IAIABC on 4-1-2020.

If you have any questions, please contact moediprogram@labor.mo.gov

Thank you,

MODWC EDI Support Team
modwcedi@iso.com

Presumption of Occupational Disease for First Responders

Emergency Rule 

On April 7, 2020, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations with its Division of Workers’ Compensation filed an emergency rule under the workers’ compensation statue to provide a presumption that first responders contracting COVID-19 were infected in the course of their employment.  The Labor and Industrial Relations Commission voted unanimously to approve the emergency rule.

On April 8, 2020, upon receipt of the signed approval of the Commission, the Department of Labor Director, Division of Workers’ Compensation Director and Department General Counsel signed a letter conveying the emergency rule to the Secretary of State and the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules.

After ten business days from date of receipt by the Secretary of State and barring any substantive revisions, the emergency rule will be effective on April 22, 2020.

The emergency rule allows for retroactive application of the presumption for instances which occurred prior to its effective date.

8 CSR 50-5.005 Presumption of Occupational Disease for First Responders

Title 8—DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Division 50—Division of Workers’ Compensation

Chapter 5—Determination of Disability

EMERGENCY RULE

 

8 CSR 50-5.005 Presumption of Occupational Disease for First Responders

PURPOSE: This emergency rule implements changes to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law effected by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-02 and Executive Order 20-04 and pursuant to the Governor’s emergency powers under Chapter 44, RSMo.

EMERGENCY STATEMENT: This emergency rule incorporates and implements changes to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law effected by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-02 and Executive Order 20-04 pursuant to the Governor’s emergency powers under Chapter 44, RSMo. Section 44.100, RSMo, provides that during a state of emergency, the Governor is authorized to “perform and exercise such other functions, powers and duties as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.” Emergency enactment of this rule is necessary to preserve the compelling governmental interest of protecting the health and welfare of First Responders during a time of declared state and national emergency relating to the COVID19 pandemic.

This emergency rule creates a presumption that First Responders infected by or quarantined due to COVID-19 are deemed to have contracted a contagious or communicable occupational disease arising out of and in the course of the performance of their employment.

Emergency enactment of the rule will also assist the Missouri State Department of Health and Senior Services in performing their critical duties of providing for the health and welfare of Missouri citizens.

The scope of this emergency rule is limited to the circumstances creating the emergency and complies with the protections extended in the Missouri and United States Constitutions. The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation believes this emergency rule is fair to all interested persons and parties under the circumstances. This emergency rule was filed April 8, 2020, becomes effective April 22, 2020, and expires February 1, 2021.

  1. A First Responder, defined as a law enforcement officer, firefighter or an emergency medical technician (EMT), as such occupations are defined in Section 287.243, who has contracted or is quarantined for COVID-19, is presumed to have an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of their employment. Such presumption shall include situations where the First Responder is quarantined at the direction of the employer due to suspected COVID-19 exposure, or the display of any COVID-19 symptoms, or receives a presumptive positive COVID-19 test, or receives a COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician, or receives a laboratory–confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
     
  2. The presumption set forth in section (1) shall retroactively apply to all First Responders who otherwise meet the requirements set forth in this emergency rule.
     
  3. A First Responder is not entitled to the presumption in section (1) if a subsequent medical determination establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the First Responder did not actually have COVID-19, or contracted or was quarantined for COVID-19 resulting from exposure that was not related to the First Responder’s employment.
     
  4. The provisions of this emergency rule shall cease to be in effect at the expiration of the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-02 or any successor executive order extending the state of emergency, whichever occurs later, or upon the expiration of this emergency rule as set forth in Chapter 536.
     

AUTHORITY: section 287.650, RSMo 2016. Emergency rule filed April 8, 2020, effective April 22, 2020, expires Feb. 1, 2021.

PUBLIC COST: Due to the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impossibility of predicting the viral infection rates, the potential long-term health effects and the fatality rates of First Responders, the fiscal impact of this emergency rule is unknown.

PRIVATE COST: The overwhelming majority, if not all, of the First Responders covered by this emergency rule are employees of state or local governments. Due to the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impossibility of predicting the viral infection rates, the potential long-term health effects and the fatality rates of First Responders, the fiscal impact of this emergency rule is unknown.

Effective Date February 1, 2021-July 30, 2021

Notice of Operations – COVID-19

Notice of operations – COVID-19
In the interest of your health and safety, and that of employees at the Division of Workers’ Compensation, please click here for updated information concerning meetings and dockets.

April 3 2021, NOTICE OF LIMITED USE OF FAX COMMUNICATIONS

USE OF BOX.COM

April 2, 2020, NOTICE OF CANCELLATIONS – COVID-19 – CHANGE IN OPERATIONS

April 17, 2020, NOTICE OF CANCELLATIONS – COVID-19 – DOCKETING Notice

March 19, 2020, URGENT NOTICE – COVID-19 – CHANGE IN OPERATIONS

Docketing Email information

Filings submitted to the Division:
Attorneys - Claims for Compensation and Answers to Claims for Compensation should be submitted electronically through Box.com. Instructions are available

Local office docketing email chart:

Local Office

Phone

Docketing Email Address

Cape Girardeau

573-290-5757

 CGDocketing@labor.mo.gov

Jefferson City

573-751-4231

 JCDocketing@labor.mo.gov

Joplin

417-629-3032

 JoplinDocketing@labor.mo.gov

Kansas City

816-889-2481

 KCDocketing@labor.mo.gov

Springfield

417-888-4100

 SGFDocketing@labor.mo.gov

St. Charles

636-949-1999

 STCDocketing@labor.mo.gov

St. Joseph

816-387-2275

 STJoeDocketing@labor.mo.gov

St. Louis

314-340-6865

 STLDocketing@labor.mo.gov

  

Discrimination

Mask Requirements and Disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic puts people with chronic health conditions, some people with disabilities, and people over age 60 at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they are infected. Social distancing, staying at home, and wearing face masks or cloth face coverings in public are safety measures to reduce the likelihood of becoming infected and to slow the spread of the disease. Some state and local governments have mandated the use of a face mask when in public spaces.

This guidance offers information about issues with wearing face masks for state and local governments, private businesses, and people with disabilities that prevent them from being able to wear masks and contains links to more detailed information.*

To be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) concerning mask requirements in places of public accommodation, individuals must have a disability that prevents them from being able to wear a face mask in places of public accommodation. A disability is an impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities.

Government agencies and private businesses must make reasonable accommodations to allow people with disabilities access to the goods and services they offer.

Private Business Accommodations

  • Individuals with mask-related disabilities have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations from businesses.
  • If an individual with a mask-related disability is refused a reasonable accommodation by a business, then the individual may file a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.
  • Example potential reasonable accommodations may include allowing:
  • Loose scarves or full face shields (in cities/jurisdictions that allow scarves to be worn instead of masks)
  • Outside service
  • Curbside pickup
  • No-contact delivery
  • Online ordering
  • Employee communicating via phone while shopping
    • Calling or texting for an appointment time when the business is less crowded.

Government Agency Services Accommodations

  • Individuals with mask-related disabilities have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations in the provision of government services.
  • If an individual with a mask-related disability is refused a reasonable accommodation in receiving government services, then the individual may file a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.
  • Example potential reasonable accommodations may include:
  • Allowing loose scarves or full face shields (in cities/jurisdictions that allow scarves to be worn instead of masks)
    • Calling or texting
    • Mailing or emailing
    • Using WebEx, Zoom, or other video conferencing technology.

Clear-Panel Masks

  • For individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, wearing a mask is not an issue based on their hearing, but they may be unable to read the lips of others who wear cloth or disposable face masks.
  • Masks that cover the wearer’s mouth with a clear plastic panel, such as the ClearMask, may eliminate this barrier while maintaining compliance with both face-covering guidelines and anti-discrimination requirements. 
  • Agencies and businesses may wish to consider having a clear-panel mask on hand to more fully serve the members of their communities. 
     

EEOC Resources
All EEOC Resources on COVID-19: eeoc.gov/coronavirus
COVID-19 Ask the EEOC Webinar: 
Video: youtube.com/watch?v=X50G7l41NKg
Transcript: eeoc.gov/transcript-march-27-2020-outreach-webinar

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws: eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws

Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act: eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pandemic-preparedness-workplace-and-americans-disabilities-act

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Coronavirus Resources 
U.S. DOL Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Disability Issues Brief: The ADA and Face Mask Policies
FAQs: The ADA, Small Business and Face Mask Policies
Face Coverings and the ADA- Application under Title III
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Example of Clear-Panel Mask for Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

Filing Complaints

Missouri Commission on Human Rights at 573-751-3325 or mchr@labor.mo.gov.

*Note: The information provided does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in any individual case. Please consult an attorney for legal advice and/or representation.