The state of Missouri’s Division of Employment Security (DES) received its first guidance from the Department of Labor, including more information on how to proceed with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program of the CARES Act. FPUC offers an additional $600 per week to those eligible for at least one dollar of unemployment compensation benefits. The DES advises that FPUC payments will begin after technology and procedure updates, which could be as early as the week of April 12, 2020. The additional $600 payments, as well as any implementation costs, are fully funded by the federal government.
The additional $600 federal supplement will be available the week beginning on March 29, 2020 for those filing for benefits that week. Please be aware that payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020. The last week for the additional $600 payment will be the week ending July 25, 2020. During this time period, claimants who are eligible to receive weekly unemployment benefits will receive the additional $600 payment.
Also, Missouri’s regular unemployment insurance program continues to be in effect for all claims filed. Any claimants who are currently employed and then quit will not be eligible for benefits. If an employer offers sick leave and/or other leave to their associates to address COVID-19, then any associate who quits on their own volition will not qualify for benefits. Federal legislation will not impact this part of the state’s eligibility for benefits.
Furthermore, the DES advised that they received an extraordinary amount of calls at their offices. The DES stated that a high number of these calls are unrelated to filing a claim for benefits. Therefore, the DES requests that individuals who have questions read the state’s online FAQs, log into their UInteract account for claim updates, and fully read any claim notice sent to them. These actions will ensure that the DES can fully dedicate their and efforts to those who need to file a new claim and do not have access to internet. Individuals with internet access are strongly encouraged to file claims online at https://www.uinteract.labor.mo.gov at the time they are separated from their employer. UInteract is available 24/7 and is mobile-friendly too. DES updates can be found on the DES’s website, https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus.
Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.
Please reach out to your representative with any questions.