People in Missouri who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic are getting some guidance on how to file for unemployment benefits.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations added a COVID-19 question and answer section to its website this week.
It tells workers they will be usually be eligible for unemployment benefits if an employer has shut down or laid workers off due to the pandemic. But if a person is being paid via sick leave, vacation or family medical leave pay, they cannot get unemployment benefits. They are still receiving pay while off work.
The state also said that workers who leave work to stay home to take care of children because of school or daycare closures generally won't qualify for unemployment benefits.
If someone had already exhausted their unemployment benefits for the years, there's no additional benefits due to the coronavirus.
Currently, Missouri limits unemployment benefits to 20 weeks and the maximum weekly check is $320 a week.
The state also has a one-week waiting period before a person can receive an unemployment check, and Democratic lawmakers want that rule waived.
State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, shared other detail about the COVID-19 changes, including that the state removed the job search requirement.
He also said that the state is expected to relax other requirements once it gets more guidance from the federal government.
Important info: When completing unemployment claim, check "COVID-19" box. That removes job search requirement. An auto-populated screen will tell you job search is still required, BUT it's NOT - you will not be penalized. DOL IT will have auto-response corrected by next week. https://t.co/ihoKtyEgYN— Kip Kendrick (@Kip_Kendrick) March 20, 2020
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