Missouri to end all federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits Saturday, June 12th
Tomorrow marks the end of all federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits for Missourians.
On May 11th, Governor Mike Parson directed the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) to notify the U.S. Department of Labor that Missouri will end participation in all federal pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs, starting on Saturday, June 12th at 11:59 pm.
“From conversations with business owners across the state, we know that they are struggling not because of COVID-19 but because of labor shortages resulting from these excessive federal unemployment programs,” Governor Parson said during the initial announcement. “While these benefits provided supplementary financial assistance during the height of COVID-19, they were intended to be temporary, and their continuation has instead worsened the workforce issues we are facing. It's time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”
"Missouri employers cannot get people off the couch and back to work," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. "When people are encouraged by the government to stay home and they receive as much as they would have working, the government erases any incentive to obtain and keep a job. We applaud Governor Parson for taking this bold step to help encourage the unemployed to take some of the record number of good paying jobs that are open right now," he said.
The termination will apply to the following programs:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance;
Emergency Unemployment Relief for Government Entities and Nonprofit Organizations;
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation;
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation;
100 Percent Reimbursement of Short-Time Compensation Benefit Costs Paid Under State Law; and
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.
Under Missouri’s law, claimants are required to perform and report three work search activities per week. Qualified work search activities include filing an application (online or in-person) with an employer or through job posting sites or attending a job fair, job interview, reemployment service, or skills workshop.
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, 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.
"While employers are able to appeal unemployment claims from people that have refused job offers, including calls back to work from layoff, the Missouri Department of Labor is currently so backlogged with appeals that we understand it could be a long time before those are decided," said McCarty. "While the appeal is pending, the claimants are still receiving benefits. This action may help encourage those that are electing not to be employed to find one of the numerous jobs that are available," he said.