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Missouri governor announces federal pandemic unemployment compensation program, workers’ compensation for first responders

Jefferson CIty - Mike Parson - 04072020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (WGEM) — Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DOLIR) Division of Employment Security (DES) have received their first operational guidance related to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

The FPUC says that those eligible for at least one dollar of unemployment compensation benefits during the week will receive an additional $600 per week as a federal supplement.

Once the technology updates and procedures are implemented the DES anticipates FPUC payments to begin going out to eligible recipients as early as the week of April 12, 2020.

“COVID-19 has had a serious impact not only on public health, but also our economy. Business operations have been limited, and many people have lost their jobs. Over 100,000 people have filed for unemployment this past week,” Governor Parson said. “This federal assistance is critical to supporting unemployed Missourians and their families during this challenging time.”

The $600 federal supplement will be effective the week beginning March 29, 2020, for those filing their unemployment payment request for that week.

  • Payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020.
  • The last payable week for the $600 supplement will be the week ending July 25, 2020.
  • During the FPUC program period, claimants who are eligible to receive regular unemployment weekly payments will receive the additional $600 FPUC payment.

Under the 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 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.
  • At this point, no federal legislation changes this part of Missouri’s program eligibility for unemployment.

Governor Parson told the public at today’s briefing that he has directed DOLIR to implement an emergency rule that will ensure first-responders who contract COVID-19 are covered through workers' compensation.

“Our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs are tireless public servants who compromise their own safety to ensure the safety of others,” Governor Parson said. “They risk themselves each and every day, and because of their duties, our first responders are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 while on the job.”

Unemployed workers are encouraged to file their unemployment claims online at uinteract.labor.mo.gov 

WGEM

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