Disaster Declaration allows for unemployment benefits if job was lost due to disaster

Unemployment Benefits Graphic

When President Donald Trump granted a major disaster declaration in 20 Missouri counties, including Livingston, Carroll, and Chariton in the northern Missouri area, that decision allows residents whose jobs were lost or interrupted to apply for up to 36 weeks of disaster unemployment assistance.

The declaration spans from severe storms and flooding from April 29 and on. The Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Employment Security will be accepting applications through August 9, from individuals in eligible counties.

Eligibility will be determined on a week-to-week basis and individuals can only receive benefits for as long as his or her unemployment continues as a result of the disaster.

To be eligible for the benefits, individuals:

  • Must be an unemployed or self-employed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President
  • Must not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state
  • Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

Also eligible to apply for assistance are individuals who:

  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster or,
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster, or
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household, or
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to the closure of a facility by the federal government.

Applicants are required to provide proof that they were employed or self-employed at the time the disaster occurred or were scheduled to begin work when the disaster occurred. This proof of employment must be filed with the initial claim or within 21 days of filling their disaster unemployment assistance claim.

To claim, individuals will need their Social Security Number and the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer. A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs may also be required (self-employed individuals should also provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F).

To file a claim online 24/7 visit uinteract.labor.mo.gov. For assistance with filing a claim, call a Regional Claims Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Missourians impacted by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in all the declared counties can register for additional assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-3362, TTY (800) 462-7585, or register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov.