April 19, 2014

MO unemployment checks expected in 1-5 weeks following federal ‘extension’

President Obama signed a bill Friday that has renewed the unemployment extensions it’s gradually created throughout the recession.

Amy Susan with Missouri’s Department of Labor’s Division of Employment Security says they’ll start getting payments out to eligible Missourians soon.

“Anywhere between 1 to 5 weeks. 1 in an easy case scenario, 5 meaning the complexity of the claim. So for those individuals who exhausted any time between June 2nd to date, if they continue to file their claim, those should be somewhat easy to take care of and start processing those claims and paying those benefits back to that date. Some of those folks who did not continue to claim their weekly benefits after they exhausted, we’re going to have to work with them and backdate their claim,” Susan said.

The legislation does not actually ‘extend’ unemployment benefits, as the federal government has done four times during the last two years. People still won’t be able to get benefits any further than the previous 99 week limit, it just allows them to continue to move up through the ‘4-tier’ extension system the government has set up.

“This does not open up another tier, it just opens up another door for the individuals who have exhausted or will exhaust from here to Nov. 30th to partake in additional benefits that have already been provided by previous federal legislation,” Susan said.

It comes just in time for some Missourians.

“From June 2nd to date, we’ve seen approximately just over 60,000 individuals exhaust benefits. Around 11,000 of those individuals exhausted all possible benefits, which means these are the ‘99ers.’ These folks will not receive any additional benefits. Approximately 50,000 individuals exhausted benefits on one of the various tiers and they will, due to this legislation extension, be able to partake in the additional benefits and transition on to that next tier until they exhaust,” Susan said.

Susan says they’ll work diligently to make sure claims are processed as quickly as possible.

“Continue filing your weekly certification claim. If you have not, we will work with you. But what we’ll be doing is identifying those who we’ve deemed eligible. We will be sending them an informational letter with instructions on how to apply. Look for that in the mail,” Susan said.

She also recommends checking the Department’s website for updates.