MISSOURI, USA — If you are a self-employed worker who was denied unemployment assistance under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Missouri Department of Labor has new guidance that may help you.
With the new law passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, self-employed workers now qualify for unemployment assistance.
According to the department's website, certain aspects of the state's unemployment application process have not been updated to reflect the changes in the law. As a result, self-employed workers filing would get a denial saying they were "not an insured worker."
As a workaround, the department says "unless you worked for another employer in the past 18 months, if you are self-employed, unemployed, and wish to file a claim currently, please be sure to check the box that you have no wages in any state."
The department said when the application process is updated to reflect the changes for self-employed workers, those workers will be required to provide additional information and documentation.
The new law also includes assistance for people who lack sufficient work history and people who previously exhausted their unemployment benefits. The new benefits come with a more complex application process, which will be reflected in the Missouri online application portal soon.
For answers to more frequently asked questions, visit the Missouri Department of Labor's coronavirus webpage.