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VERIFY: What happens to unused unemployment cash in Missouri?

Governor Parson is ending the extra $300 a week in unemployment aid coming from the federal government on June 12th. Can Missouri spend it on something else?

ST. LOUIS — Missouri's governor announced this month he is ending the extra federal pandemic-related unemployment checks and benefits. We verify a claim related to the announcement.

THE QUESTION

Is it true the state of Missouri can spend the federal unemployment funds ending on June 12 on something else?

THE SOURCES

Kelli Jones, spokesperson for Governor Mike Parson

Traci Gleason, spokesperson for the Missouri Budget Project, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that analyzes state budget, tax and economic issues.

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THE ANSWER

False.

The State of Missouri can’t spend the soon-to-be discontinued, federal unemployment funds on something else.

The funds will stay with the federal government.

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WHAT WE FOUND

Missouri’s existing state benefit is up to $320 a week

The federal supplement added $300 per week to that equaling up to $620 a week in unemployment payments.

Jones and Gleason confirmed the federal government distributed the money to the state of Missouri as unemployment claims were filed.

When Missouri stops participating in those supplemental payments, the federal government will stop distributing the funds to the state.

“It's sort of a take it or leave it scenario. Those funds won't otherwise be reallocated in any planned way,” said Gleason.

Both sources say it's highly unlikely the federal government will reallocate the funds to another state for unemployment benefits. 

What can the 5 On Your Side Verify team fact check for you?