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Kansas and Missouri Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits Extended

kansas and missouri federal pandemic unemployment benefits

Updated May 12, 2021

Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), unemployment benefits are extended for millions of Americans who are without work. The provisions will go a long way to address the ongoing unemployment concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Most notably, the Act extends the additional $300 per week federal pandemic unemployment compensation boost until September 6, 2021. It also makes the first $10,200 in unemployment compensation received in 2020 non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000. 

More specifically, here is how the ARPA changes federal unemployment insurance compensation

  • Extends the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) through September 6, 2021;
  • Increases the maximum amount of time an individual can receive PUA benefits to 79 weeks (86 weeks in high unemployment states) and PEUC benefits to 53 weeks;
  • Provides individuals eligible to receive unemployment benefits through their state between March 14 and September 6, 2021, an additional $300 per week boost as part of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program; and
  • Continues the MEUC weekly amount of $100 per week; and
  • Gives those who received unemployment compensation in 2020 and had a household income under $150,000 tax relief by making the first $10,200 in unemployment compensation tax-free. 

how the American Rescue Plan Act impacts employers

Breaking Down the Different Types of Unemployment Insurance

The ARPA extends multiple unemployment compensation programs listed above, but who is eligible for these programs and what are their benefits? 

1.  Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): The PEUC program provides additional assistance to those individuals who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits. The ARPA extends PEUC benefits through September 6, 2021 and provides benefits for up to 53 weeks.

2.  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): The PUA program provides assistance to unemployed individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance through their state. This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, those with insufficient work history and those who have been disqualified through their state for unemployment insurance.

According to the Department of Labor (DOL), “To qualify for PUA benefits, you must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The ARPA provides up to 79 weeks of PUA benefits and extends the program through September 6, 2021.  In states with high unemployment rates, PUA provides up to 86 weeks of PUA benefits.

3.  Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): The FPUC program initially provided an additional $600 weekly boost to regular state unemployment insurance benefits through the CARES Act. It was extended through the CAA, but at a reduced rate of $300 per week. Under the ARPA, the weekly boost extends through September 6, 2021 at the rate of $300 per week.

4.  Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation: The MEUC program targets freelancers and gig economy workers. In order to qualify for MEUC, individuals must have received at least $5,000 in self-employment income during the most recent tax year and be eligible for at least one dollar in state unemployment insurance benefits during the time period covered by the program. Additionally, individuals must not be receiving PUA benefits. Under the APRA, the MEUC program provides an additional $100 in supplemental benefits and extends through September 6, 2021.

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Benefits vary by state and unemployed individuals should check with their local Department of Labor. Locally, in the State of Kansas and State of Missouri, here are the unemployment compensation benefits being reported as they relate to the ARPA:

State of Kansas

Kansas Update:  As a growing number of states, including Missouri, discontinue federal unemployment benefit programs due to workforce shortages, Governor Kelly has stated, at this time, she does not intend to terminate federal unemployment benefit programs for out-of-work Kansans earlier than planned. Currently, these additional federal benefits would extend through the week ending September 4, 2021.

In the State of Kansas, the unemployment insurance compensation programs under the new Act are as follows:

Regular State Unemployment Insurance

  • Benefits last up to 26 weeks

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • Extends through the week ending September 4, 2021
  • Benefits last up to 53 weeks

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

  • Extended through the week ending September 4, 2021
  • Benefits last up to 79 weeks
  • Apply at www.PUA.GetKansasBenefits.gov 

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

  • Provides an additional $300 per week benefit boost 
  • Available for any claimant who is eligible for at least $1 of an underlying unemployment compensation program
  • No application is necessary
  • Extended through the week ending September 4, 2021

Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA)

According to a March 22, 2021 Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) press release:

  • FEMA extends the Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA) payment period until September 27, 2021
  • KDOL will continue to pay out claimants for weeks that are owed until the program expiration date, Sept. 27, 2021 
  • Even though the payment period has been extended, the application period for the program expired on Dec. 27, 2020. No new applications can be submitted to KDOL.

For more information on unemployment insurance in the State of Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Labor website here or view this chart from KDOL.

State of Missouri

Missouri Update:  On Tuesday, May 11, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced Missouri will stop participating in all six federal pandemic-related unemployment programs effective June 12. Parsons explains the earlier than planned end to federal unemployment benefits as necessary to "address workforce shortages across the state."

Here is the newly updated information regarding federal unemployment insurance benefits in Missouri:

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

  • Provides an additional $300 per week benefit boost 
  • Ends June 12, 2021
  • Subject to federal and state income taxes

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • Ends June 12, 2021
  • If you request payment for the week ending March 13, your payment should process as usual

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • Ends June 12, 2021
  • If you request payment for the week ending March 13, your payment should process as usual

We will continue to monitor this new legislation as it impacts unemployment insurance benefits and provide updates as new information becomes available from the local Department of Labor offices.

Related Reading

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Written by Steve Donovan