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Governor Nixon Signs Legislation Providing Extended Benefits To Unemployed Missourians

St. Louis, MO – On Friday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature that will extend benefits for unemployed Missourians. An estimated 35,000 Missourians could benefit from this extension. Approximately 15,000 Missourians will exhaust their current unemployment benefits between April and June of 2009 alone.

Missouri workers currently qualify for a maximum of fifty-nine weeks of unemployment compensation drawn from combined state and federal Unemployment Insurance funds. Due to the recession, many workers have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, but have still been unable to find employment.

The new law allows workers to collect extended benefits in states with high unemployment levels. It provides thirteen more weeks when the state unemployment rate exceeds 6.5 percent and an additional seven weeks when unemployment exceeds 8 percent. Missouri’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in April, the most recent data available.

The bill passed by the Missouri Legislature and signed by Governor Nixon allows the state to take advantage of federal funds to provide benefits to Missouri’s unemployed workers. It could bring as much as sixty-five million dollars in federal support.

Persons currently unemployed, or those whose benefits have expired since February 22, are eligible for extended benefits and will receive a letter from the Missouri Department of Labor. For assistance in filing their claims, Missourians can contact the Department’s regional claim center in their area. Contact information for the Regional Claim Centers (RCC) is below, and can also be found at: benefits/faq.htm#return1.

Jefferson City RCC
Local Calling Area: 573-751-9040
Outside Local Calling Area: 800-320-2519

Springfield RCC
Local Calling Area: 417-895-6851
Outside Local Calling Area: 800-320-2519

Kansas City RCC
Local Calling Area: 816-889-3101
Outside Local Calling Area: 800-320-2519

St. Louis RCC
Local Calling Area: 314-340-4950
Outside Local Calling Area: 800-320-2519

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