Missourians told to repay federal unemployment can seek waiver

      The Missouri Department of Labor this month announced a waiver process for those Missourians who received federal unemployment assistance and were then told they had not been eligible for it.  Over the past few days it sent notices to Missourians who may be eligible for such a waiver.

      Any Missourian who believes they could get a waiver is encouraged to visit the Department’s unemployment system website at https://uinteract.labor.mo.gov/benefits/home.do and apply.

Representative J. Eggelston (Photo: Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

      House lawmakers in both parties pushed to have the state refuse to seek repayment of federal unemployment benefits.  Many had heard from constituents that the Department was demanding back money Missourians received while struggling in the midst of the COVID crisis, and typically months after it was already spent.

      Maysville Representative J. Eggleston (R) carried House Bill 1083, which he says would have accomplished the same thing as the Department’s waiver program. 

      “The feds weren’t asking for the money back so it seems silly to hassle Missourians to give back the overpayment money only to turn around and send it back to Washington D.C.,” said Eggleston.

      HB 1083 passed out of the House 157-3 in early March but did not reach the Governor’s desk.

      Lawmakers heard that some Missourians were being told the pay back in excess of $10,000 in federal and state unemployment overpayments.  The Department’s action would relieve the federal overpayment liability, which makes up the vast majority of that.

      “The Department tells me that they cannot do just a blanket forgiveness for all recipients.  Each recipient would have to apply individually, but if they go through the process and apply they can get the federal portion waived and keep that money, which probably amounted to about three-quarters of the money that they got,” said Eggleston. 

      Those who lost their job through no fault of their own and did not receive benefits owing to fraud would be eligible for a waiver.

      “The vast majority of the 47,000 Missourians effected should be eligible.  That’s my understanding,” said Eggleston.

He encourages anyone who, after applying for a waiver, continues to have problems with overpayment liability to contact their state representative or state senator.


Eggleston = (EGG-ull-stun)