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  • If you have just lost your job or fear you might do so soon, you may be asking yourself “how long will I have to wait to receive my unemployment benefits?” This article answers that and other questions you might have about Missouri Unemployment Insurance procedures.

    When Will Receive My Benefits?

    From the time you file your initial claim you will have to wait between 18 and 22 days before you receive your first UI check. That is, of course, if the Missouri Labor Departments deems you are eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if there are any irregularities or issues with your claim, your payments could be delayed for several weeks while the Missouri Department of Employment Security assesses your claim.

    Why 18 to 22 days? Aren’t you entitled to your unemployment benefits? Why wait? Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to reduce this waiting period. The Missouri DES (Department of Employment Security) must first check the information you provided in your initial claim. Contact your previous employers and check the particulars of the termination of your last employment.

    Your previous employers may have an issue with your claim and provide information that could invalidate your claim. For example, if you were fired from your last employment due to stealing or some other felony, you will most likely not qualify for unemployment benefits.


    You must also take into consideration your waiting week when waiting for your unemployment benefits. By law, state unemployment offices cannot pay for the first week you file a weekly claim for. Once your initial claim is approved you will receive a confirmation and you must start filing your weekly benefit claims. You will not receive compensation for your first week but will usually start receiving payments the day after you file your second weekly benefit claim.


    Note that UI payments will not arrive the same day every week. The day your receive payment will depend on the method of payment you choose, which day your file your weekly claim and how busy the Tennessee Unemployment Office is. The MO DES will not notify you when your payment is ready. However, you can check the status of your payment at the Missouri’s Unemployment Office website or by calling the telephone numbers below.

    Toll Free: 800-320-2519
    Or locally at:  Jefferson City Unemployment Office: 573-751-9040
    Kansas City Unemployment Office: 816-889-3101
    Springfield Unemployment Office: 417-895-6851
    St. Louis Unemployment Office: 314-340-4950