The Missouri Department of Labor’s (DOLIR’s) Division of Employment Security (DES) has created a claims tracker for claimant ease in identifying their unemployment claim status and has launched a new web portal to help employers protect their accounts against error and fraud.
New Unemployment Claims Tracker Launched
To better assist unemployed workers in understanding the status of their claim, the DES launched a claims tracker within their UInteract system. Much like those used by the IRS to track tax fillings and used by retailers to track orders, the DES tracker provides claimants with a quick visual to show their claim status. The claims tracker appears on a claimant’s homepage once they login at uinteract.labor.mo.gov.
New Web Portal for Reporting Wages Paid Through PPP Loans
Regular Unemployment Insurance is paid through employer taxes. Because of that, Missouri has launched its newest portal for employers to be able to report wages paid to unemployed workers through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to protect employers’ accounts and the Missouri Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund (UCTF).
Employers may report wages paid through PPP directly through the new portal on the labor.mo.gov homepage or by logging into their UInteract account at uinteract.labor.mo.gov. The portal allows employers to report the payment of wages through PPP, to help avoid overpaying those claiming unemployment benefits. Unemployed workers are required to report their earnings weekly. But, with many Missouri businesses receiving loans through PPP to pay their employees, DES reminds unemployed workers that those wages must also be reported to avoid being overpaid.
Unemployed workers who have been back paid wages from their employer for the same time period for which they were requesting unemployment benefits should report their earnings to DES as soon as possible by calling 573-751-4058 and selecting the appropriate option. A specialist will assist claimants in reporting those earnings.
As stewards of Missouri’s UCTF, the DES has the responsibility to collect any overpayments in order to protect the fund balance and the integrity of the unemployment program. The US Department of Labor has made it very clear to states that administer unemployment that the states must also collect any overpayments of the $600 federal supplement.
The DES would like to remind businesses and workers to be mindful that during this time many unemployed workers may be receiving more than their regular earnings through unemployment benefits. If those unemployed workers retroactively receive paychecks from their employers through PPP loans, they most likely will be overpaid and will be required to pay back any unemployment overpayment. To be eligible to receive any future unemployment benefit payments, claimants would have to repay any outstanding overpayments.
Intentionally misreporting or under-reporting earnings, including PPP earnings, to obtain funds under the regular unemployment program or the CARES Act qualifies as fraud. If an individual obtains benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must pay back the benefits received and is subject to criminal prosecution.
For more information about the PPP program and unemployment, refer to questions 16-21 at labor.mo.gov/coronavirus