Sen. Hegeman’s Weekly Column, for the Week of July 6: Missouri Returns to Work

From my perspective, our state is slowly getting back to the way of life we knew before the COVID-19 pandemic overtook us. As our state enters the second phase of the governor’s “Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan,” all statewide COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Stores and restaurants are reopening, employees are going back to work and some Missourians are starting to travel again. As our state begins the process of reopening, it also means the return of certain unemployment requirements that were lifted during the pandemic.

Starting this week, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) is requiring people who receive unemployment benefits to actively look for work. This includes those who receive Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). An active work search includes filing out a job application or attending a job fair, job interview, re-employment service or skills workshop.

At the same time, DOLIR has reinstated the one-week waiting period for filing a claim, which means a person who files for unemployment will not see benefits for one week after filing. Once that person is approved to receive benefits, the department will make up the one week’s difference on the claim’s final payment.

The department also reminds everyone to report any earnings and work refusals when they file an unemployment claim. People can learn more about these rules by going to or

COVID-19 has done a lot of damage to our state, but Missourians are strong, and we want to get back to work. We can and we will, it will just take time and patience. As our state moves forward, I have every confidence we will see good news regarding our state’s economy in the weeks to come.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.