As the effects of the coronavirus continue to spread across the country, many people are finding themselves out of work or dealing with reduced hours. This is resulting in a lack of wages that many rely on to pay rent and care for their families.
If you find yourself in a position where you are not able to work while the threat of COVID-19 remains, you may be eligible for state financial support. Here’s what you can do in Missouri and Kansas.
Filing for unemployment benefits in Missouri
In Missouri, workers who have lost their job due to no fault of their own or by a disaster outside of their control can file for unemployment benefits. Those seeking unemployment can apply at anytime by following this link.
Missouri offers up to 20 weeks of unemployment benefits, paying up to $320 per week based on previous income.
Workers in industries that have cut back hours can even file for partial unemployment to make back some of their diminished income. Those people can see if they are eligible for partial unemployment benefits by following this link.
Those who qualify for these benefits will need to file weekly with updated information on job searches. Find out if you are eligible for Missouri benefits, here.
Filing for unemployment benefits in Kansas
In Kansas, workers who have lost their job due to no fault of their own can file for unemployment benefits, which can be found by following this link. The state government has an online Q&A document specifically related to not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kansas offers up to 16 weeks of unemployment. Those who are eligible can receive anywhere from $122-$488 per week based on previous income.
Workers who have seen diminished hours as a result of the pandemic can still file for unemployment as long as weekly wages do not exceed the weekly benefit amount.
Those who qualify for these benefits will need to file weekly with updated information on job searches. Click here for a full online unemployment guide for the state of Kansas.
For more resources on the state’s labor response to the coronavirus, click or tap here.
You will not be evicted in Kansas
On March 17, Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order banning mortgage foreclosures and both business and residential evictions. This response came after she asked several types of businesses to close down to prevent the spread of the sickness.
The order will keep people in their homes, even if they can’t pay rent due to lost work, until May 1 or until the State of Disaster Emergency expires.
There has been no such announcement for people living in Missouri.
Which businesses have been affected?
In Kansas City, KCK, St. Louis and several other counties and cities, government leaders have directed all bars and restaurants to stop in-house dining. Exceptions have been made for delivery and carry-out. Columbia Mayor Brian Treece has ordered reduced capacity.
Both Kansas and Missouri have temporarily closed casinos. Movie theaters have closed. Similarly, most concerts, productions and events have been cancelled or rescheduled, as the CDC has recommended postponing gatherings of more than 10 people. See a full list of cancellations and changes, here.
All sporting events have been put on hold. The MLB has canceled Spring Training and pushed back the start of the season several weeks.
Most recently, three major car companies — General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, announced their factories will be temporarily closing.
This has affected workers in the manufacturing, sports, entertainment and events business, as well as those in the food and drink industry.
What’s being done at the federal level?
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that most Americans — anyone making less than $1 million or companies making less than $10 million — will get an extra 90 days to pay their taxes with no penalty.
President Donald Trump has also announced he wants the government to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks, saying they could be worth $1,000. It’s unclear how officials will proceed with this task.
The White House on Tuesday asked Congress to approve a massive emergency rescue package to help businesses as well as taxpayers cope with the economic crisis