MO Supreme Court rules to increase duration of unemployment bene - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO Supreme Court rules to increase duration of unemployment benefits

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

Missouri is no longer the state with one of the lowest duration of unemployment benefits in the nation.

After a ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court, 20 weeks of benefits is now the law - not 13 weeks, as Republican lawmakers had hoped.

Since January, anyone relying on unemployment benefits could only expect it for 13 weeks. Now, they will get almost two months more.

"I've searched high and low." Eric Humphrey said.

Humphrey was a former Noranda employee, who is still looking for a job.

"It's hard to find a job, there's not many jobs out there," Humphrey said. "I've put applications in, after applications, and I haven't gotten any phone calls and I don't know what the deal is."

Executive Director Tonya Vannasdall works at the New Madrid County Family Resource Center. She said an additional seven weeks of unemployment benefits will help not only the people without a job, but businesses too.

"That 7 weeks will not only help them, but the economy, the businesses, the organizations, their family, so it's just a win for everyone I believe," Vannasdall said.

She said the increase in benefits would also help people emotionally.

"We've had a lot of things that have went on here lately, that people have lost that self-esteem... Because people have lost their jobs and so I think for our area it would just build morale and help them move forward," Vannasdall said.

Looking forward, Humphrey said having additional time helps.

"Me, and everybody else that's affected, is in the same shoes that I'm in, that me and my family is in," Humphrey said.

Republicans said having a shorter time period would help the future of unemployment benefits.

The department plans on contacting people about the changes by mail.

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