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Going back to school in Missouri while collecting unemployment

by Naomi
(O'Fallon MO)

Hi, I am currently collecting unemployment benefits in MO and I am enrolled to start Culinary school this week. I have read on other websites including the MO unemployment site that in order to be able to collect benifits, you have to be approved before hand. I visited a school and was enrolled in a matter of a week. I would only be going to school 3 hrs a day and live only 3 miles from the campus. I would have time to work full time. I'm not sure if I would be denied benefits if I started in the food industry given the fact that it's growing jobs in the industry are readily avaliable... any insight?

Hi Naomi,

Yes and my insight tells me that before enrolling in a school to go through the "state employment office to find out if the school for what you want to do might make you eligible for "state approved training".

Since states differ on unemployment benefits while attending school my advice is simple .. check out the schools you would like to attend and then check out if that school is listed as "state approved training" and follow their procedures.

This is especially true if a state restricts any and all "unapproved school attendance" to being disqualifying.

I have provided the
link to this resource (See Table 5-12), but this is just the beginning for you to investigate and to assure that YOU do not lose your benefits.

The resource is located at DOLETA (United States Department of Labor /Employment and Training Divisiion)

This is what is states next to Missouri in the chart.

Yes, ineligible if there is a
significant restriction on availability.
Some part-time students may be eligible. Does not apply to WIA, Trade Act, and mass layoff students.

WIA and the Trade Act can create exceptions or suspension of the need to look for and apply for work while training.

Aside from that, the "Some part-time students may be eligible" part means you need to be clear about what MO considers to be "suitable work" and what any disqualification for "refusal of suitable work" might be. This is also included iin the resource (Table 5-11).

If you're wondering how they might find out that you're going to school if you don't tell them .. Think about the source of funding for the tuition.

Is it private? Coming out of your savings? Is it a pell grant? Maybe a loan through the government from "financial student aid"?

If the money is a grant or coming from the government even when through a private lending source .. they will know.

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