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Student in MO collecting Unemployment

I was let go from my job in July, and applied for benefits, in which I was approved. I was already registered for fall 2012 semester at the time.

Nowhere on MO's website does it address students being ineligible for benefits. Because it isnt mentioned on the website, and I had not started yet, I did not make any mention of my education plans when filing the initial claim.

Now, my first day was Thursday, and when filing this week's claim, I did answer yes to the school question, but also indicated I was available for work, and I performed my required work searches.

Is my claim likely to be denied or benefits suspended?


Just a guess, but if you couldn't find anything specific on their website about the treatment of students collecting UI, it's probably because the statutes don't specifically mention students in a provision when discussing A&A (able and available).

However, considering that I think it is wise to err on the side of caution and be proactive about protecting benefits (if you really can't survive without them) the whole issue of avoiding losing benefits and possibly having to repay what you've received, means I think it's any individual's responsibility to be able to prove their availability and willingness to accept, whatever may be deemed suitable work for you by the state.

For the sake of hoping redundancy is a good learning tool .. here's how DOLETA summarizes the issue you're asking about.

They ask two questions:

Disqualified or ineligible while attending school?

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.

Disqualified to leave work to attend school?


In a nutshell .. A person will be disqualified for leaving work to attend school to improve themselves or their future job finding potential. It's considered a personal choice and not attributable to
the employment.

This usually holds true in every state except when a state has precedent decisions that may address anomalies.

However many states don't care, in fact may encourage an unemployed person unable to find suitable work to make themselves suitable by reasonably pursuing some type of education that will increase their odds of finding work!

This is why, in many states, we also see exceptions for WIA, trade act training, or any state approved training and that little doorway for the independent soul that just does this on their own without getting approval from the state.

The doorway is that there not be a significant restriction on your availability for suitable work and sometimes .. even if there may be .. all you have to do is tell the dept. that if it comes down to having to make a choice .. it's a job .. all the way that will trump school.

Now .. all you have to know as far as accepting suitable work that works with your school is whether your state would disqualify you if you told them you're only available for a part-time job in any suitable work.

Getting and keeping unemployment benefits is like peeling an onion .. it can make you cry .. it's just that if you look ahead to the what ifs .. you can make your decisions knowing full well what the consequences might be.

Yes, I suspect that Missouri will be contacting you to doubledown and see if you're really still A&A for suitable Work.

Here's the new 2012 Non-Monetary Chartbook. Lots of changes folks .. and don't forget to check the chart about part time work.

The Possible Answers and issues ..

  • Treatment of Students (Table 5/17)

  • Refusal of Suitable Work (Table 5/16)

  • New this year: Minimum Work Search Requirements (Table 5/15)

  • States that may have a helpful Part-Time worker provision (Table 5/14)

  • Good Luck with the eligibility interview or questionnaire.


Comments for Student in MO collecting Unemployment

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Jul 30, 2014
Denied unemployment benefits while attending school through TRA program in Missouri
by: Anonymous

Lost job to India @ 1 job, after 20 yrs-granted TRA approval, found job 8 mos later b/4 enrolling in classes 4 AOS degree 4 med specialist approved by TRA, let current job know of this 2--2014, while they were training me 4 /3 mos, told 2 work out w/team lead, provided school schedulle 2 team lead. Job wouldn't try 2 work w/me on school hours. Attended sch during day, worked @ night, it started killing my grades & they would schedule me b/4 I would get out of school, making me tardy several times. Took off 4 mid term testing 1st semester, & for sickness some other days-Called in every time & have confirmation #s 4 all but 1 day. Fired 4 misconduct, (attendance). Filed 4 benefits; Received 2 diff. denial letters from company that fired me. One 4 misconduct/attendance, other said 4 failing 2 work all available hours made by employer. Career center gave me 2 options. Draw reg claims or TRA claims, selected TRA. Can they deny my benefits while going 2 school under State TRA in Missouri? I'm confused. Please help. I plan on appealing. Career center told me I didn't have 2 report job searches, they said they would send me weekly forms 2 fill out. ????

Jul 30, 2014
Trade Readjustment Act
by: Chris

I'm pretty sure I would appeal too.

But I'm confused too because the reason you are being denied benefits would be a legitimate denial for the cause of termination being attendance issues and if you were to collect regular UI benefits, those benefits would be charged to that employer who wouldn't work with your school schedule, which you tell me is approved for TRAs (trade adjustment allowance).

Just to say, I would of checked out if a voluntary quit with good cause was possible, before I was fired for misconduct.

TRA is a federally funded program. You can find more detailed information about how it works in the special programs chartbook published by DOLETA each year.

What is confusing me most, however, is that how you separated from your employment is disqualifying if you were warned especially, per employer policy.

Although Missouri doesn't have a precedent index, like NY and CA, I know your basic issue comes up in those states interpretations of law under a voluntary quit of "stop gap" employment.

(For anyone else in Missouri who lost their job to a foreign country, here's the MO brochure on TRA)

And one more thing I'd feel like I would be considering right now, is whether I was entitled to trade act training allowances because I had exhausted regular state/employer paid unemployment benefits for the lack of work claim.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, at this point, but because I worked for employers fighting claims of all sorts when regular benefits were in question .. I'm weak about job training programs and special benefits paid for by the federal government .. usually with the federal unemployment taxes employer pay for in addition to the state unemployment taxes collected to pay for regular UI benefits.

Jan 16, 2015
TRA benefits denied follow up
by: Anonymous

I was granted TRA benefits from a former employer(A), on 12-8-2013. Started work with employer (B) o12-9-13 thru 6-18-2014. Employer B is who fired me. I can understand being denied regular benefits thru employer B but should that eliminate my TRA claim benefits thru Employer A, since t is different from regular unemployment Benefits? Also,if u r fired isn't there a so many week penalty then u still can draw a claim? Career center won't let me file again.

Jan 16, 2015
I don't know much about TRA benefits
by: Chris

I really do not know much about the ins and outs of the Trade Readjustment Act, except it is somehow connected tothose laid off, exhausting regular benefits .. and meant to assist displaced employees of businesses affected by foreign import .. or something along those lines, find a new career, profession, or different locale to actually work again.

EUCs were not renewed, so I'm a little confused as to why you're asking about TRA now .. half a year after you were fired.

Just doesn't make sense .. unless you thought EUCs still existed.

Maybe this pdf might help you find an answer to your question about the length of time you're entitled to a weekly allowance and/or training.

As for how a state requires a misconduct disqualification to be handled .. it is state specific and in most states, requires a return to work to purge the last DQ on a claim.

Disqualifications can be found in the non-monetary chartbook at the USDOL's Comparisons .. I link to the page here.

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