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Important Information for Self-Employed and Gig-Workers

The following information is from a webinar on 4/22/20 by Tim Mooney of the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA).  These new unemployment assistance programs are a result of the federal CARES Act.  State agencies are working very quickly to create and activate processes by which to get this assistance to the citizens of Missouri.  As a result, some of this information changes daily.

Please refer to for frequent revisions.

To file an unemployment claim go to

The first photo below shows a screenshot of the online unemployment application. Apologies for the poor quality of the photo.  Nonetheless, it shows some important questions to look for when filing an unemployment claim.

Question #4. 

IF YOU RECEIVED A W-2 from an employer, check the box(es) for state(s) in which you have worked.

IF YOU ONLY RECEIVE 1099s, meaning you solely worked as an independent contractor, check the box that says “NONE”.

“Self-employed individuals or contractors filing unemployment claims should indicate “none” when asked for states in which they have worked, unless they worked for an employer in the last 18 months.”

Question #9. (at the bottom of the screenshot).

The following list will give prime examples of those whose work  has been adversely effected by COVID-19.  If you fall within any of these, use this information in the box to the right when describing why you are filing this unemployment claim.

Get your stuff together!  After you file for unemployment, the Department of Employment Security (DES) will  contact you for supporting documentation of proof of earnings, such as copies of income tax returns with related attached Schedules and 1099s.  You will also be asked for proof of employment such as business cards, advertisements, telephone listings, business licenses.  Also “be ready with work history with dates, paystubs, bank records, contracts, cancellation notices/emails and anything else that will demonstrate your lost income.”

More Resources:

All offices are fielding thousands of calls at this time.  Be prepared for long wait times.

Missouri Job Center in Park Hills  573-518-2431

Claimants Email:

Jefferson City:  (573) 751-9040

Kansas City:  (816) 889-3101

St. Louis (314) 340-4950

Springfield (417) 895-6851

If DES is not providing answers in a timely fashion, consider contacting your state representatives or senators:

Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri Senate


Disclaimer:  This information is not directly from the DES.  Refer to the website listed above for more information.