Filing for unemployment can be a bad idea if you are off work due to a work-related injury. First of all, in order to apply for unemployment, you have to certify to the unemployment folks that you are ready, willing and able to work, which is not true if a doctor has ordered you off work.  This can truly affect your credibility at the hearing of your workers' compensation case.


Second, Missouri Workers Compensation law states that an injured worker is disqualified from receiving temporary total disability benefits during any period of time "in which the claimant applies and receives unemployment compensation."  Section 287.170.3 RSMo.  This means that if the employer eventually accepts your claim, or if you win your claim at hearing, you will not be able to collect temporary total disability benefits during the weeks you also received unemployment benefits.  At the time of this writing (9/20/14), Missouri's maximum unemployment benefit is $320.00 per week. On the other hand, the maximum weekly temporary total disability benefit is 2/3 of your average weekly wage,up to a state maximum $861.04.  You should find out what your weekly unemployment benefit would be versus what your weekly workers' compensation benefit would be before you decide to disqualify yourself from receiving temporary total disability benefits by applying for unemployment.