Coronavirus Update! -- What Montana Residents Need to Know About Unemployment Benefits
As the coronavirus continues to keep businesses closed across the country, the unemployment rate remains high. If you have lost your job in Montana, you can apply for unemployment benefits at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry: Unemployment Insurance Division. Find resources about how unemployment claims relating to COVID-19 will be handled in Montana.
As of mid-May 2021, more than 16 million people were collecting some form of unemployment. This figure includes the millions of employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments have taken to contain it, from orders shutting down nonessential businesses to shelter-in-place restrictions, school closures, and more. It also includes millions of gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people who are collecting unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
As explained below, the federal government has created several pandemic unemployment benefit programs, to provide enhanced benefits for a longer period of time to more people who are out of work. However, some states are beginning to cut off federal benefit programs, beginning on June 12.
Governor Gianforte announced that Montana will end its participation in all of the federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs on June 26, 2021. After that date:
- claimants won't receive additional benefits of $300 per week
- claimants won't receive any additional weeks of benefits once their state benefits run out, and
- benefits will no longer be available to freelancers, gig workers, contractors, and others through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
Montana will also introduce a "return-to-work bonus" program, which will pay $1,200 to certain people who were on unemployment, accepted a job, and have worked for at least four weeks.
If You Are Still Employed: Some states provide paid time off that may be available to you. See Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in Montana to learn more.
Federal and state governments have made changes to their unemployment programs, to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. more...