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Updated : November 4th, 2022

Montana Unemployment Benefits

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Below we have mentioned eligibility criteria and much more information about unemployment benefits in Montana.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Montana

An applicant must meet several eligibility requirements to qualify for Montana unemployment benefits. The requirements include:

Monetary Eligibility

An applicant must meet monetary eligibility criteria to qualify for UI benefits. The requirements include:

  • The applicant must have worked in the state for the last 12 months
  • The applicant must have the minimum amount of wages as defined by the state in your base period

In Montana, the base period includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week in which you apply for benefits. If you don’t have sufficient wages in your base period, the Department will consider wages in your alternate base period, i.e., the last four completed quarters.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

Another eligibility criteria are the reasons for job separation. Montana unemployment benefits are given only if an applicant loses his or her job through no fault of his or her own. The applicant will be disqualified from receiving benefits if any of the below is the reason for job separation:

  • The applicant was suspended or discharged for misconduct
  • The applicant is on a department-approved leave of absence
  • The applicant was fired for failing in drug and alcohol test
  • The applicant was fired for not adhering to organizational policies or breaking workplace properties
  • The applicant left his or her job for reasons that are not considered a good cause. Some of the reasons considered as good-cause include:
    • Medical reasons
    • Domestic violence
    • Moving out with spouse

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

The applicant must maintain his or her eligibility as long as he or she wishes to collect unemployment benefits in his or her benefit year. The applicant can maintain his or her eligibility in the following ways:

  • Be physically and mentally able to work
  • Be available for work
  • Accept a suitable job offer
  • Record work search activities
  • Register at

In addition, the applicant must also meet work search requirements which include:

  • The applicant must apply for a job by submitting a resume, completing a job application, or attending an interview
  • The applicant must make all work search contacts with a person (or entity) who has hiring authority
  • The applicant must not make work search contacts the same employer for two consecutive weeks unless requested by the employer or applying for different positions
  • The applicant must continue to apply for a job if he or she is working part-time, with no guarantee for full-time work

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In Montana?

To receive UI benefits in Montana, the applicant must submit the following documents:

An applicant can file for Montana unemployment benefits online or by telephone.


This is one of the safest and easiest methods to apply for UI benefits in Montana. The applicant can file online at


The applicant can also file by calling Claims Processing at (406) 444-2545, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Note – The state of Montana has a one week waiting period during which the applicant will not receive unemployment benefits despite applying for them.

How To File Weekly Claims?

The claimant must request payment for each week he or she wishes to receive it. This can be done online at If the claimant fails to file a weekly claim for two consecutive weeks, the claim becomes inactive. The claimant can restart and reactivate the claim online or by calling Claims Processing.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefits Amount

The UI benefits amount in Montana depends on a claimant’s base period wages. The maximum weekly benefit amount a claimant can receive is $552 and minimum is $163.

Benefits Calculator

Use the benefits calculator to determine the estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
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Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things To Know After Filing An Application

There are several aspects that a claimant must know after filing for unemployment benefits.


At times, a claimant may receive a benefit amount more than he or she is entitled to. Unemployment overpayment occurs due to the following reasons:

  • Administrative errors
  • Reversal of previous unemployment decision
  • Misreporting hours worked or earnings
  • Misrepresenting the ability and availability to work
  • Failing to report disability benefits, workers’ compensation, or Social Security payments
  • Making a false statement or willful misrepresentation

If a claimant receives overpayment, he or she should repay it to the Department. If the claimant fails to repay the unemployment overpayment, the Department will withhold a federal income tax return or any lottery winnings to recover the overpayment. It may also file a lien against the claimant’s property.
However, if the claimant received overpayment due to administrative error, then he or she can request a waiver of overpayment. This can be done by calling (406) 444-3783 and asking for a waiver request form.

Overpayment Through Fraud

If the claimant receives overpayment due to fraudulent practice, he or she will have to pay an administrative penalty of 50% of those benefits in addition to repaying the overpaid amount. The claimant may also be disqualified from receiving Montana unemployment benefits for up to 52 weeks and be subject to criminal prosecution.

Benefits Extension

Generally, claimants can collect Montana Unemployment Insurance for up to 28 weeks. However, the Department may provide extended benefits if the state unemployment rate is too. Visit the Department to know more about the extended benefits.

Job Training Assistance

The Job Service offers several services to help unemployed people in finding a new job. Some of their services include:

1. Rapid Response

This program is designed to help unemployed workers to obtain re-employment at the earliest.
Rapid Response activities include:

  • Provision of information and access to available employment and training activities
  • Establishing onsite contact with employee representatives and employers upon notification of a current or mass layoff or projected closure, or in the case of a disaster

2. Dislocated Worker Program

This program provides re-employment and training services to help dislocated workers’ transition from layoff to work.

Know more job training opportunities in MT

Montana Phone Numbers

Find the below-listed phone numbers of unemployment offices in Montana:

Montana Unemployment Office Numbers

Unemployment appeals 406-444-4662
Unemployment fraud hotline (406) 444-0072

Locate your nearest unemployment office

Frequently Asked Question

Q. Can I apply for unemployment benefits if I'm unable to work?
No. You must be able to and available for work to qualify for unemployment benefits in Montana. If you are unable to work due to any injury that was caused at your workplace, file for workers' compensation.
Q. Do I have to prove I am looking for work to receive UI benefits?
Yes. You must document all your work search activities and submit them whenever you are asked to. Failure to do so may result in unemployment disqualification.
Q. What can I do if I applied for unemployment but haven't received any benefits?
File weekly certification if you’ve already applied for unemployment. If you are determined to be eligible for benefits, you will receive back pay for weeks you are certified.

Questions & Answers

  1. I was wondering would I be eligible for benefits if I am still job attached but can’t work because i had to have surgery and have to go through physical therapy and rehab.

    • Dear McKenzie,
      Your situation calls for short-term disability. Unemployment doesn’t situations where you have left your job–usually against your wishes. Now, if you are let go because you can’t do the job because of physical limitations, then you can qualify for unemployment. As for long term disability (SSDI), you need to be disabled for a full year. This puts you in a tough situation where you have to take time off and lose wages, or else quit and look for a new job when you have recovered.


  2. My daughter was told to take the rest of the week off due to the shop she is at being slow at the moment. She was told to report back to work the following Monday. Would she be eligible for job attached unemployment? She normally works 40 hour weeks, was sick Monday and Tuesday, returned to work Wednesday, and was told after only a couple hours that she could take the rest of the week off and return Monday.

    • Neil,

      I am not sure if your daughter will be able to claim for temp. off from work. Please ask her to check with the Unemployment Office.

  3. My company is going to eliminate the night shift that I work and bring all night employees to day shift. I cannot work a day shift due to my school schedule. Can I receive benefits?

    • Rob,

      You may not qualify for voluntary reasons are generally not considered. Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  4. Position elimated due to company restructure. Held a higher management position. Am looking to move out of state after school is out. Am I still required to actively search for employment here for only 2 1/2 months?

    • Tyia,

      Schooling full-time will affect your claims. Please call the Unemployment Office for precise answers to your questions.

  5. My son is giving up his job in California to move to Montana to care for my ill mother (his grandmother). Would he qualify for unemployment?

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  6. I work a full time job and a part time job (minimum of 20 hours a week) to make ends meet. My part-time employer cut my hours down to only fill in. Which in less than 1 hour a week. Am I eligible to file for unemployment on this job?

    • Since you still have the full-time job intact, I am not sure if you are going to be eligible.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  7. I think I need to change my status to job attached. I still have a job–just reduced hours because of the weather and season. I will go back to regular hours when the weather changes this summer. How can I make that change?

  8. I work seasonally in montana in the summer, it is my first season working in montana. I am on disability, and in the return to work program from pa. I had not worked in Pa in 2016 so I am wondering if I can in montana.?

    • Tammy, I work seasonally here in Montana during the Spring, Summer, and Fall, sometimes into the first week or two in December, I get laid off work and job attached because we cannot work doing what I do in the winter time, I am able to file for unemployment because I am “Job attached.” as long as your work ends due to nothing of your own fault you should be able to apply and receive benefits.

    • Not sure if you are eligible to claim from seasonal jobs.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  9. I just graduated from college and am currently looking for a job. My job field is extremely competitive and i am having trouble finding employment. Am i eligible for unemployment while i’m looking for a job to help pay my student loans? Thank you!

    • Well, the base condition for drawing Unemployment Insurance benefits is that you should have been employed in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      I suggest that you speak to the Unemployment Office by calling them to find out more.

  10. I have been working for a company for 6 years. Ownership changed 2 years ago and the new owner immediately changed my job title and put me on salary, although none of my duties changed. For the past 2years I have had to work continuous overtime while only being paid for 40 hours. I do not meet the criteria for being exempt from overtime. I will be filing a wage claim for the two years of unpaid overtime in the near future. Because the new owner did this purposefully so as to not have to pay overtime, once I file the wage claim working there would be intolerable. If I quit can I file for unemployment insurance while looking for other work?

    • You can be eligible to claim under hostile work conditions. I suggest that you check with the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision.

  11. My boyfriend has applied and has been told he is eligible for benefits as he was late off. He follows protocol every week with the questions and applying g for jobs. He has only received one payment from Ui. The rest are pending which are 4 payments now because the ui system says he did not. He has called multiple times and gone in. And they say tell review when they review it. He’s behind on every single bill. He’s working his butt off to try and get a job. How can the’s ui payme ts be moved along. No offense but this is rediculous . Aany information would be helpful..that he hasn’t already done.

    • Please call and speak to the Claims Center or consider the option of visiting the nearest Unemployment Office for an update.

  12. I am working in an environment that I keep hearing that my office manager wants to fire me right now, however neither the office manager or my actual boss has talked to me about why the office manager wants me gone. I am sick of going home in tears every night because I do not know if I have a job or not. I know if I quit, which I think that they are pushing me towards I will not receive any benefits, but I cannot handle the stress of what is going on now.

  13. I work as a travel nurse but am in between jobs waiting for my recruiter to find me another one. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits

  14. If I am laid off at no fault of my own and I take another job for a significantly less amount per hour would I still be eligible for a reduced unemployment benefit amount?

    • You will not be eligible for a reduction in wages.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  15. I work full time and a small part time job; if I am laid off from my FULL time job (of 16 years) will I receive unemployment benefits if I continue to work my part time job until I can find another full time job??

    • You should be able to.

      Please confirm with the authorities by calling the Unemployment Office since each state frames its own rules in this regard.

  16. I was fired from my job for stealing a few coupons (that came out of the machine when a person bought something). I have been there 2 years and 2 months. is there any way to get unemployment at all? severance pay? I did not do this intentionally of course, but it is in the handbook not to steal coupons. I worked the self check out lanes and saw some coupons; didn’t think anything of it; and used a few. Now I am under investigation for it – probably fired. any suggestions? conclusions? helpful anything? how to deal with references at all?
    I was a great employee, got the most certificates for 2 years in a row, etc, customers loved me; quick on cashiering, etc. Please answer, thank!

    • Unfortunately, Unemployment is not available for those who’re fired due to performance issues.

      You will not be eligible.

  17. Hello, My boyfriend sent in an application 2 1/2 weeks ago. They said it had been processed and that last sunday he would go through the process but not get anything because of the grace week and that this Sunday when he filed that he would receive unemployment this wednesday, but nothing came? How long is the wait period?

    • You must have received it by now. The general wait time is 7-10 working days.

      Please chase the Unemployment Office by calling on the phone numbers provided.

  18. I am completely laid off no position and no income. There are two other positions but they did not offer them to me. The background was in reference to whether the injury would effect unemployment.

    • It would have a say.

      Personal reasons such as health issues are generally not considered. To be able to draw, you should be able and available to work.

  19. I was put on unpaid leave from my retail position due to a shoulder injury I can still work and could still do virtually every other position in the store and they put me on leave with no consideration for two other open positions. Will I qualify for unemployment?

  20. now I have filled out this application does that mean my information will be processed or is there something else I need to do

    • If you’ve filed the application, please wait for the processing to happen.

      Please call the claims center if you do not hear from them in the next 7-10 business days.

  21. I recently moved to Wyoming from Montana and we were evicted from our trailer park due to Septic issues and was given a 60 day notice to get off the property or else(have letters to prove) we had no place to go so we were looking for a place and the only place was available was my home town in Wyoming. Yes I did quit my job. Im still currently looking for work and have not found anything yet. Can I apply for unemployment.

  22. I quit my job in Minnesota as I was moving back to Montana. Does this void my eligibility for Unemployment Benefits until I find work again?

  23. when I quit my job I have asked for several breaks an they would ignore me. I have had told them I was having troubles breathing an having chest pains.

    • Please consider filing if you quit under hostile conditions.

      If there is a dispute, you must be able to justify with evidence.

  24. need to change my routeing number for my direct deposit at my bank. Already did my filing for unemplyment on line.

  25. I have been working in Florida for the last year and own a home in Montana. I have been laid off from my job and I’m returning to Montana. Can I apply for unemployment in Montana or through Flordia?

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