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