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Updated : December 17th, 2020

State: Montana (MT)
Phone Number:(406) 444-2545 Helena or (406) 247-1000 Billings to file an Unemployment Compensation Claim (8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday hours are from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.)
Major Towns:Billings, Bozeman, Butte-Silver Bow, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Montana

Montana Unemployment Questions

What if I change my address?
Report any change of address online at or contact the Claims Processing Center. This will prevent a delay in receiving payments or information. The Post Office will not forward any mail from the Unemployment Insurance Division. If the division cannot contact you, benefits will be stopped.

After I file my claim, when should I call the Claims Processing Center?
You should contact us to report.
  • Any job separation that occurs during the claim
  • A suspension from work - paid or unpaid
  • Any job offered or work referral that you do not accept or apply for
  • New self employment
  • Retirement pension not previously reported
  • Any Worker’s Compensation payments received due to wage loss
  • Enrollment in school and any change in school schedule
  • Illness or injury that would prevent you from working or require you to take time off
  • Vacation or leave of absence from work
  • Inability to work or look for work
  • Not being available to work customary hours
  • Refusal to work or look for work
Is information verified?
Yes, information is verified by several different methods to insure only those who are entitled to benefits receive them. It is important to give complete and true information every time you provide information to the Unemployment Insurance Division. Separation information is verified with employers to determine eligibility for benefits. Verification is done in writing or by telephone.
  • Federal law requires all claims to be subject to random audit. If your claim is selected, your job search contacts, earnings and other information in your file will be verified.
  • Employers are required to report any new employees hired. This information is matched against unemployment insurance claims.
Can I cancel my claim?
Yes, if you notify the Claims Processing Center, in writing or by calling, within 10 days from the date you opened your initial claim.

Why can it take so long to get a decision?
The Claims Processing Center investigates each issue on your claim. When the issue involves a job separation, both you and the employer are given up to 8 days to provide any supporting information. When conflicting information is received, the process can take longer. These steps are important to arrive at the right decision and pay benefits correctly.

My employer thinks I should get benefits, why am I not eligible?
Employers do not determine eligibility. The Unemployment Insurance Division reviews information provided by both you and your employer to determine if your separation meets eligibility requirements based on Montana law and rule.

Why do I have to file for benefits every 2 weeks?
Montana pays benefits bi-weekly. This means you request payment 2 weeks at a time, just like submitting a timecard for a paycheck every 2 weeks. For each week you will be asked a series of questions. Your answers to the questions certify that you have met the eligibility requirements for each week.

If I made a mistake when filing my bi-weekly claim what do I do?
If you immediately realize you made an error, you can go back into your claim through or call the IVR and correct your information. If you have questions, call the Claims Processing Center.

Can I go to school and receive benefits?
Possibly, if your school attendance does not interfere with your ability to find and accept full-time work or you are in training approved by the Unemployment Insurance Division. If you did not report this when you filed/reopened your claim, you must call the Claims Processing Center to report the details of your school attendance.

Can I get more money after my benefits run out?
No, once you have been paid your maximum benefit amount(MBA) during a claim year, you must wait until that claim expires before opening a new Montana claim.

Do I need to register for work at the Workforce Service Center?
Yes, you must register for work at the Workforce Service Center unless you are considered job attached or union attached. Workforce Service staff can assist with testing, counseling, job training programs, and job seeking skills.

Can anyone obtain information about my claim or file for my benefits?
No, unless you have given written authority to allow another person to obtain information on your claim. You are the only one who will have access to your claim information and you are the only one who can file for your benefits. Allowing another person to have access to your PIN and file benefits for you is considered fraud and may have legal consequences.

Questions & Answers

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. Rob,

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

  3. 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?

    1. Tyia,

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

  4. 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?

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

  5. 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?

    1. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.?

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

    2. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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?

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

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  14. 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??

    1. 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.

  15. 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!

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

      You will not be eligible.

  16. 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?

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

  18. 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?

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

    1. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

    1. Please consider filing if you quit under hostile conditions.

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

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

  24. 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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