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Additional unemployment benefits to begin this week

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MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY

HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today announced that Montana has begun paying the additional $300 Unemployment Insurance benefit established through the passage of the federal Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

DLI began paying the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Benefit on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 5, issuing over $3.2 million in FPUC payments. Under the legislation, all eligible claimants will receive the additional $300 per week unemployment payment. FPUC benefit payments are fully federally-funded. The funds are added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. The payment will be available for eligible claims from the UI week ending Jan. 2, 2021, through the week ending March 13, 2021.

Below are the additional major program changes or extensions passed through the Act that Montana is in the process of implementing:

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides unemployment benefits to the self-employed and others affected by COVID-19, will remain active until UI week ending March 13, 2021, with final payments on continued claims ending April 10, 2021. Claimants will now have up to 50 weeks of eligibility.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program now provides an additional 11 weeks of benefits, for a total of up to 24 weeks, for those who have exhausted their UI claims. Initial claims will be accepted through March 13, 2021, with final payments on continued claims ending April 10, 2021.

DLI is in the process of completing all remaining program changes under the Continued Assistance Act. Department staff are diligently working on finishing this programming as soon as possible. The Department will announce by press release, on dli.mt.gov and social media when all programmatic changes under the new Act are complete. DLI is also routinely sending emails to claimants informing them of program changes.

DLI continues to encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for UI to file a claim online at MontanaWorks.gov, or at mtpua.mt.gov for those that fall under the PUA eligibility guidelines. Those with technical, eligibility, or benefits questions are encouraged to view the COVID-19 resource website at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. A variety of information for both Montana workers and employers are available, in addition to resources to help claimants navigate the unemployment process.

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