HELENA — Montana has begun paying the additional $600 Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit established with the passage of the recent federal stimulus package -- the CARES Act.
According to the state Department of Labor and Industry , Montanans using direct deposit should expect to see the funds within two to three days, if not sooner.
Claimants who receive checks should expect to see their benefits within the week.Claims are not yet being processed for people who are self employed, but the department said it will be possible soon.
Anyone who gets unemployment compensation benefits is eligible for the additional $600 a week stimulus payment. That is in addition to the state weekly payment and will be made from April 4 through July 25.
Programs included in the CARES Act legislation:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) - Provides an additional $600 per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs. This benefit is retroactive for those who had a claim beginning the UI filing week of March 29 through April 4, 2020.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - Allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Provides unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them, including the self-employed.
The department must complete a review of detailed federal guidance on PEUC and PUA before it can implement changes to IT systems to process claims for self-employed Montanans and those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits. DLI will start processing these claims as soon as possible.
DLI is encouraging anyone who believes they may be eligible for these programs to file an Unemployment Insurance claim online at MontanaWorks.gov. Those who already have an active claim, or who have already filed a claim, do not need to refile to be eligible for these benefits.
In addition to the expansion of UI benefits under the CARES Act, Governor Bullock has issued directives to waive the one-week waiting period to minimize the time Montanans await UI benefits, and waived the requirement that claimants search for a job during this time.
DLI is providing daily updates for Montana employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19 here.