Gov. Steve Bullock's office issued over 24,000 payments to Montanans impacted by COVID-19 between March 29 and April 5. But the state office has been overwhelmed with all of the unemployment claims, so the Missoula Job Service has stepped in to help.
“We’re getting a lot of folks who have never filed for unemployment that don’t understand the process, and if they can have someone there to help them through, that’s what they need," explained manager Kellyann Deniger.
She told MTN News her office has been receiving about 350 phone calls each day with bulk of them pertaining to unemployment. Montana Department of Labor employees across the state have been trained on unemployment issues, and they’re eager to help any way they can.
“We have turned into an unemployment office because that’s where the need is at the moment,” said Deniger.
The Missoula Job Service can help people get details on unemployment benefits and when that additional money will be received. Help is also available for people who don’t have internet access and need someone to file an unemployment claim for them.
“For the most part we are able to get to everybody the day that they call, and most people are able to receive immediate service,” Deniger said, adding that even if people think they are ineligible, they won’t know for sure until you file a claim.
“We just want to let people know that we’re all in this together and we’re gonna do everything we can to assist them and help them through the process,” said Deniger.
The Missoula Job Service is still offering its normal services including interview prep, job hunting and more.
The building is closed to the public but people can call (406) 728-7060 for information and help.