Roundup Record Tribune & Winnett Times -

Additional 13 Weeks of UI Benefits Now Available for Montanans

 


HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today announced Montanans can now access an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, expanded through the passage of the recent stimulus package, or CARES Act.

“These emergency benefits will bring financial relief to another group of Montanans who have felt the sustained economic impact COVID-19 across our state. By adding the additional 13 weeks of benefits, we’re able to ensure Montanans have the financial support they need during this uncertain time,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “This release completes Montana’s implementation of the federal Cares Act enhanced unemployment compensation programs,”

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of additional benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular UI benefits.

Claimants who currently have exhausted their regular UI must re-file their claim by selecting the green “Access Unemployment Claim Services” button after logging into their account on MontanaWorks.gov. From there, claimants can begin filing by selecting the “File PEUC Extension” button. Any claim that was exhausted or expired after July 1, 2019, may be eligible for the additional 13 weeks of benefits under the program.

Under the CARES Act legislation, those eligible for the extended benefits are also eligible for the additional $600 per week benefit. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. The payments will be made for eligible weeks beginning the UI week ending April 4 through July 25, 2020.

DLI has finished implementing programmatic changes to ensure Montanans can access the three expansions of UI benefits passed through the CARES Act.

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 UI programs.

• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - Allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits.

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Provides unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them, including the self-employed.

“We are working hard to ensure Montanans receive their benefits as quickly as possible,” Nordlund said. “We understand that folks across our state are experiencing a great deal of uncertainty due to COVID-19 and our agency is here to help provide guidance and economic relief to those impacted.”

In addition to the expansion of UI benefits under the CARES Act, Governor Steve 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 encouraging 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 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines.

DLI is providing daily updates for Montana employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19 at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. Montanans can also follow DLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for timely updates.

 

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