Additional $600 Unemployment Benefit Ends July 25; Other CARES Act Benefits Continue through December

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today reminds Montanans that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program ends the week of July 25, 2020. Established through the passage of the federal CARES Act, the temporary program provided an additional $600 per week to anyone receiving benefits under regular or pandemic-enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. 

The CARES Act specifies a July 31 termination date for FPUC payments. However, since a UI benefit week in Montana runs from Sunday to Saturday, the last full week to which the FPUC enhancement applies is benefit week ending July 25. After that date, regular UI weekly benefit amounts will be based on state law, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments will be based on other requirements in the CARES Act.

“Of the over $700 million in UI benefits paid since the beginning of the pandemic, roughly two-thirds of that amount is attributable to the extra $600 weekly FPUC payment. The elimination of the FPUC payment will definitely be felt in households of jobless workers and across their communities. We will be closely monitoring developments at the federal level when Congress returns from recess next week.” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “It is possible the FPUC payment could be extended at a lower amount or Congress could take a completely different tack on how best to continue support unemployed workers and the economy, in general, considering the COVID-19 numbers being reported across the country.”

Other provisions of the CARES Act do not expire until December 26, 2020. This includes Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extra 13 weeks of benefits to persons who exhaust traditional benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides up to 46 weeks of benefits to those who are self-employed and some others who have not traditionally qualified for state benefits. Also, Montana is offering an additional 13 weeks of Extended Benefits for eligible individuals who have exhausted both their regular UI benefits and PEUC benefits.

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 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 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 is available and resources to help claimants navigate the unemployment process.

About the Montana Department of Labor & Industry

DLI exists to promote and protect the well-being of Montana’s workers, employers, and citizens; and to uphold their rights and responsibilities. DLI provides a variety of services to support this mission, including Unemployment Insurance, Workforce Development, Labor Market Information, Employment Relations, Safety and Health, Professional Licensing, Building and Commercial Measurement, and Weights and Measures. To learn more about Department services,  visit dli.mt.gov. Montanans can also follow DLI on   FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn for timely updates. 


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