The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) announced today it has
applied for the Lost Wages Assistance Payments grant through the Federal
Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
this grant will allow DLI to provide an additional $400 per week in assistance
payment to those receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits due to
COVID-related impacts. FEMA disaster relief funds will cover $300 of the new
weekly payment and the other $100 will come from Montana’s allocation of the
federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. Lost Wage Assistance was established
after Congress did not reauthorize the Federal Pandemic Unemployment
Compensation program, which provided an extra $600 payment to eligible UI
will work as quickly as possible once our application is approved to distribute
the extra payments to Montanans,”
Acting DLI Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “The federal government is
requiring states to program a new system, and DLI is already implementing the
necessary changes to get this money out the door.”
for this additional funding, claimants must self-certify that they are
unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
week for which the Lost Wages Assistance payment will be available is UI
benefit week ending August 1. DLI will provide retroactive payments to eligible
claimants from that week forward. The duration of payment is dependent on the
terms of the President’s Memorandum. The payment could end in a matter of
weeks, if FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts new law,
similar to the recently expired Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
program, to supplant the Lost Wages Assistance payment. It will end no later
than December 27, 2020.
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.