Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today announced that the
United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has approved
Montana’s application for the Lost Wages Assistance Payments grant.
allows 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 claimants.
applied for the federal funding to FEMA on August 15 and submitted additional
application materials on August 17. Montana is the 8th state to receive FEMA’s
approval of Lost Wage Assistance and, to date, the only state who applied for
lost wage assistance at the weekly rate of $400. Grants to other states are for
$300, with the required 25% state match coming from aggregate UI benefits paid
by that state rather than, like Montana, separate fund source for additional
$100 weekly payment.
for this additional funding, claimants must self-certify that they are
unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. DLI
will update its
COVID-19 resource website with information on any changes to
the filing process before the program goes into effect.
grateful the Governor and his team was able to quickly assess our state’s
wherewithal to meet the state funding match and then act to ensure that
unemployed Montanans get the maximum benefit from this interim program.”
Acting Commissioner Brenda
“Programming to meet the new requirements is underway and we
should be up and running as soon as possible.”
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 a 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
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
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.