DLI awaits federal guidance on UI changes under newly passed stimulus bill

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) is awaiting guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to distribute additional stimulus unemployment funds and implement program extensions and changes passed under the federal Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020

In general, the bill extends stimulus Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs passed under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These emergency programs are intended to assist those who have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are the major programs that Montana will implement, or extend, once additional federal guidance is received:

  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides unemployment benefits to the self-employed and others affected by COVID-19 will remain active until UI week ending March 13, 2021, with final payments on continued claims ending April 10, 2021. Claimants will have up to 50 weeks of eligibility.
  • The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will be reinstated the UI week ending January 2, 2021, adding an additional $300 weekly benefit through the UI week ending March 13, 2021.
  • Extending the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, providing an additional 11 weeks, for up to 24 total weeks in additional benefits for those who have exhausted their UI claims. Initial claims will be accepted through March 13, 2021, with final payments on continued claims ending April 10, 2021.

Additional claimant guidance on the stimulus package and what it means for Montanans filing for UI can be found here: http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/continuedassistance.pdf 

The Department will announce by press release, on dli.mt.gov and social media when the first payments under the Act will be issued. DLI will also send emails to current claimants informing them of program changes.

 

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 PUA 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 are available, in addition to resources to help claimants navigate the unemployment process.

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