DLI finishes UI stimulus program extensions, is participating in MEUC program

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today announced that Montana has begun paying out Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program extensions passed through the federal Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

Below are the additional major program changes or extensions passed through the Act that Montana has finished implementing:

  • 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. Eligible claimants will now have up to 50 weeks of eligibility.
  • The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program now provides up to an additional 11 weeks of benefits, for a total of up to 24 weeks, for those eligible 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.
  • The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provides an additional $300 weekly unemployment payment to eligible claimants. The payment is available from the UI week ending January 2, 2021, through the week ending March 13, 2021.

PEUC, PUA and FPUC benefits are 100% federally funded.

In addition, Montana is participating in the new Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, created under the federal Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 . MEUC is an optional program for states to administer. The program provides specific individuals with an additional $100 Unemployment Insurance (UI) payment each week. To receive this additional weekly payment, eligible individuals must:

  • Have received at least $5,000 in annual self-employment income in the most recent taxable year prior to their regular unemployment compensation application.
  • Be receiving an unemployment benefit other than Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
  • Submit documentation substantiating their self-employment income. 

This program will be payable from the UI week ending January 2, 2021, through the UI week ending March 13, 2021.  DLI is in the process of implementing programming changes to accept applications for this new program. Eligible claimants will receive backdated payments once software changes are complete.  The Department will announce by press release, on dli.mt.gov, and social media when MEUC programming is complete.

MEUC marks the ninth new stimulus UI program DLI has launched since March, alongside numerous additional changes to existing programs to help claimants access benefits during the ongoing pandemic. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, DLI has issued over $1.1B in benefits, providing economic relief to Montanans and their surrounding communities.

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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