DLI begins issuing UI payments to self-employed Montanans

Montana Department of Labor & Industry Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund today announced that Montana has begun issuing payments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed by self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors and others impacted by COVID-19.


“Getting this new system up and running is a big step in providing relief to Montanans out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve been able to provide these benefits just three weeks after receiving federal guidance on how to administer this brand new federal program,” said Nordlund. “We’re committed to ensuring everyone eligible for unemployment assistance receives their benefits as quickly as possible.”


DLI began paying PUA benefits on the evening of Tuesday, April 28, issuing approximately $22M in payments to over 7,000 Montanans over the last two days. Those using direct deposit should expect to see the funds within two to three days, if not sooner. Claimants who receive checks should expect to see their benefits within the week.


DLI launched a new web portal to accept PUA claims on Wednesday, April 22. Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others impacted by COVID-19 can file online at mtpua.mt.gov. With the development of this new application, Montanans can simply fill out their claim, request payment and follow their claim status in one place.


Under the CARES Act legislation, those eligible for PUA benefits, are also eligible for the additional $600 per week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. These payments will be made for eligible weeks beginning the UI week ending April 4 through July 25, 2020.

A phone line is available for individuals without internet access to file their PUA claim, or for those with claim-specific questions at (406) 444-3382. An email address is also available to those with questions at PUAclaims@mt.gov. A resource guide with answers to frequently asked questions, details on the PUA filing process and other resources is available at dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractors.

The Department is in the process of completing system changes to provide the additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular UI benefits, also implemented through the passage of the CARES Act.

DLI is encouraging 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.


In addition to the expansion of UI benefits under the CARES Act, Governor Bullock has issued directives to waive the one-week waiting period to minimize the time Montanans await UI benefits and waived the requirement that claimants search for a job during this time.


DLI is providing daily updates for Montana employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19 at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. Montanans can also follow DLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for timely updates.


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