1.5 million more laid-off workers seek unemployment benefits

HELENA, Mont. - The Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announced today, June 30, that the state is offering extended benefits for eligible individuals who've exhausted previous unemployment benefits.

Under both state and federal law, extended benefits offers up to 13 weeks of additional benefits those who have already used regular unemployment benefits and pandemic emergency unemployment compensation benefits. 

Extended benefits were triggered by the rise of Montana's insured unemployment rate due to COVID-19. 

Under regeular unemployment insurance, Montanans can receive up to 28 weeks of benefits. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides up to another 13 weeks. 

The extension of benefits is not available to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims for self-employed and other populations expanded under the CARES Act. The last time an extension of benefits was available to Montanans was from February to June in 2010 during the Great Recession. 

When a person is eligible for expanded benefits, they'll see an option to apply on their personal MontanaWorks dashboard. Enrollment isn't automatic, individuals will have to file a claim. Filing an extended benefits claim follows the same process as filling out a regular claim on MontanaWorks. 

DLI encourages anyone who believes they may be eligible for unemployment insurance to file a claim online here or here for those that fall under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines.

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