The unemployment insurance (UI) program is organized by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. If you have any questions regarding your UI claim, you will need to contact the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division.
In Montana, you must be completely or partially unemployed to qualify for UI benefits. If you are working odd hours or temporary jobs, you will need to report all of your earnings to UI Division. Correspondingly, you will need to prove that you are able to work and available to take on full-time employment if this type of position is offered to you. In the case that you are earning part-time wages, your earnings must be less than 20 percent of your potential weekly benefit amount. Otherwise, $0.50 will be taken for every dollar earned in excess of this limit.
Work Search Requirement
After submitting your initial claim, you will need to register with the Montana Workforce Service Center to ensure that you remain qualified for UI benefits. Moreover, you must prove that you are actively seeking employment by maintaining a work search record. You will need to contact a minimum of one potential employer for every week that you wish to benefit from the UI program. More importantly, you need to be prepared, as this work search log can be requested from you at any time.
Monetary Eligibility Requirement
To determine your monetary eligibility, the earnings from your “base period” will be needed. The base period is a specific 12-month period that consists of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters prior to the quarter in which your claim is filed. Your earnings from this period will be used to determine your weekly and maximum benefit amounts. For instance, your weekly benefit amount will be based on the two quarters in which you earned the most wages (two high quarters). Approximately four percent of the sum of your two high quarters will equal the amount you will be eligible to receive in weekly UI benefits.
In the state of Montana, the maximum amount that you can receive in UI benefits is $320 per week. In terms of duration, the state can provide you with a maximum of 26 weeks of financial support in one benefit year (52 weeks). However, each case is handled on an individual basis. Thus, you can use a benefit estimator to help you determine how much you can receive and for how many weeks you are eligible for UI benefits.
How to File a Claim
As part of the application process, you will need to sign and submit the “Claimant Agreement.” Whether you choose to apply online or by telephone, you will need to mail this agreement to the UI Division before your claim can be processed. If you wish to apply by telephone, you will need to contact the Claims Processing Center at 1-406-444-2545. Before you can start the application process, you will need the following details:
- Social Security Number, address, and telephone number
- Employment history from the last 18 months, which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all your previous employers
- Banking information if you wish to receive your payments through direct deposit