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The Process to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Montana

Recently jobless workers in Montana can apply for federal unemployment benefits from the state. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirement to file a claim, out-of-work employees must continue to recertify for benefits by following the additional qualifications, such as actively searching for new employment.

We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in Montana on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in Montana by reading below, checking out our Montana FAQs, and reading our free guide.

Learn About Unemployment Benefits in Montana

Residents of the state can claim unemployment benefits if they become unemployed or underemployed, such as a reduction in hours. The UI petitioner may work part-time and still be eligible for partial unemployment insurance benefits if they meet all eligibility requirements. Earnings up to 25 percent of the Weekly Benefit Amount do not reduce the payment. After that, the WBA will be reduced by 50 cents for each dollar earned.

The following payments should be reported during the filing of the initial unemployment claim:

  • Separation/severance pay
  • Retirement pay
  • Disability benefits
  • Pension
  • Any benefits from Social Security
  • Earnings from self-employment, sole proprietors and working members of partnerships and LLCs
  • Earnings as agricultural workers

When claiming benefits for unemployment, other deductions may reduce the applicant’s weekly benefit amount:

  • Child support payments
  • Income Tax withholding
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) overpayment
  • Repayment of overpaid benefits

After completing the unemployment application process for benefits in MT, the UI petitioner will be mailed a “Monetary Determination,” which explains details about their unemployment claim. The former worker should review the Monetary Determination for accuracy.

All base period wages should be listed, including wages from any federal, military, or out-of-state employment. Those categories of wages may show as pending. Inaccurate wages could cause the claimant to receive either a benefit underpayment or overpayment.

The federal unemployment benefits claimant needs to contact the Claims Processing Center if he or she believes the wages or employers listed are wrong, missing or otherwise inaccurate.

If the Monetary Determination indicates the applicant is ineligible for unemployment insurance due to a lack of qualifying wages, he or she may request that his or her wages be adjusted from “as paid” to “as earned.” Candidates need to contact the Claims Processing Center to discuss this option.

Learn About Filing a Claim in Montana

To claim unemployment benefits in Montana, the former worker must request benefit payments online for each week he or she wants they want to receive aid.

The UI week commences on a Sunday and ends Saturday at midnight. Wait until after midnight on Mountain Standard Time on Saturday to request payment of benefits for the previous week. The applicant has seven days after the benefit week ending to submit an unemployment claim payment request.

When claiming benefits for unemployment, the UI petitioner will be asked these questions:

  1. Do you want to file for week ending ________?
  2. Did you quit or get fired from a job this week?
  3. Did you take time off or miss scheduled work for any reason this week?
  4. Did you apply for work?
  5. If work had been available, were you physically and mentally able to work?
  6. Were you available to work this week?
  7. Did you attend school or were you in training this week?
  8. Were you referred for a job interview by Workforce Services (Job Service) this week?
  9. Did you refuse any work during the week?
  10. Enter the total number of hours you worked this week. If the claimant reports hours, they will be asked to enter total earnings for hours worked this week even if they have not been paid yet. Include tips and room and board if it is part of the salary.
  11. Enter total earnings for paid time off this week.
  12. Enter total earnings for being on all this week.
  13. Enter the amount of bonus pay received this week.
  14. Enter the amount of commission pay received this week.
  15. Will you be paid for a holiday that occurred this week?

If a recipient does not file the unemployment benefits claim weekly, he or she will stop receiving payments. The claim becomes inactive after two weeks, and the petitioner will no longer meet the qualifications for unemployment.

However, an applicant must respond to all requests for information from the Department of Labor even if the claim is inactive. Not responding could result in a benefit overpayment or denial or delay future payments, should the recipient opt to reopen the unemployment claim.

If the former employee wants to request benefit payments again, he or she must reactivate the unemployment benefits claim. Reactivating the claim can be done online or by calling the Claims Processing Center.

How Long You May Receive Benefits in Montana

The determination letter will relay the applicant’s effective start and end dates, which is a one-year period when benefits are available. A claimant’s unemployment insurance coverage will end after he or she has exhausted all available funds or after the year has passed, whichever comes first. Depending on the state of the national economy, a beneficiary may be eligible to receive an unemployment benefits extension.

Learn About Montana Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes

There is no Montana state tax on benefits, but unemployment benefits are taxable by the federal government. The claimant can have 10 percent withheld from his or her weekly payment for tax purposes. This option is available online or in documents mailed to the claimant.

In January, UI beneficiaries will be mailed Form 1099-G, which reports benefits paid to the claimant in the previous calendar year.

Last Updated: October 11, 2022