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Montana Unemployment Eligibility Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Montana Unemployment Insurance Eligibility


Meeting all of the designated rules for unemployment insurance eligibility in Montana will help to ensure that the claimant is approved for benefits in a smooth and timely fashion. Both initial eligibility for unemployment and eligibility after you have been accepted into the Montana program are determined by these regulations. Some of the determining factors to receive benefits involve how you were separated from your work, your ability to work, your availability to work, your continued seeking employment and your willingness to accept a job for which you are reasonably qualified. An applicant who qualifies for unemployment  will have surely benefitted from knowing all stated requirements.

For more information regarding the qualifications for unemployment, please see the following sections:
•    Separation from work unemployment guidelines in Montana
•    Eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Montana
•    Monetary requirements for unemployment in Montana

Separation from Work Unemployment Guidelines in Montana


One of the many qualifications for unemployment depends on how the applicant became separated from his or her job. The circumstances of the separation will determine whether or when the claimant may receive benefits. Candidates may still be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if no work was available to them through no fault of his or her own. Additionally, if the employer reduced the claimant’s hours due to lack of work, or the separation was not due to misconduct an applicant is eligible to receive unemployment insurance coverage. If a petitioner moved with his or her spouse due to a military reassignment, the reason for separation is valid for the purposes of receiving unemployment. 


Regarding MT eligibility for EDD, if the applicant became unemployed due to a suspension, leave of absence, quitting or discharge, he or she must report this and provide details. The former employer will then be asked about the separation and the applicant’s unemployment registration eligibility will be decided based on federal and/or state law.


If you’ve asked “What are the requirements to get unemployment in MT?” the main factor lies with your separation from work. The first week the former worker is eligible to receive benefits is called the “waiting week.” He or she must still file a weekly payment request and meet all eligibility requirements, but will not get paid for this week. The unemployment insurance payments will commence with the next week that a payment request is submitted. There is only one waiting week per benefit year.

 


Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Benefits in Montana


To meet MT qualifications for unemployment, the applicant must be able, available, and actively seeking work. “Able” means that an applicant is physically and mentally able to work. If the UI petitioner is ill, disabled, or unable to work, this must be reported when filing a weekly payment request.


Unemployment insurance petitioners will be asked each week if they are available to accept work immediately if a job is offered to them. If they are unavailable for any reason, they must report this when they filing a weekly payment request. Examples of this would be if they do not have childcare, transportation, or are experiencing other personal situations that prevent them from working. If the claimant odes not disclose this information, he or she will be denied unemployment.


Recipients of benefits unsure of how to qualify for unemployment in perpetuity must make at least one “work search contact” for every week they request benefits. Work search contact means that the former worker must apply for a specific job they are qualified to perform, willing to accept, and in a location where they are willing to work. As the length of unemployment insurance coverage increases, he or she may have to apply for jobs that are not equal to their previous work in terms of pay, benefits and position type. If the claimant is offered work he or she is are qualified for and able to do while requesting payments, he or she must accept it. After they have requested benefits on their claim for 13 weeks, the claimant must be willing to accept work paying 75 percent of his or her previous wage, but not less than the federal minimum wage.


Additional qualifications for unemployment in MT include:
•    Applications or resumes must be submitted within the calendar week (Sunday to Saturday) for which the former employee requests payments.
•    These applications or resumes must be submitted directly to the employer or authorized agent.
•    Applications cannot be made with the same employer two weeks in a row.
•    The former employee is required to report their work search contact information on the weekly payment request every week. 
•    They also need to keep a complete record of their weekly work searches for three years in case they are selected for an audit.
•    They must register for work online or at their local Job Service office if they live outside of Montana.


A claimant who qualifies for unemployment has two situations in which he ro she may be excused from the weekly work search. One is known as “Job Attached,” which is given to a claimant who meets the department requirements of a verifiable guarantee of returning to employment. If allowed, they are not required to seek work; however, they must still be available to offers of unemployment. The other is “Union Attached,” which means applicants are a member of a union with an exclusive hiring hall, his or her dues are current and he or she is on the out-of-work list.


Eligibility for EDD is also contingent on verification of the claimant’s citizenship or legal-to-work status if they are not a U.S. citizen.


Monetary Requirements for Unemployment in Montana


To be eligible for unemployment in MT, the former worker must also have earned enough wages in their “base period” to be monetarily eligible. The base period includes their wages over a 12-month period. The regular four quarter base period is the first four of the last five full calendar-year quarters, based on when the claim is filed. If the UI petitioner is not eligible during the regular base period, the UI is required to use an “Alternated Base Period” which is the last four completed quarters.


A “Monetary Determination” will be mailed to the former worker with information concerning his or her benefits.