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Montana Unemployment Benefits Extension

Many beneficiaries don’t know how to get an unemployment extension, and ask “what can I do to extend unemployment in Montana?” As a general rule, federal unemployment extension programs are only available during periods of high unemployment. One federal extension program is called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08) which was a one-time legislative effort to assist those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession of 2008. The other is called Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED). However, these two unemployment extension programs are not currently active.

For more information about unemployment compensation extension programs, please see the following sections:

Montana Unemployment Resources

Federal Guidelines for Unemployment Compensation Extensions in Montana

During times when the jobless rate remains high, the United States Congress can vote to extend unemployment benefits for an additional period of time. Unemployment benefits extension programs are available through both the state and federal governments during periods of high unemployment, providing a higher level of economic security to those who are out of work. Extended unemployment insurance benefits can be obtained by workers who have run through the regular unemployment aid. The basic Extended Benefits allows for 13 additional weeks of benefits if a state is experiencing a period of high unemployment. Some states have also initiated a voluntary program to pay an additional seven weeks of extended benefits totaling a maximum of 20 weeks.

Not everyone who qualifies for regular unemployment insurance coverage qualifies for extended benefits. The weekly benefit amount of extended benefits is the same as the amount the recipient receives for regular unemployment compensation, unless otherwise specified.

It is critical to note that applicants cannot apply for extended benefits and initiate the process independently. An unemployment benefits extension can only apply to an applicant MT is experiencing very high rates of unemployment. It is only during these times that the state/federal government will activate these extended benefit programs, and they will actually mail out notifications to the eligible candidates who will receive extended benefits. Otherwise, there is no way to file for unemployment extensions.

Claimants should keep a detailed log of unemployment insurance benefits received to ensure that he or she is awarded all the payments for which he or is eligible. If you are unsure about whether you might be eligible for an unemployment compensation extension, you can always contact your unemployment counselor to check on whether extended benefits are available.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Montana

The formerly active federal unemployment extension program known as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) expired in 2013. The program was created to avoid a widespread economic depression. Petitioners claiming benefits for unemployment during the 2008 recession were granted these benefits in an effort to provide continued economic stimulation. It is not presently known if it will become active again. The Montana labor authorities can supply more details regarding the program.

Depending on the unemployment rates in the country, the extension program included four stages, as follows:

  • Stage 1 EUC08:  20-week maximum unemployment extension
  • Stage 2 EUC08:  14-week maximum unemployment extension
  • Stage 3 EUC08:  13-week maximum unemployment extension
  • Stage 4 EUC08: 6-week maximum unemployment extension

In general, if an applicant consumes all of his or her regular unemployment benefits, he or she will not have to apply for an unemployment benefits extension because the system automatically applies for the eligible candidate. The federal government considers the stimulus in dire situations and does not grant extensions lightly. If you approach the point where your benefits will run out, contact your employment counselor to see what you have to do to possibly receive an unemployment extension.

Federal-State Extended Duration in Montana

Another unemployment extension program is the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED), also called Extended Benefits (EB). This program was developed as a more permanent solution to battle prolonged periods of high unemployment. You can only qualify for EB unemployment benefits extension if you have exhausted all of your regular unemployment benefits. If you qualify for an EB unemployment extension, you will receive additional benefits in the amount of 20 weeks, or 80 percent of the maximum benefit amount on the original unemployment claim, whichever amount is less.

Remember, these programs are only available during high unemployment periods and that an applicant cannot independently initiate the application process for an unemployment benefits extension in Montana. If an applicant is eligible for an unemployment extension, and the program is active and available, the government will notify him or her by mail.