Montana

Montana Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Losing a reliable job is a tremendously overwhelming and upsetting experience. While no one likes to be unemployed, submitting a claim for Montana unemployment insurance benefits provides a supplemental income until you can find work again. These benefits are available only for approved applicants, and they do expire after one year or when you reach the maximum payment amount. They are not intended to be a replacement for your regular income, but they do offer government assistance while you search for a new job.

Your weekly Montana unemployment compensation will be less than the amount you would have received through regular employment. For approved claims unemployment compensation is one percent of total base period wages or 1.9 percent of the two highest calendar quarters during the base period. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $120. In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must file unemployment claims over the phone or online at least once every two weeks. You may file weekly if you wish, but payments are issued bi-weekly.

Montana's counties have been divided into two unemployment service centers. To contact unemployment, you must identify which center serves your county. Then you can call the Helena center at (406) 444-2545 or the Billings center at (406) 247-1000. Claims are processed from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, except hours are limited to 10 am to 4:30 pm on Wednesdays. After your initial claim is approved, you can use the automated telephone system or the online benefits system 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

After you file your unemployment claim, you will receive a Monetary Determination form. This document lists your base period wages, weekly benefit amount, maximum duration of payments, total benefit amount, and the one-year start and end dates. The base period used to determine your compensation for unemployment includes the first four of the previous five completed quarters. For example, if you file a claim for unemployment in November 2011, your base period would include the complete quarters starting July 2010, October 2010, January 2011, and April 2011. Your wages from July 2011 to November 2011 would not be factored into the calculations.

You must continue to meet certain requirements in order to receive your Montana unemployment compensation payments. Payment amounts are reduced if you are able to find supplemental work and stopped if you find full-time employment.


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Montana