Unemployment Insurance

  • Visit Montanaworks.gov or call 406-444-2840 to apply for unemployment insurance.
  • On August 8th, President Trump took executive action to supplement regular unemployment insurance with an additional $300 per week. This will go into effect at the request of the Governor.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

*New as of 04/22* I am self employed, where do I apply for unemployment insurance at? 

If you are self employed and seeking unemployment assistance because of the Coronavirus pandemic, please visit: http://dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractors 

I can’t get through to apply for unemployment by phone or website?

The Senator worked very hard to make certain that those folks in Montana are able to get some financial relief.  Keep trying, as you can imagine they are working to catch up to all the applications.  We suggest you try by going to the website www.montanaworks.gov .  You may have to try several times before getting through. If you do not have access to internet the phone lines are available but due to an large number of calls, it may take several times to get through and a very long wait.

What if it takes me several days to get onto the system, will I miss out on all those days of unemployment?

The dates are waived if you have made application, and are eligible your claim will be backdated.

As a Sole Proprietor, Owner/operator that does not pay into the unemployment system will I be eligible?

The Senator worked hard to be certain that sole proprietors, contractors and owner/operators would also be considered for relief during this crisis. As always, eligibility is determined by the State of Montana on a case by case basis, that is dependent upon earnings and time in your current job.  However,  the CARES Act has taken into consideration sole proprietors, owner/operators and self-employed businesses.  You may apply for and be eligible for unemployment.

If I am a Veteran on Disability or retired military can I file for unemployment?

The Senator worked to ensure our veterans who are on disability as well as our retired military who have lost a job due to COVID-19, are able to apply for unemployment Insurance.  As always, eligibility is dependent on your income.

What if I have a full time job and a part time job, or more than one part time job?  Am I eligible?

Eligibility is calculated according to income and time in your job.  You should apply to determine if you are eligible for unemployment and if so what amount you would be eligible to receive.

What if I have not been employed over the past year? Can I file for unemployment?

Eligibility on the time you have worked in the past 12 months along with the amount of our income determines your unemployment amount. If you are not eligible for unemployment, you may still be eligible for the stimulus check.  If you have not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, due to a lack of income or low income, you can go to www.irs.gov and file a 2019 EZ tax return free of charge.

I think once this is over, my employer is going to hire me back.  Will I have to look for a job while I am on unemployment due to the COVID-19 Crisis?

Many of the requirements while this crisis is ongoing have been waived.  Check periodically with the Unemployment Office.  However, at this time the requirement to list the jobs you have applied for on a weekly basis has been waived.