Montana Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Montana, you may be eligible for Montana Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Montana unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Montana workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim on online.
  2. Telephone – File your bi-weekly benefit certification by telephone (M – F 8:00am to 4:30pm) 1-800-207-0667 or 444-9800 in Helena

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

Montana's unemployment benefit week runs from Sunday to Saturday.

Montana unemployment benefits are paid by check or direct deposit. You should expect your first benefit payment in approximately 3 weeks after you have filed your initial claim. You should anticipate your ongoing benefit check payments within 7 days after filing your bi-weekly unemployment benefits certification. You should anticipate your direct deposit benefit payments within 2 business days after filing your bi-weekly unemployment benefits certification.

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Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

Montana workers may be eligible for career assistance and training through a local Montana One-Stop Career Center or online.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division.

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