The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today announced the extension of the work search waiver for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants in Montana.
Yesterday, DLI issued a scheduled email to claimants stating that the work search requirements were going back into effect starting August 23. This email notification was scheduled due to the expiration of the temporary emergency rule regarding work search requirements. Due to ongoing public health and safety considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the work search waiver will be extended. Claimants are asked to disregard the instructions they received in the emailed letter.
“DLI regrets any confusion this may have caused for UI claimants. We will be issuing a follow-up letter alerting claimants to the continued waiver of these requirements,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “We want to do everything we can to continue to support Montana workers who have been economically impacted by this pandemic.”
In addition, the establishment of the new Supplemental Payments for Lost Wages Program, has shifted resources within the Department for the implementation of the new program. DLI has received written guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on implementing the Lost Wages Program and has started programmatic efforts.
“This is a continuously evolving situation, and through the extension of the work search waiver, we know we’re helping Montanans impacted by COVID-19 get back on their feet,” Nordlund said. “Instead of focusing on work search requirements, our Department’s focus must be doing everything we can to distribute the extra $400 payments to Montanans through the newly established program once the federal government provides us with the resources we need to do so.”
Over the week of August 1, 36,670 Montanans filed continued unemployment claims, the most recent week data is available. Claimants that are job-attached are still responsible for staying in contact with their employer and must return to work when requested.
DLI continues to encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for UI to file a claim online at MontanaWorks.gov, or at mtpua.mt.gov for those that fall under thePandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines. Those with technical, eligibility, or benefits questions are encouraged to view the COVID-19 resource website atdli.mt.gov/covid-19. A variety of information for both Montana workers and employers is available, and resources to help claimants navigate the unemployment process.