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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Federal Aid Boosts Montanans' Unemployment Payments

Montanans receiving unemployment benefits saw a boost in payments last week due to new federal aid.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry reported that it paid out over $20 million in benefits last week, almost twice the $11.8 million it distributed the previous week.

Most of the funds came from federal aid included in the latest federal stimulus package passed at the end of last year. That includes support for gig workers and the self-employed, as well as an additional $300 weekly to those who qualify.

A spokesperson for the department said they plan to open a program soon that will provide an extra $100 per week to certain self-employed workers not receiving other benefits. 

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