Montana Public Radio

Unemployment Payments Extend To Self-Employed, Contract And Gig Workers In Montana

May 1, 2020
Originally published on May 1, 2020 3:12 pm

Montanans who are self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers impacted by COVID-19 are now receiving unemployment payments.

Brenda Nordlund, acting commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, said her team has sent out approximately $22 million in payments to over 7,000 Montanans since Tuesday evening.

“So that is a big success, and there will be more claims to come as we continue to work through the claims that have been filed there,” Nordlund said.

Nordlund said more than 9,000 self-employed Montanans have filed since April 22nd.

People using direct deposit should expect to see the funds within two to three days if not sooner. People who receive checks should expect to see their benefits within the week.

Self-employed workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act also qualify for the additional $600 per week stimulus payment.

Claims can be submitted online at mtpua.mt.gov. or by calling (406) 444-3382. Details on the filing process and other resources is available at dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractors.

From March 15 through April 25, more than 96,000 Montanans filed new unemployment claims with the Department of Labor and Industry.

The agency is asking employers to sign up for accounts that would give them online, next-day information on claims filed by their employees to help the agency process claims more quickly and catch fraudulent claims before paying them.

In Wyoming, another 2,886 people filed for unemployment benefits last week. That raises the total number of unemployment claims in the state to nearly 30,000 people since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in mid-March.

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