Montana Unemployment

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File for Unemployment in Montana

The easiest way to file for unemployment is online. You can also file for unemployment by calling the Claims Processing Center or by visiting your local Montana Job Service Center to get help filing your claim.

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

To successfully file for unemployment in Montana online, complete the following steps in order:

  1. Click “Start” on the homepage to begin filing your claim.
  2. Enter your social security number and date of birth and select “Continue”.
  3. If you have not already chosen a PIN, you’ll need to create a four digit PIN when prompted, then enter your mother's maiden name. This information is used for security purposes.
  4. Start a new unemployment insurance claim.
  5. Answer the Initial Filing Questions on this page to help determine the type of claim you are filing and whether you can continue to file your claim online. You might be instructed to contact the Claims Processing Center for assistance with filing your claim.
  6. Click on the “Continue” button. You will not be able to return to this page to change your answers later.
  7. Please read the “Important Information” section on the right side of the next page. Answer the questions on this page to determine your eligibility for benefits. If you are unsure of what some of the terms mean (“seasonal worker”, “self-employment”, “base period”, “job attached”, or “union attached”), click on those terms and you will be shown a definition.
  8. Enter complete information for all the employers you worked for in the past 18 months. Depending on your answers, you may have to provide additional information.
  9. Read the “Important Information” section on the right side of the next page. Your answers to questions on this page will help determine your benefits eligibility.
  10. Choose the occupation that best represents the work you performed in the last 18 months. You must choose an occupation to continue. If you would like further information about each title, select “Details”.
  11. Review the information presented on the summary page.
  12. Clicking on the “Edit” button at the bottom of each section will take you to a page where you can edit your answers.
  13. Finish filing your claim. Read the information on the final page before filing. You can find the effective date of your claim at the top. In the section about your benefit rights and information, click on the link to information you’re required to read, then, click the button “Yes I Agree - File My Claim”.
  14. Read the confirmation page carefully. You could be instructed to contact the unemployment office to provide additional information. Print this page for your records by clicking on the “Print” button.
  15. Documents and Information Needed During Filing

    • Social security number  
    • Your current mailing address, telephone number, and/or email address  
    • Complete name, address and phone number of all employers you

    worked for in the past 18 months

    • If you served in the military during the past 18 months - DD214, Member 4 copy
    • If you are not a U.S. citizen - your alien registration number
    • If you were employed by the federal government in the last 18 months - your SF8 or SF50 form
    • If you belong to a union - the name and local number of your union hall

    Claim Weekly Benefits

    You must file a request for payment at the end of each claim week you want to receive benefit payments for. By filing a claim, you can verify that your employment and wage situation has remained the same or you can report any changes.

    How to Claim Weekly Benefits

    Each benefit week begins on Sunday and ends at midnight the following Saturday. You can file your request for payment for the previous claim week online between 12:01 a.m. Sunday and 11:59 p.m. the following Saturday. You can also request payment and report work hours and earnings by phone, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

    Claim Denials or Discrepancies

    Your unemployment claim could be denied by one of the five claims processing teams for the Montana unemployment office if you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements, if your employer disputes the information you provided, if you provided incorrect information, or if you:

    • Left your job for reasons unrelated to the work
    • Were let go, suspended or fired for misconduct
    • Are on an approved leave of absence
    • Are on strike or involved in a labor union dispute
    • Are not available to work the hours or days normal for your occupation
    • Are not willing to accept the same wage amount your last employer paid you
    • Are self-employed full-time
    • Are currently receiving Workers’ Compensation

    Unemployed? We want to help.

    Appeals Process for Denied Claims

    If you have been denied unemployment benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. You must file your appeal within 10 days from the date of the decision. You may make your appeal online at by mail, fax, or phone. You should keep requesting payments while your appeal is being processed. If the outcome of your appeal allows you to receive benefits, you will only be paid for the weeks you filed on time for.

    If you disagree with the determination, you can request a redetermination. You must provide the reason you disagree and provide any new supporting facts. A second determination will be mailed to all involved parties. If you disagree with the redetermination, you can request a telephone appeal hearing. The Office of Administrative Hearings will notify you of the hearing date and time, and will conduct the hearing. A third decision will be mailed to all concerned parties.

    If you disagree with the appeal hearing decision, you can request a review with the Board of Labor Appeals (BOLA). BOLA will notify you of the review date and time, and will conduct the review. If you disagree with the BOLA decision, you can appeal to District Court. Final appeals can be made to the Montana Supreme Court.

    If you don’t win an appeal, you may be able to requalify for benefits. Requalifying for benefits ends your disqualification or ineligibility. You may requalify to receive benefits if:

    • You provide proof of enough earnings from a new job that is covered by unemployment insurance.
    • You attend three consecutive months of appropriate training.
    • You become able and available for full-time work, and you begin making active work searches.
    • You separated from your employer due to health reasons and you meet specific requirements.

    Office of Appeals Contact Information


    Claims Processing Center:

    1315 East Lockey

    PO Box 8020

    Helena, MT 59604-8020

    Billings - (406) 247 -1000

    TTD/TTY: Relay 711

    Monday - Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm


    Office of Administrative Hearings

    1315 E. Lockey

    P.O. Box 1728

    (406) 444-4662