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Montana Unemployment Insurance Benefits Nearly Double Over Last Week

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry issued 38,584 unemployment insurance payments last week, nearly double the 20,308 it issued the week before. The department paid over $12.5 million in unemployment benefits last week. 

A department spokesperson says the bump in payments is mainly due to a new program which adds an additional $200 to unemployment benefits. Gov. Steve Bullock last month allocated up to $25 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds for the additional payments. The boost in payments ends December 19th.

The department began recalling some unemployment benefits last month for a program designed for gig workers, the self-employed and other groups not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. It says it is currently pursuing overpayments of 907 fully denied claims. 

Unemployment claims peaked to historical levels in April. The number of Montanans filing an unemployment claim declined over the year, but remains above levels reported in recent years.

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