Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 21. Benefit Eligibility

General Benefit Eligibility Conditions

39-51-2104. General benefit eligibility conditions. (1) An unemployed individual, including an alien entitled to benefits under the provisions of 39-51-2110, is eligible to receive benefits for any week of total unemployment within the individual's benefit year only if the department finds that the individual:

(a) has filed a claim and has filed continued claims in accordance with rules that the department may prescribe;

(b) is able to work, is available for work, and is seeking work. An individual may not place limitations on the individual's availability that would constitute a withdrawal from the labor market. A claimant is not considered ineligible in any week of unemployment for failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection if the failure is because of an illness or disability that occurs after the claimant has filed or reopened a claim for unemployment insurance benefits and suitable work has not been offered to the claimant after the beginning of the illness or disability.

(c) prior to the first week for which the individual is paid benefits, has been totally unemployed for a waiting period of 1 week. A week is not counted as a week of total unemployment for the purposes of this subsection:

(i) if benefits have been paid for that week;

(ii) unless the individual was eligible for benefits during the week;

(iii) unless it occurs within the benefit year of the claimant;

(iv) unless it occurs after benefits first could become payable to any individual under this chapter.

(d) has registered for work with the individual's local job service office unless the individual is excused by department rule from registering for work.

(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2)(b), if an individual is unavailable for work for less than 3 days within a week for which work is available, the individual must be paid the weekly benefit amount reduced by one-fifth of that amount for each day or part of a day that the individual is unavailable for work.

(b) If the individual is unavailable for work for 3 days or more, or part of each of 3 days or more, within a week for which work is available, the individual must be considered unavailable for work for the entire week and is not eligible to receive benefits for the week.

(3) (a) The department shall establish a profiling system to identify individuals who are likely to exhaust their regular benefits and who are in need of reemployment services.

(b) In addition to the requirements listed in subsection (1), an individual identified pursuant to subsection (3)(a) may be required to participate in reemployment services in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

(c) The requirement for participation in reemployment services may be waived if the department determines that:

(i) the individual has completed reemployment services; or

(ii) the individual's failure to participate in reemployment services is justifiable.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 137, L. 1937; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 137, L. 1939; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 164, L. 1941; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 233, L. 1943; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 190, L. 1945; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 191, L. 1953; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 238, L. 1955; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 140, L. 1957; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 156, L. 1961; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 390, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 323, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 368, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 428, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 87-105(a) thru (d); amd. Sec. 47, Ch. 397, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 349, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 125, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 371, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 404, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 195, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 466, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 88, L. 2009.