Putting Monanans Back to Work - The Return to Work Bonus Initiative

Employers across Montana are struggling to fill job openings, and nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage. Despite our unemployment rate returning to near pre-pandemic lows, there are 10,000 fewer Montanans in our workforce today than there were at the start of last year.

With pandemic-related unemployment benefits set to end soon and businesses in every Montana industry urgently seeking talent to hire, Governor Gianforte has announced the launch of the Montana Return-to-Work Bonus Initiative.

Using federal COVID-19 stimulus funds designated for Montana, the Return-to-Work Bonus Initiative will help remedy Montana’s immediate need for workers by incentivizing workers to rejoin the labor force, accept employment and remain employed. For specifics about the initiative, click here.

Return to Work Application

The one-time $1200 Return-To-Work Bonus payments are available for individuals who meet ALL the following criteria:

  • Name is on the active unemployment eligibility list as of May 1, 2021.
  • Accept an offer of employment in any industry.
  • You obtain employment and work for at least four (4) weeks for a single employer.
  • Employment must be obtained from May 4, 2021 through October 31, 2021.
Last updated 05/21/21

 

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) will contact you with an offer informing you that you are considered eligible. Continue to watch MontanaWorks.Gov for more information, or you can contact DLIRTW@mt.gov.
Last updated 05/21/21

Individuals that fill out The Return-to-Work Initiative application will be contacted by The Montana Department of Labor & Industry with information about the steps that they will need to follow to receive their bonus payment. Individuals may contact the Return-to-Work Initiative by emailing DLIRTW@MT.gov if they have questions about their specific situation.
Last updated 05/21/21

Only individuals that begin employment on or after May 4, 2021 are eligible for the bonus payment.
Last updated 05/21/21

Only individuals with active unemployment claims as of May 1, 2021 will be eligible for the Return-to-Work Initiative Bonus payment. Individuals who had otherwise been out of the labor force (retired, not working but not receiving UI benefits, students, etc) will not be eligible. This is in part to help prevent fraud and abuse.
Last updated 05/21/21

Eligibility requirements state that you must maintain four (4) consecutive weeks of employment, this includes full or part-time employment.
Last updated 05/21/21

Only individuals with an active unemployment benefits claim as of May 1, 2021 are eligible for the payment. The purpose of the Return-to-Work Initiative is to provide Montanans with an incentive to return to work, since extended unemployment benefits will be ending June 27, 2021.
Last updated 05/21/21

Individuals can contact DLIRTW@MT.gov if they have additional questions.
Last updated 05/07/21

Eligible individuals will need to fill out an online application and provide paychecks or paystubs for at least four (4) consecutive weeks of employment.
Last updated 05/21/21

Yes. You will be responsible for filing and accounting for any taxes associated with the bonus. You will also receive a 1099-G for the bonus at the end of the year.
Last updated 05/07/21

Visit and continue to check back at MontanaWorks.gov/RTW. This is the primary information site and will be continuously updated with the latest information.
Last updated 05/07/21

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