Return to Work Bonus

The Return to Work Bonus is a one-time $1200 incentive for unemployed individuals who meet ALL of the following criteria:

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

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

Why a Return-to-Work Bonus?

Montana needs workers, and we need them fast. Restaurants and retailers are short-staffed, manufacturers have had to curtail shifts and slow production lines, and small businesses have had to shut their doors one or more days a week to compensate for job openings they can’t fill.

We have a world-class talent pool right here in Montana, but due to the pandemic and the vast expansion in unemployment benefits, many Montanans have been able to make as much or more by staying home and collecting benefits as they could by returning to work.

Those benefits will be ending June 26th, and with the Return-to-Work Bonus Initiative, Montana is making it even more rewarding to find and keep employment. The result will be a more robust workforce and a stronger, more prosperous economy that works better for all Montanans.

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