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At the end of July (July 25 in Montana, July 31 elsewhere) a significant benefit extended to independent contractors will end.  The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) which has provided an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will terminate. Even though many independent contractors have been able to return to work fully, many have not or have found that they have decidedly less work. The loss of this additional income will prove critical to many who work as independent contractors, the self-employed, gig workers, and the like.  

First and foremost, if you are in crisis and need support, ​call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) ​Or text “MT” to 741741 If you should need assistance in navigating what might be best fit for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. Feel confident that every conversation is confidential. 406-838-3507‬ or info@guiderelieffund.com

Rent Relief: Montana Housing’s Emergency Housing Assistance program provides rent, security deposit, mortgage payment, and/ or hazard insurance assistance as-needed for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income loss as a result of COVID-19. https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist Northwestern Energy: If you're concerned about your ability to pay your bill, please contact them right away.

File For Unemployment If you, as an independent contractor, have not yet filed for unemployment, a site has been created specifically for those who work as independent contractors, self-employed, or gig workers.  Before you file, have the following items prepared:

If you have filed for unemployment and haven't received your benefits and/or are unsuccessful in speaking with someone at Montana Works or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), we encourage you to call or email the Montana Citizens' Advocate.  Their job is in the name - they work to advocate on behalf of Montanans and offers direction and assistance within state government.   Montana Citizens' Advocate Office can be reached at (855) 318-1330 or (406) 444-3468 or by e-mail at citizensadvocate@mt.gov.