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How Do I File For Unemployment In Maine

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How, when to file for unemployment in Maine

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How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Maine

In order to apply for Maine unemployment, residents must meet specific requirements. If you lose your job it is recommended that you apply for Maineunemployment benefits within a week in order to maximize what you can be paid. Benefits will not begin until your Maine unemployment application is received and processed. The approval process can take at least one week.

To learn where you can apply for Maine unemployment and what happens after you submit your application, read below.

  • Preparing the required documents.
  • How to apply for Maine unemployment benefits online.
  • What to do after you filed your application.

Other Types Of Disqualification

Yes. The law imposes a special between-terms disqualification whereby certain college and school employees cannot be paid benefits for any week of unemployment which begins during the period between two successive academic years or terms. Also, professional athletes cannot be paid benefits for weeks of unemployment between two successive sports seasons. You should always file a claim to determine your eligibility if any of these conditions apply to you.

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What Kinds Of Unemployment Claims Do I Qualify For

Congress enacted, and Maine opted-in to, new temporary federal unemployment programs created by theCARES Act. The U.S. Department of Labor released program guidance and the Maine Department of Labor is working to implement them as quickly as possible. Once the new programs are in place, claims filed will be processed retroactively to the dates in the law.

Now in Operation:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : Provides unemployment for those who are not eligible for regular unemployment, including the self-employed or those whove had to stay home to take care of children when schools or daycare are closed due to COVID-19. This program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, through December 31, 2020.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation :Offers up to 13 more weeks of unemployment to those whove already exhausted theirs. If you have already enrolled in the current unemployment program, you should continue filing your weekly certifications . This program is available through December 31, 2020.

State Extended Benefit Program: Provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for Maine people who exhausted their 13-weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation by the end of August.

All of these unemployment benefits will be administered through the Maine Department of Labor . Please check their website regularly for the latest updates on these benefits.

My Employer Has Been Approved For A Payroll Protection Loan And Is Telling Me That While The Business Is Not Yet Open For Employees To Return To Work They Would Like To Put Me Back On Payroll To Receive My Wages Can I Refuse To Be Put Back On Payroll And Continue Collecting Unemployment Benefits Instead

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No, employees should go back onto payroll if they have the option to do so. An employee would no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits if they are receiving either their full wages, or more than $467 a week, as they would not be considered unemployed. When those receiving unemployment benefits file their required weekly certification, they must answer questions regarding whether they have been offered any work or been paid in the past week.

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How To File A Claim For Unemployment Benefits In Maine

You may file your claim for unemployment benefits online, by phone, or by mail. You can find online filing information, telephone contact information, and forms and addresses of local offices where you can file by mail, at the website of the Maine Department of Labor.

After you file, you will receive some paperwork from the DOL, including a monetary determination stating the wages reported by all of your employers during your base period and your weekly benefit amount.

How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits Online

You must create an online account to file an application for unemployment insurance online. Your account also provides access to the Claimant Self-Service Portal, where you can get information about your claim at any time. You must submit a Weekly Certification after each week for which you would like to receive benefits.

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What Should I Do If My Unemployment Claim Has Been Put On Hold

In light of extensive identity theft and unemployment fraud being investigated across the country, the Maine Department of Labor is holding claims that might potentially be fraudulent and canceling those that have been identified as most likely fraudulent. In order to release the hold, the Department must confirm your identity. Please go online to the ReEmployME homepage atreemployme.maine.gov. Select Upload Documents for Identity Verification located just above the login link. Please provide TWO forms of identification , one of which must be a government issued photo ID.

Government issued photo IDs :

  • Drivers license

  • Military ID

  • Federal or State employee ID

Non-photo documentation :

  • A recent utility bill that shows your name and residential address

  • Social Security Card

  • Birth certificate

Information on the documentation must match the information in MDOLs files. Experienced law enforcement will be reviewing the documents in the order it is received. You should receive a confirmation email upon submission. Once your identity is verified, the hold on your claim will be released and payment will be sent within 7-14 days.

Things To Know After Filing An Application

How to File an Initial Unemployment Claim

Being eligible and filing for your UI benefits is only a half-won battle. Claimants must adhere to all the rules and regulations set by the authorities to continue receiving benefits throughout the stipulated benefit period.

If a claimant ends up committing fraud, his or her weekly benefits will be stopped instantly. He or she might be temporarily or permanently banished from receiving benefits, depending as per the case.

Claimants can also collect information on training programs provided by MDOL. It provides an array of opportunities to job-seekers to not only find new job opportunities but also to improve their skill-sets through various training programs.

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How Long Does The Individual Have To Work To Qualify For Unemployment What Is Monetary Eligibility

Unemployment insurance depends on being monetarily eligible by review of wages earned over the last five full calendar quarters. Four consecutive quarters within that timeframe must have earnings of at least $5,140.74, and two of the four quarters must have earnings of at least $1,713.58. These amounts are set annually based on the average weekly wages earned by Maine workers. The amount of benefits and the length of time someone can collect are based on how much you earn. For more information, please visit .

What Do I Do If I Call And There Are Long Wait Times

Maine DOL is receiving a high volume of calls about and claims for unemployment benefits. Claims are accepted online 24 hours a day, seven days a week it is best to file from a computer and in the evening when internet traffic is reduced. If your question isnt answered there, you can submit a new question through the online Customer Message Portal . Questions are being answered as quickly as possible and MDOL is training and bringing on more staff to answer calls and messages. There is still a significant wait period.

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Computer Or Mobile Access

What if I dont have a computer or access to the internet?

If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, you can call 1-800-593-7660 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Im using my phone to try to apply for unemployment. Why cant I see the whole page?

Its best to use a desktop, laptop or tablet to file for unemployment rather than a cell phone.

Weekly Certifications And Maintaining Eligibility

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If your claim is successful, you will have to show that you continue to be eligible to receive benefits. The state requires claimants to file a weekly claim to show they are eligible.

You will certify weekly online or by telephone. You will have to answer questions regarding your status that will determine your eligibility for that benefit week.

  • Are you able and available to work?
  • Have you accepted any work?
  • Have you earned any income or wages? If so, how much?
  • Have you turned down any reasonable job offers?
  • Were you actively seeking work?

Depending on how you answer these questions, your claim will be processed or denied. You may also be asked to contact a claims representative to answer other questions.

Work Search Requirements

The Department of Labor requires benefit recipients to look for work each week. The first step in satisfying this requirement is to register with Maine JobLink. You should utilize the services there, as well as look for work on your own.

The state may request that you show proof of your efforts to find work. They choose subjects randomly. If you are chosen, you must report to a claims center and show your job search information, so keep a record. Your searches should result in contacts that you can prove actually happened .

The state may also select you for participation in other job search assistance programs.

Maine exempts some workers from this work search requirement.

Part-time Work and Unemployment Benefits in ME

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As A Business Owner I Have Been Approved For A Payroll Protection Loan To Keep My Business Open And Allow Me To Pay My Workers Their Wages While I Am Not Ready To Ask My Employees To Come Back On The Job Yet I Would Like To Use The Loan To Pay Them Can My Employees Refuse To Be Put Back On Payroll And Continue To Collect Unemployment Benefits Instead

No, an employee would no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits if they are receiving either their full wages, or more than $467 a week by receiving these wages, they are not unemployed. When those receiving unemployment benefits file their required weekly unemployment certification, they must answer questions regarding whether they have been offered any work or been paid in the past week. Employers should let MDOL know if they have offered to put employees back on payroll and if those employees have turned down the offer.

MDOL has created a new electronic form to report potential refusals of work, which may be found at: . Please complete the form and provide as much information as you can so MDOL can follow up as needed.

Understanding The Programs And Eligibility See Details

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance : Up to 50 weeks of benefits. PUA will be available until week ending March 13, 2021 , with allowance for four additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through week ending April 10, 2021.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation : Additional $300/week between December 27, 2020 and March 13, 2021. A claimant must be eligible through a separate unemployment program to receive FPUC.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation : Up to 24 weeks of benefits. PEUC is available until week ending March 13, 2021, with allowance of four additional weeks of benefits for those who have not reached the maximum number of weeks through week ending April 10, 2021.

How to File

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My Boss Is Allowing Me To Take An Unpaid Temporary Leave Of Absence Because I Am Considered High

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits during a temporary, unpaid leave of absence if you are expected to return to your job at the end of the leave, so you should apply. You must remain able and available to work for your employer and make sure that your employer has your current contact information. In addition, you do not have to get documentation from a health professional.

Reasons For Denial Of Benefits

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The state will deny benefits if you do not meet the monetary eligibility requirements. You will receive a notice showing how they determined your wages during the base period and the amount you would receive if eligible.

However, even if you meet the eligibility requirements, the examiner may find issues regarding your separation from work. Quitting a job voluntarily or the employer firing you for misconduct will be sufficient for the state to disqualify you.

Other situations may cause a disqualification:

  • Self-employment
  • Not qualified to work in the US
  • Failure to participate in job search programs
  • Fraud
  • On strike
  • Couldnt get transportation to work so you quit

Yet, there are some situations where your actions or decisions caused the separation from work but you can still receive benefits.

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Five Ways An Unemployment Lawyer Can Help You In Maine

If you have a straightforward unemployment claim, you will likely be able to file for unemployment benefits on your own, without any help from a lawyer. Your claim is relatively simple if you can easily meet the Maine earnings requirements to qualify for benefits, and you and your employer agree that you lost your job through no fault of your own .

But if your case is more complicated, it might make sense to consult with or hire an unemployment lawyer to represent you. An unemployment lawyer can help you if you are facing any of the situations described below.

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Have Expired

Although additional money — $300 extra per week — was available under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, that program expired on September 6, 2021. For weeks of unemployment starting on September 6 or later, these extra benefits will no longer be paid.

A different federal program — Pandemic Unemployment Assistance — made benefits available temporarily to workers who were not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, including freelancers, gig workers, and other contractors. That program also expired on September 6, 2021.

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Why Does Mdol Contact My Employer When I Apply For Unemployment

Determining a persons unemployment eligibility is a two-part process. Maine DOLs Bureau of Unemployment Compensation receives an individuals initial unemployment claim with the information required on the application. BUC Claims Representatives also gather information from the employer, analyze all the available wage and separation information and then make a determination, which is communicated to the individual who has applied through their ReEmployME account.

How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits

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You can apply for unemployment benefits at ReEmployME or by phone at 800-593-7660. You will need to create an account and provide some basic information including:

  • Your Social Security number or Alien Registration Number
  • Your employment information for the past 18 months:
  • Contact information for past employers
  • Dates you worked

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Overpayment Due To Fraud

Overpayment due to fraud arises when a claimant receives benefits that he or she is not entitled to by virtue of fraudulent means. Unemployment fraud is considered as theft by deception under Title 17-A, which will be considered a felony, depending on the amount of UI benefit received through misrepresentation or false statement. This may lead to getting prosecuted in the court of law.

If found guilty of fraud, the claimant may face the following penalty/punishment:

  • When found guilty for the first two times, the claimant will be disqualified from receiving benefits for 6 to 12 months
  • From the third and subsequent violations, the claimants disqualification period will be decided by the Commissioner of Labor. In addition to getting disqualified, the claimant will be fined 50 percent of the fraudulently claimed benefits for the first occurrence, 75 percent for the second and 100 percent for the third
  • Overpayments occurring due to fraud will be charged an additional interest of 1 percent per month until the penalties and the principal amounts are paid in full

Registering For Work In Maine

Before you begin the initial ME unemployment registration process, you will need to register for work with the state. Failure to do this can also result in a denial of benefits. If you do not know where to register for unemployment benefits or work, visit the Department of Labor website or call your nearest branch.

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Ive Been Receiving Unemployment Benefits My Employer Received A Ppp Grant And Has Put Me Back On The Payroll What Do I Need To Do In Terms Of Ending Unemployment

You do not need to call the Department of Labor or the Unemployment Bureau. If you are fully back on payroll and receiving your normal wages, you are no longer unemployed and should stop filing weekly claims. Your claim will remain open through the remainder of your benefit year in case you become unemployed at a later date and need to access any remaining benefits for which you are eligible.

Do I Have To Wait To Get Unemployment Benefits

Laid-off workers having trouble filing for unemployment in Maine

For claims filed under the new, temporary emergency unemployment legislation, the waiting week has been waived as of the date of the Governors Emergency Declaration on March 15, 2020. Initially, it may take up to 10 to 14 days to receive a payment, as they need to program the unemployment claim system to carry out the emergency law changes. You will not lose any benefits as a result, but you may receive multiple payments in the first week after the programming changes have been completed. After this, individuals filing for benefits can expect to receive payments weekly as long as weekly claims are filed timely and people remain eligible to collect benefits.

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