Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claimants Who Did Not Submit Required Documents to Receive Eligibility Denial Bookmark and Share

August 6, 2021

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2021

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claimants Who Did Not Submit Required Documents to Receive Eligibility Denial

Those who failed to provide documents can appeal the decision and provide documents within 15 days.

AUGUSTA - About 7,400 unemployment claimants who had received federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits did not provide federally required retroactive documentation by their August 4 deadline. They will be sent a decision denying their eligibility for the PUA program and warning of a possible requirement to repay benefits received. They will receive detailed information and next steps in the mail and in their ReEmployME online account correspondence.

Those who receive a denial decision and believe that they were eligible for the benefits they received can appeal - https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/appeals/ the decision and upload the requested documents within 15 days of the decision. To upload, they can log in to their ReEmployME account and click on 'Correspondences.' They can then select the correspondence titled "PUAP21" or PUAP90 and follow the instructions on how to upload documents for review. Uploading documents does not guarantee the denial decision will be re-determined, and an appeal must still be filed.

A denial decision and overpayment determination would require a claimant to repay any PUA benefits they received since the week ending January 2, 2021. They would also need to repay any Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (additional weekly $300) benefits that were paid for those weeks.

Background: As previously announced - https://www.maine.gov/labor/news_events/article.shtml?id=4575669 , it is a federal requirement that anyone who has received PUA benefits beginning with week ending January 2, 2021 must submit retroactive proof of employment to show that they were either employed or self-employed when they became unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We sent affected claimants a notice on May 6, 2021 requesting that they submit proof of employment no later than August 4, 2021. This notice and instructions could also be found in their online ReEmployME account. We also sent periodic reminder emails and mailed a second notice to those who had not yet provided their information.

If someone did not collect PUA benefits in 2020 but filed for PUA after 01/31/2021 (including if they are filing a claim for the first time now) they will get a similar notice that requires them to provide the documentation within 21 days of the notice mailing date - claimants should regularly check the correspondence tab in their ReEmployME account and look closely at what their deadline date is if they receive a letter.

More information on how to upload documents, including a walk-through video, can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/puaemployment/.