Unemployment System Upgrade Deploying Overnight February 4 and 5 Bookmark and Share

February 4, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2015 MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Department of Labor to offer extended customer service hours to assist people with questions

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor will deploy a major upgrade to the state’s unemployment system starting Wednesday afternoon through early Thursday morning, February 4 and 5, 2015. The department has been preparing claimants for the changes to the system since December of last year.

The current unemployment system, both the telephone claims system and the website claims systems, will be unavailable during the system upgrade.

The new system will enforce the federal and state requirement that all people filing for unemployment be registered with the state’s Job Bank, at http://www.mainecareercenter.com before being able to file a claim. The Maine Job Bank will continue to be available during the unemployment system upgrade.

The new application will be accessed on the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation website at http://www.maine.gov/labor or http://www.file4UI.com , which are the current web addresses claimants use to file benefits.

“The Department of Labor is offering additional assistance outside of regular business hours to help people with the new system,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We will offer extended unemployment call center hours through February 13 and call-in assistance from our Job Bank staff on Sunday, February 8, which is our peak day of the week for filing unemployment claims. As always, our CareerCenter staff is available to assist in our 12 locations. However, we do expect to be busy on the phones and in our CareerCenters during the first couple of weeks so we ask for your patience.”

“If you usually file benefits on Sunday or Monday—our two busiest filing days—consider waiting to file later in the week. If you do have to call us, we expect the wait time on the phone will lessen later in the week,” the Commissioner noted. “Before filing or calling the department, you should review the information the department has sent to you and has posted on our website.” Updated answers to frequently asked questions about the upgrade and the Maine Job Bank registration requirement are available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/mjb.html .

Maine Job Bank accounts are created online, so individuals will need to use a computer or mobile device with Internet access to create a Job Bank account. For those who do not own a computer, they can use a computer of a family member or friend or use one at a CareerCenter or public library.

For those without a Job Bank account who are creating a new one, having a copy of your resume to refer to when creating the Job Bank account will be helpful. You will need also to provide an email address and your Social Security Number. Make sure that you have completed all three sections of the initial Job Bank registration.

Maine Job Bank staff will be available to provide assistance to people filing for unemployment who need to create Maine Job Bank accounts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Claimants will need to be using a computer with Internet access when they call in. Call 1-888-457-8883 for Job Bank account assistance on Sunday.

The department’s unemployment call centers will offer extended hours on Thursday and Friday, February 5 and 6, and Monday through Friday, February 8 to 13, to assist claimants as they use the new unemployment system. Claimants can call 1-800-593-7660 between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Claimants may need to change the day on which they usually file benefits, especially if you usually file on a Sunday, to get assistance with completing your Job Bank registration. CareerCenters are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find the location of the closest CareerCenter at http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

The new system will allow individuals to create a website unemployment account; manage their profile, including editing contact information, username, password, PIN number and security reset questions/answers; and access a forgotten PIN, username, password or forgot security questions/answers.

Current unemployment claimants will be able to view and print their benefit history transcripts, view their claim status, manage the direct deposit of their benefit payment and file weekly and initial unemployment claims.

New users will have the ability to access the Maine Job Bank, the CareerCenter’s website and file an initial unemployment claim. They will also have the ability to obtain benefit history transcript, often needed when applying for services form other agencies, for example, LiHeap.

The Maine Department of Labor administers the state’s unemployment system. Unemployment is an insurance program providing temporary, partial wage replacement to workers.

In order to qualify for benefits, workers must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, be actively seeking work and be able to accept new work. Workers who do not participate in a suitable, verifiable work search or who do not document their work search risk losing unemployment benefits and could be required to pay back benefits they have received.

For more information about unemployment benefits, please visit http://www.file4ui.com .