BUC - Appeals Frequently Asked Questions

REMINDER: Columbus Day and Unemployment Claims

Due to banks being closed on the Columbus Day holiday, unemployment claims without any eligibility issues that are filed on October 6, 7 or 8 won€™t be processed until Tuesday, October 9. Please plan for this delay.

Unemployment Customer Service

Toll-Free: 1-800-593-7660

Submit an Online Inquiry: https://www1.maine.gov/labor/contact/index.html

Customer service is available Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

TTY/Relay for Deaf and hard of hearing: Maine relay 711

For assistance with a locked ReEmployME account, please contact the Work Search and Technical Support line at 207-623-6765, Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

New Unemployment Insurance Tax System for Maine Employers in 2018

On December 6, 2017, the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL), Bureau of Unemployment Compensation (BUC) implemented the first phase of ReEmployME, a modernized replacement system for Maine’s unemployment insurance (UI) program. The first phase focused on the UI benefits claim filing and management.

The second phase of ReEmployME, Employer Services (ES) tax functionality, will begin implementation in August with Registration for new Maine employers. The main implementation of the new system is expected in early November 2018. Since the late ‘90’s, Maine Revenue Services (MRS) has performed some of the UI Tax business functions for MDOL BUC. The new UI Tax system will allow MDOL BUC to resume most of those business functions and provide an improved and modernized employer online experience.

One of our primary goals for ReEmployME Phase 2 is to provide Maine businesses with relevant information that may impact their business with DOL BUC. In the weeks to come, both MRS and MDOL will be providing links to FAQs and an online repository of communication statements.

Please visit the MDOL BUC Employer Services homepage for updates about the new ReEmployME tax system and how it will affect your business or call an Employer Services customer representative at (207) 621-5120 or toll free at (844) 754-3508. http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/tax.shtml

For those employers that use a payroll processor or tax preparer, please provide them with a copy of this statement.

Unemployment: Changes to Work Search and Technical Support Line Availability

As of September 4, claimants who need help creating a ReEmployME account, have issues with their account, or who need to provide work search efforts for a weekly certification filed via the automated phone filing system, can call a Customer Service Representative between 8:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., Monday through Friday except state and federal holidays, at 207-623-6765. They may also call our regular 800 number at 1-800-593-7660 directly between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. for assistance with their ReEmployME account, to provide a work search to complete a claim previously filed on the automated phone filing system, or any other unemployment related questions.

Outside of these hours of availability, claimants may also contact us electronically via email by visiting https://www1.maine.gov/labor/contact/index.html . Select the radio button for Unemployment and complete the form presented.

Claimants and Employers have the same right to appeal an unemployment decision to grant or deny unemployment benefits under federal and state law. Our goal is that all appeals conclude with the parties feeling they had a fair opportunity to present their case.

After filing your appeal you will receive documents in the mail including a notice of hearing advising of the date, time and location of the hearing, a copy of the decision under appeal and relevant documents that were available to the deputy/examiner when the decision under appeal was issued.

If you need accommodations such as an interpreter, please contact the Division of Administrative Hearings at 207-621-5001. The Division will work with you to assure the appropriate accommodations are made.

The majority of hearings are held by telephone. If you do not have a telephone reasonably available to you, you should go to your local CareerCenter to make arrangements to use one of their telephones for the hearing.

You may use a cell phone for the hearing. However, you must assure that you are in an area with sufficient reception. If the call is distorted or dropped, the Hearing Officer will attempt to call you back one time. If it is distorted or dropped again, the Hearing Officer may proceed without you. If you are driving at the time of the hearing, the Division requires that you pull over to a safe location to participate in the hearing.

You have the right to hire an attorney or another individual who you authorize to represent you at your hearing, at your own expense. You are not required to have an attorney or representative at the hearing and, in fact, most parties do not have representatives. The Administrative Hearing Officer will ensure that each party, whether represented or not, receives a fair and impartial hearing. If you do have legal representation, you must ensure that your attorney is given notice of the hearing in time to prepare. The Division of Administrative Hearings will NOT postpone a hearing because a party or their attorney would like more time to prepare.

The Administrative Hearing Officer will ensure that each party, whether represented or not, receives a fair and impartial hearing. You may choose to have a representative for the hearing. The representative would be the person who could question you, the opposing party and any witnesses. Representatives typically do not provide testimony.

The hearing is similar to a court trial, but it is not as formal. The appeal hearing is controlled by the Administrative Hearing Officer to make sure that each party has the same opportunity to present their case.

The hearing will begin with the Administrative Hearing Officer making an opening statement about what will happen during the hearing. The Hearing Officer will introduce the administrative documents into the record. The Hearing Officer will confirm whether there are any witnesses, other than the parties, who will be participating in the hearing. The Hearing Officer will answer any questions you have about the hearing process.

The Hearing Officer will begin receiving testimony by swearing in the first witness. The party that has the burden of proof usually presents their case first. In a case involving a separation from employment, the burden of proof depends on the way that the separation occurred. If the claimant left work voluntarily, it is the claimant’s burden to present evidence that they had good cause connected to the work for leaving the job. If the employer dismissed the claimant, it is the employer’s burden to present evidence showing that the claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with the work.

The Hearing Officer will usually question the witness first and allow them to tell their story. After answering all the Hearing Officer’s questions, the witness will be allowed to testify as to any additional information that is relevant to the issue on appeal. The party who requested the witness to appear will have the opportunity to ask questions of the witness. Then the opposing party will have the opportunity to ask the witness questions, which is referred to as cross examination. The Hearing Officer will call the next witness and the process will be repeated.

When one party has finished presenting their case, the opposing party will be given the opportunity to present their case. The Hearing Officer will allow each party additional opportunity to respond to the evidence presented by the other party. The Hearing Officer will close the hearing after each party has been given a full opportunity to present their case and has no further evidence to present. Hearings are usually scheduled for one hour but generally take less time to complete. The Hearing Officer has the ability to continue a hearing to a second date and time if the time allotted for the hearing is not sufficient to allow for presentation by the parties.

The decision will be sent to you in writing typically within two weeks of the hearing date. The Division staff cannot advise you of the results of the decision verbally.

You must make every effort to attend the hearing. If you have a very serious conflict and cannot attend the hearing, you must contact the Division of Administrative Hearings immediately. You should only request a postponement if you have a commitment that is both very important and cannot be changed. The Division is under serious time constraints to complete its cases. Generally, hearings will not be postponed for personal reasons or everyday scheduling conflicts, such as vacations, child care responsibilities or business appointments. You may not assume that a postponement request has been granted until you have received confirmation from the Division of Administrative Hearings.

If you have documentation that you would like the Hearing Officer to consider at the hearing, please submit the information prior to the hearing either:

  • Via Fax: (207)287-5949
    Via Email: admin.hearings@maine.gov 
  • Or Via Regular Mail: Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Administrative Hearings, 30 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-00

It is important that you are ready and prepared to go forward with your hearing at the scheduled time. If you are the appealing party and you do not appear for your hearing – whether it is by telephone or in person – YOUR APPEAL WILL BE DISMISSED. If you are the non-appealing party and you do not appear, the hearing will continue without you. Your failure to appear may result in a denial of further rights of appeal.

If you are the appealing party and decide that you no longer wish to move forward with the appeal you may withdraw your appeal by submitting your request in writing either:

    • Via Fax: (207)287-5949
      Via Email: admin.hearings@maine.gov 
    • Or Via Regular Mail: Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Administrative Hearings, 30 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0030.

If a written request to withdraw the appeal is not received before the scheduled hearing, the Hearing Officer will attempt to contact you for the hearing.

If you ask someone to appear as a witness and they refuse, you may request that they be subpoenaed. This means they will be required by law to appear. You also have the right to request a subpoena for written documents or other evidence that you are unable to obtain on your own. Subpoena requests may be submitted in writing to the Division of Administrative Hearings and should include a detailed explanation of the evidence being requested and the reason you need that evidence for your hearing. You must also include a full name and address of the witness you are requesting to be subpoenaed, or the name and address of the individual or entity that possesses the documents you are seeking for the hearing.

If you do not agree with the decision of the Hearing Officer in your case, you can appeal that decision to the unemployment Insurance Commission. The Commission may or may not grant you another hearing. The appeal must be filed with the Unemployment Insurance Commission within 15 days of the date of the Hearing Officer's decision, by writing to:

  • Unemployment Insurance Commission
    57 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333-0057 
    Telephone: (207) 623-6786
    Fax: (207) 287-4554

If an overpayment has been established by either the Hearing Officer's decision or the Unemployment Insurance Commission decision, you may request a Waiver of Overpayment from the Commission. 

Your request for Waiver of Overpayment must be in writing and mailed to the Unemployment Insurance Commission. Upon request, the Commission may grant a hearing of this matter. If you do not request a hearing, the Commission will make a decision based upon a review of the record, and/or any other information the Commission may request from the claimant.
Please send Requests for Waiver of Overpayment to:

  • Unemployment Insurance Commission
    57 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333-0057
    Phone: (207) 623-6786