Unemployment Information Related to COVID-19
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) launched July 1st: This federal program provides 13 additional weeks of unemployment payments to Maine people if they’ve exhausted their initial 26-week benefit period. Those who have already exhausted their benefits and had been waiting for PEUC to be implemented were temporarily receiving benefits through a another federal program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). These people will now be automatically enrolled in PEUC. When the enrollment happens, these people will receive a PEUC determination both in the mail and through their unemployment account correspondence. Due to differences in the programs, the weekly benefit amount available through PEUC may be different from the PUA weekly benefit.
- Important notice for employers about refusals to return to work by employee(s): If you are an employer and need to report a refusal to come back to work by one of your employee(s), please complete our new electronic form which may be found at: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/ucbr/. Please complete the form and provide as much information as you can so we can follow up as needed. MDOL will analyze the circumstances on a case-by-case basis to see if there is good cause for refusing the work or not.
- Employer experience rating not charged for COVID-19 unemployment benefits paid: Under legislation enacted in response to the civil emergency declaration by Governor Mills on March 15, 2020, temporary modifications of unemployment insurance provisions were put in place that included the noncharging of individual employer experience rates for COVID-related benefit charges between March 15, 2020 through 30 days beyond the end of the civil emergency declaration. This is currently in place through July 11, 2020 as the civil emergency declaration in Maine is extended. In our efforts to quickly implement the new, federal unemployment benefit programs, not all agency forms including references to potential charge information have been updated yet to reflect the emergency non-charging of experience rating provision but employers’ individual experience ratings will not be affected by benefit charges during this period.
- If you have already enrolled in the current unemployment program, you MUST continue filing your weekly certifications. If possible please avoid filing weekly claims on Sunday or Monday. Please pick Tuesday or later in the week when there is less online traffic.
- If you need to call the unemployment phone lines, please use the alphabetical call in schedule to help reduce phone line congestion: Last names beginning with A-H should call on Monday, I-Q on Tuesday; and R-Z on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday are left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day or need to call at that time.
- To set up and use a ReEmployME account, please view the following videos:
- Important Initial Claim Filing Information: If you are unable to work as a result of the Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak, do not enter your reason for separation as a suspension, even if your job has been temporarily suspended due to the virus. This will delay your claim for benefits. If your employer closed or reduced your hours, select "Lack of Work/Laid Off".
- Important Weekly Claim Filing Information: On your weekly certification for benefits, if you are unable to work as a result of the Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19), please do not answer the question with No, unless you, yourself, were actually ill during the week (either as a result of the virus, or some other illness). You would need to report your illness, and indicate the number of days of the week you were unable to work.
- Contact Details Screen: We are aware of a system issue on the "contact details" screen with the gender field. It is not necessary to update this before filing your unemployment claim. This information can be updated as you file your claim, and that is the easiest way to do so.
- Locked Out: One of the most common issues reported is being locked out of a benefit account due to failed password attempts. Please click on the document below to download instructions. http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=2247345&an=1
The fastest method to receive benefits if otherwise eligible is through Direct Deposit
- We recommend all claimants opt for this payment method. After creating your account and filing your initial claim for benefits, while logged in to your ReEmployME account: From the home screen navigate to "Benefit Maintenance". Click Update Claimant Profile and Payment Options. Follow the screen prompts to set up Direct Deposit. For a step-by-step walk through of the process, please go to: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/reemploymeguide/ . You will find the instructions starting on page 27 of the guide.