Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for unemployment, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You lost your job through no fault of your own
  • You must be actively seeking work
  • You must be able and available to work
  • You must have enough work history and earnings in the past approximately 18 months to be “Monetarily eligible”. The requirements to meet monetary eligibility change annually and we always recommend filing a claim to check if you are eligible. Base period is the first 4 of the last 5 complete quarters. If you do not qualify using the first 4 of the last 5 completed quarters, we will look at the alternate base period. The alternate base period is the last 4 completed quarters.

Do employees who are discharged or quit for failing to comply with an employer’s policy to get vaccinated for COVID-19  qualify for unemployment benefits?
In general, “no.” Refusing to comply with an employer’s policies, including a health or safety policy, typically disqualifies a person from being eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

If I am sick with COVID-19 and therefore am temporarily out of work, am I eligible for unemployment insurance or paid leave?

Maine has an Earned Paid Leave Law where covered employees accrue 1 hour of Earned Paid Leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a defined year. Employees can use their accrued Earned Paid Leave for any reason such as an emergency, illness, sudden necessity, planned vacation, etc. For more information:

As far as unemployment insurance, in general, no.  One of the basic requirements for receiving state unemployment benefits is being physically able and available to work and actively seeking work. You cannot receive unemployment benefits for a week or weeks in which you are unable to work due to illness. 

If an individual has to quit a job due to illness because the employer is unable to accommodate a temporary leave, the individual can apply for unemployment benefits. A determination of eligibility will be made based on the circumstances of the separation. However, if allowed, the claimant will not be able to receive benefits until they are medically cleared to work.

This also applies to situations where a caretaker is not able and available to work due to caring for an immediate family member who is ill.

My federal unemployment benefits just ended. Can I file a new state unemployment claim to keep receiving benefits?

Most people who were receiving federal PUA or PEUC benefits were doing so because they were either not eligible for or had already exhausted state unemployment benefits, and so would likely not be eligible for state benefits at this time. However, if you think you may be eligible for unemployment benefits you should apply. The eligibility requirements for state unemployment are:
• You must have worked and earned enough in employment wages over the last 18 months ( at least ~$1,700/calendar quarter in at least 2 of the last 5 quarters, and a total of at least ~$5,600 in 4 out of the last 5 quarters)
• You lost your job through no fault of your own
• You must be actively seeking work
• You must be able and available to work

Tips for filing a claim.