WorkShare Employee Frequently Asked Questions
What is WorkShare?
WorkShare is an unemployment program administered by the Maine Department of Labor that is designed to minimize the impact of a situation that might otherwise require a layoff. Under WorkShare, all employees who work in similar jobs or in the same work unit work reduced hours, rather than some employees being laid off. Those whose hours are reduced can receive partial unemployment benefits, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met. There is no benefit reduction for your earnings from your WorkShare employer.
Am I eligible for WorkShare?
- Your employer must apply and be approved for WorkShare.
- You must meet the regular qualifications for unemployment benefits.
- You need to be able and available to work your normally scheduled hours for your employer.
Once my employer has been approved, how do I file for Workshare?
Create a ReEmployME account
- You will need to create a ReEmployME account (if you don’t have one already) and then complete an initial unemployment application.
- Create an account at maine.gov/reemployme
- Video tutorial: Create an Unemployment Account
Apply for unemployment
- You will need to complete and submit an unemployment application, be approved, and then file weekly claims every week in order to receive benefit payments.
- Video tutorial: How to File an Initial Unemployment Claim
File weekly claims
- While you are under WorkShare, you will not need to look for work. However, you will need to submit weekly claims for each week. Please file these on a weekly basis. If you go more than 14 days without filing, your claim will be deactivated, and you may lose those weeks.
Please DO NOT submit weekly claims until your weekly claim questions show as “WorkShare.” It will delay your payment if you fileweekly claims without these questions.
How is WorkShare different than filing for regular unemployment when hours are reduced?
There are some key differences between filing for WorkShare benefits and regular unemployment insurance benefits.
- WorkShare enrolled employees will not have to complete work search activities to receive weekly benefits.
- Wages earned in a week through employment with the WorkShare employer, or any other employer, do not reduce the WorkShare weekly benefit amount that you will receive. You will be paid based on % reduction.
- You must be Able and Available to work your normally scheduled hours for the WorkShare employer.
Frequently asked questions on the Initial Application
What does this mean for Workshare claimants?
Initial questions 6
Are you filing for unemployment because your employer has notified you that they are participating in an approved WorkShare program?
Answer Yes if you are participating in WorkShare.
Employment details 1b
Employment end date
The last day you worked prior to the reduction in hours.
Employment details 1e
Reason you are no longer working with this employer?
Working part-time (for your WorkShare employer, as long as you are still working for that employer)
Employment details 1h
Are you being paid by your employer during your time off?
This question refers to leave time or other types of compensation. It does not mean pay for hours worked.
Employment details 1j
During your current period of unemployment, have you received, or will you receive any remuneration pay from this employer?
This question refers to pay such as severance, wages in lieu of notice, dismissal wages, etc. It does not mean pay for hours worked.
Employment details 8
Can you accept full time work?
This question refers to your normal hours with your employer if hours were available.
Able and available details 11
How many hours per week did you normally work in the last 18 months?
Your average hours each week (40 or less if applicable)
Able and available details 12
How many hours per week are you currently able and available to work?
Same as #11 if you are able and available to work the same hours each week.
Why am I not getting paid?
There could be a variety of reasons why you have not received your payment.
- Did you file your weekly claim? You must file every week to determine your continuing eligibility in order to receive payments.
- Check the status message of your weekly claim in RemployME. This status message will help you understand if there is a pending interview/decision related to your payment and/or eligibility.
- Your employer needs to file every week also and a delayed filing may affect the processing of your payment.
- If you still have questions, contact your employer’s WorkShare representative
Why don’t I have weekly WorkShare questions?
Please DO NOT submit weekly claims unless you see these certification questions. It will delay your payment if you file a weekly claim without these questions. There may be additional questions based on your responses.
Contact your employer if you do not see WorkShare Questions (see examples below) when you go to file your weekly claims!
- Were you physically able to work full time if your employer offered you full time hours?
- Were you physically available to work full time if your employer offered you full time hours?
- Did you work all normally scheduled WorkShare hours?
- Did you refuse any job offers or referrals?
- Did you work for any other employer during the week?
- Did you apply for or receive a private pension, or, if you are receiving a private pension, has this pension changed?
- Do you wish to change the number of dependents from the prior claim week?
Why do I have work search questions?
WorkShare participants are not required to do work search. If you see the work search questions:
- Do not submit your weekly claim.
- Contact your employer’s WorkShare representative.
How does vacation time affect the weekly benefits?
You must work some during the week (combined with approved time off or holiday pay) to still be eligible under WorkShare for that week.