How To Apply For Unemployment In Maine
Unemployment insurance claims are handled by the State of Maine Department of Labor. To qualify, you must be wholly or partially unemployed due to no fault of your own and have a valid social security number or alien registration number. You can file online or by phone, but the online option is recommended for fastest results. Additional information and claim filing instructions can be found on the following sites:
- Maine Department of Labor Unemployment Page
- Claimant Frequently Asked Questions
- Maine’s Unemployment Insurance Guide (pdf)
To get your claim started, you must first register with the Re-Employ-Me program online. Further instructions for this and additional information can be found in the Maine Unemployment Insurance Guide or you can call (800) 593-7660.
Determining Your Weekly Benefit Amount
When you initiate your original unemployment claim, you’ll be asked to provide personal information such as social security number, address, and former employment history. The state DOL will then “look back” at your last five quarters of wages and select the highest paying two quarters out of the first four. Those two numbers will be averaged and divided by 22 to arrive at the amount of your weekly unemployment insurance benefits payment.
The five quarters used to calculate your weekly payment are known as your “base period” and they can include both in-state and out-of-state wages, but you need to have worked in the State of Maine for at least a portion of the period. Payments can be direct-deposited to your checking account or on to a DOL-issued Electronic Payment Card (EPC) from US Bank.
Weekly Certification Requirement
Once your claim has been opened, you must file a weekly certification every week to keep receiving unemployment insurance benefits payments. This weekly certification is mandatory and will provide answers to the following questions:
- Are you still wholly or partially unemployed?
- Are you actively seeking work?
- Are you able and available for work?
- Have you refused any offers of work?
- Did you earn any wages this week?
The work search portion of the certification will ask you to provide details on your job searches, including contact information for potential employers, interview times and dates, and a call log if you’re pursuing a job via the telephone. If you’ve submitted resumes using the online portal at the Re-Employ-Me program that job search activity will register automatically.
State and Federal Job Training and Education
The Maine Department of Labor encourages all unemployment insurance beneficiaries to take advantage of local, state, and federal job training and education programs. Participation in one of these programs may exempt you from the work search requirement and could potentially qualify you for a benefits extension. You can find the state programs at Re-Employ-Me.
Among the many federal assistance programs available to the unemployed is the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program for workers who have lost their jobs to imports. If you’d like to take advantage of this or any job training assistance program, you must submit an application for consideration to the Claims Center when you file your initial unemployment insurance claim. You can also call (800) 593-7660 for additional information.