The State of Maine Department of Labor is responsible for administering the unemployment insurance (UI) program. It is meant to serve as temporary income replacement and provide financial support for individuals who have unexpectedly lost their jobs. The UI program helps individuals by allowing them to earn a partial income while they search for full-time job opportunities.
According to the state, you can qualify for UI benefits if you are completely or partially unemployed due to no fault of your own. As a result, you must be willing to work, physically able to work, and ready to actively search for job opportunities. In the case that you are partially employed, you can earn up to $25 per week without being penalized. Thereafter, a dollar-for-dollar deduction will be applied to your weekly earnings for any amount that exceeds this limit. As part of the application process, your employer will need to confirm your reason for unemployment. For this reason, you must be accurate and honest about your employment history. If the explanation that you provide the department cannot be confirmed by the employer, you may not be considered eligible for UI benefits.
Monetary Eligibility Requirement
To satisfy this requirement, you must have earned enough wages in your “base period,” which is a specific 12-month period consisting of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters of the calendar year. In particular, you must have earned wages in at least two of the four quarters. If you have not earned enough wages in this period, you can qualify for the “alternate base period” to be used. The alternative will only consider the last four completed quarters in which you have earned wages in the state. Moreover, the earnings from your base period will be used to determine your weekly and maximum benefit amounts. For instance, your weekly benefit amount will be calculating by adding the wages from the two quarters in which you earned the most wages (two high quarters). The sum of these two quarters will be divided by 22, and this will give you an idea of how much you can expect to receive on a weekly basis through the UI program.
In Maine, you can receive UI benefits for anywhere between 20 and 26 weeks in one benefit year, which a specific 52-week period determined by your claims agent. Your payments will be made through direct deposit or onto a Chase VISA debit card. You will receive a Maine Automated Payment (MAP) card in the mail within 10 days of processing your claim if there are no issues with your application.
How to File a Claim
It is recommended that you apply for UI benefits within one week of becoming partially or completely unemployed. You can choose to submit an application online, or you can file a claim by contacting the Unemployment Claims Center at 1-800-593-7660. In addition, you can submit a paper application in-person if you do not have access to a landline or a computer with an internet connection. Before you can apply, you will need your Social Security Number, the details of your employment history, and your most recent contact information.