Pandemic Unemployment Insurance UPDATE

Please note this information was posted on April 29, 2020 and is subject to change if there is updated guidance. 

I’m happy to share that the Maine DOL will begin accepting claims on Friday, May 1 at 8am from self-employed people and other workers not eligible for state unemployment. This is the beginning of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. I wanted to provide some very technical reading updates to help facilitiate this process.

Beginning on Friday, May 1:

  • If you have not yet filed a state UI claim, please visit THIS WEBSITE to fill out the new streamlined application for PUA. 
  • If you are self-employed and have already attempted to apply for state UI, you must log-in to your Maine unemployment account and update your claim with your self-attestation of earnings.  
  • If you have already applied for state UI and been denied because of not having sufficient earnings, no further action is needed. Your claim is in the system and will process automatically. 

Benefits will be based on your previous earnings. The minimum benefit will be $172/week and the maximum will be $445/week. This benefit will be retroactive to when you lost your job, back to March 15 (or earlier under certain circumstances). From now until July 25, everyone with a valid claim will receive an additional $600/week through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, bringing the minimum to $772/week and the maximum to $1,045/week. 

If your claim doesn’t require any further review, you should begin receiving benefits within 7 days of filing. We recommend that you choose the “direct deposit” option to get your benefit, which is much quicker than the debit card option. Everyone must file weekly certifications to keep receiving their benefits. 

Here’s a press release from Maine DOL which includes some additional details. 

I know you’ve all been waiting a very long time for these benefits. Thank you for your patience during this very difficult time, and I hope this financial help brings some relief.  Our office is standing by to answer any questions.