If you've recently lost your job in Maine, you may be eligible for Maine Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Maine unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.
Filing for Unemployment:
Unemployed Maine workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of three ways:
- Online - using the Maine Department of Labor Internet Claims Filing System
- Telephone – Call a Maine Unemployment Compensation Claim Center at 1-800-593-7660
- Mail – Mail the following forms to your local Maine Unemployment Compensation Claims Center: Initial Application Form, Tax Withholding Form, Dependents Form
File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.
When you file your initial unemployment benefit application, you will need the following information:
- Name, address & phone
- SSN & date of birth
- Name, address, phone number and dates worked for all employers for the past 18 months
- If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
- If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
- If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
- Names, ages and SSN of dependents
After you file, you will be sent a Monetary Determination letter, informing you of estimated weekly benefit, maximum benefit, and number of benefit weeks.
Filing Your Weekly Claim:
Maine weekly unemployment benefits up to a maximum of $356 per week, plus $10 per week for each dependent. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.
Unemployed Maine workers can file weekly unemployment benefits one of three ways:
- Online - using the Maine Internet Weekly Claim System site
- Telephone – Call the Maine Unemployment Compensation Claims Center at 1-800-593-7660, beginning Sunday morning
- Mail – You will be sent a weekly claim for to use if you prefer filing by mail. Complete and send to your local Maine Unemployment Compensation Claims Center
Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.
Your initial benefits payment will be sent approximately 3 weeks from your initial filing. Beyond your initial check, you should receive your check within 7 of your weekly filing date. Apply for direct deposit to speed your access to benefits – direct deposits should be available after two business days of your weekly filing date.
Health Insurance benefits may be available to you through Maine's Medical Assistance Programs. Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.
You may also be eligible for other Maine benefits – see the Maine Benefits Checklist for details.
Filing for extensions:
If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and you qualify, you will be automatically enrolled for extensions to unemployment benefits.
When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work. Write your new employer's name and address in the "remarks" section, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.
Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Unemployment Compensation Claims Center.