The Maine Department of Labor will implement flexible unemployment insurance (UI) measures that will benefit both workers and businesses. These measures are temporary but will help relieve the financial burden of temporary layoffs, isolation mandates, and medically-necessary quarantine by making benefits available to those impacted by COVID-19.
Employees who would otherwise be able and available to work, and who maintain contact with their employer, may now be eligible for benefits. Employees who filed for benefits on or after March 15th will be reviewed under these new temporary measures. The state temporarily revised eligibility requirements to provide unemployment coverage in situations not typically covered, such as:
- An employer temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19.
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over.
- An individual must take a leave of absence to care for a dependent who is affected.
However, these measures were not intended to provide sick leave or short-term disability payments.
These measures waive the work search requirement for employees still connected to their employer and waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits will be available sooner. Any benefits paid under these measures would not affect the employer’s experience rating record.
Employees may file for benefits can be filed online at www.reemployme.maine.gov/ or call 1-800-593-7660. The state provides unemployment filing free of charge. For more information and resources, visit the state’s COVID-19 page at www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/.