September 15, 2020 by Southern Maine Workers Center

Am I required to look for work in order to receive unemployment benefits?

Starting August 9, 2020, workers who are permanently separated from their employer (i.e. cannot or do not expect to return to their former employer when it is safe to do so, including self-employed workers who do not intend to return to their self-employment) must engage in work search activities and document those activities when they file weekly claims to continue receiving unemployment. All workers in this category must create an account on the Maine JobLink:, a free job search website. 

Workers who intend to return to work with the same employer (including self-employed workers who intend to continue self-employment) are not required to actively search for work until 30 days after Maine’s Civil Emergency Declaration ends. Currently, the declaration ends September 4, 2020, which means that those workers can expect to have to actively search for work starting October 4, 2020. The Civil Emergency Declaration may be extended further. Check the Department of Labor website for updates.

More frequently asked questions:

For all frequently asked questions, you can download a copy of our Know Your Rights document here.