ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

Infographic: I don’t feel safe going to work. Can I still get unemployment benefits?

Many workers are concerned about going back to work or taking a job. They do not feel safe because of COVID-19. They are asking if they can continue to get unemployment benefits if they believe the workplace is unsafe. The answer to this question depends on your individual situation. Here are answers for different situations:

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family & Medical Leave

A new law passed by Congress gives some workers new paid sick leave and paid family & medical leave options due to the public health emergency caused by COVID19. This law went into effect on April 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2020.

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

Information on Overpayments due to error or appeal reversal:

An overpayment occurs when you receive unemployment benefits for which you are subsequently found to be ineligible. Typically there will be a fact-finding inquiry followed by a Deputy’s Decision which denies all or part of the benefits you have already received. If you have been paid benefits that you should not have recieved you may…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

If I am receiving unemployment benefits, and I am working part time or earning money from gig work, How do I fill out my weekly claim?

In general, you cannot receive unemployment benefits if you are being paid to work. However, you may still be entitled to benefits if your hours or earnings are significantly reduced due to COVID-19. When you file your weekly claim, report your gross income the week that it is earned, even if you have not yet…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

I am self-employed or a gig worker and have been receiving the minimum weekly benefit. How do I know if I am eligible for a higher benefit? How do I submit proof of income?

If your net income (for self-employed workers) or gross wages (for gig workers) in 2019 was below $15,224, you do not have to upload your income information and will continue receiving the minimum benefit of $172 per week. If your earnings were higher than that in 2019, you are eligible for retroactive benefits up to…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

What if I am offered a job, but I cannot start the job due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 or because I need to care for a child or other family member?

In general, you are no longer eligible for unemployment if you refuse a “suitable” job offer. However, you can still be eligible for unemployment if you show that the job was not “suitable” or if you show that you had “good cause” for refusing a “suitable” job. The Department of Labor has said that it…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

What if my employer asks me to return to work, but I am unable to do so due to concerns related to COVID-19?

In general, you cannot receive unemployment benefits if you refuse an offer to return to work. But you may still be eligible for benefits if there was “good cause” for your refusal, a determination that is made on a case-by-case basis. If you or your employer notifies the Department of Labor of your refusal, there…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

What if I am required to look for work to keep my benefits, but cannot because myself or a family member/ household member is part of an at risk group and can’t risk being exposed to COVID-19?

Simply put, if the work search requirement applies to you and you do not document your work search, you may lose your benefits. As described above, there are many options for meeting the work search requirements that can be done from your home without risking exposure to COVID-19, including searching for work online, attending virtual…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

What counts as engaging in work search activities?

The Maine Department of Labor has said that the following activities meet the work search requirement:  ● Applying for a job for which you are reasonably qualified  ● Interviewing for a job for which you are reasonably qualified  ● Contacting an employer to inquire as to whether the employer is hiring  ● Participating in networking…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

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…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

I lost my job during the pandemic, but I have not yet applied for benefits. Am I still eligible? How do I apply?

Depending on your previous income, the circumstances of leaving your job, and current unemployment status, you may be entitled to back benefits as far back as February 5, 2020 as long as your claim is COVID-19 related.  If you have not filed a claim yet, fill out this form from Maine Equal Justice to get…

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ResourcesCovid-19

September 14, 2020

How many weeks will I receive benefits?

As long as your employment status has not changed, and you are meeting the weekly requirements for eligibility–filing your weekly certification, reporting any changes to income, and fulfilling the work search requirements–most workers are eligible to receive 26 weeks of unemployment, plus an additional 13 weeks due to the pandemic. The 13 week extension, known…

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