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 as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, began June 28, and people are automatically enrolled when they exhaust their 26 weeks of state benefits. To complete the enrollment process in PEUC, your next weekly certification will include a one-time set of questions. Once these questions are answered and the weekly certification submitted, the enrollment process will be completed. You do not need to take any other action to enroll or extend your benefits. Right now, the PEUC program is set to end on December 31, 2020, but it may be extended.
If you applied for unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program because you were self-employed, a gig worker, or otherwise were ineligible for regular state unemployment benefits, you can receive benefits for up to 39 weeks, so long as you continue to meet the weekly requirements for eligibility. Right now, the PUA program is set to end on December 31, 2020, but it may be extended.
Some people whose 26 weeks of regular state benefits ran out before June 28 were temporarily paid through the PUA program while implementation of the PEUC program was in process. As a result, even if you did not apply for benefits under the PUA program, you may have received paperwork referencing PUA. All eligible recipients should have been enrolled in the PEUC starting July 1.
The Maine Department of Labor has put together this helpful chart explaining the different types of benefits that you may be eligible for and the length and timing of those benefits.
If there is an interruption to your weekly payment, make sure you are meeting the weekly eligibility requirements listed above, and check your correspondence tab in your Reemploy ME account. If you are continuing to meet the weekly requirements and have not received any correspondence regarding your benefits, you may need to contact the Department of Labor for more information.
More frequently asked questions:
- How many weeks will I receive benefits?
- I lost my job during the pandemic, but I have not yet applied for benefits. Am I still eligible? How do I apply?
- Am I required to look for work in order to receive unemployment benefits?
- What counts as engaging in work search activities?
- 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?
- What if my employer asks me to return to work, but I am unable to do so due to concerns related to COVID-19?
- 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?
- I need to stay home from work because I have coronavirus/I have been advised or ordered to self-quarantine. What can I do to receive income while I am not working?
- A close family member of mine has COVID-19, and I will stay home from work to take care of them. What can I do to receive income while I’m not working?
- 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 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?
- Information on Overpayments due to error or appeal reversal
For all frequently asked questions, you can download a copy of our Know Your Rights document here.