How to claim your benefits in Maine
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Maine Unemployment Questions
What is the base period?
The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of your benefit year. We will use the last four completed quarters if you are not eligible using the regular base period quarters.
How long will I receive unemployment benefits?
The law establishes the maximum amount you may draw during your benefit year. This amount depends on your individual earnings and is limited to a maximum of 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. Not all individuals qualify for all 26 weeks. You may also qualify for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits under a temporary Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefit program. (Additional benefits may also be available under Special Programs.)
Does Maine offer Employment Training Help?
Training is available. The Maine Department of Labor is a workforce development agency and uses a variety of federal and state programs. Workers who lose their jobs due to foreign imports may be eligible for training and other services if their employers have been "certified" under the Trade Adjustment Assistance laws (TAA). A list of certified employers is available under the Special Programs section. Contact the CareerCenter for more information.
Emergency Unemployment and Extended Benefits
Two temporary programs are providing extra weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who have run out of their up to 26 weeks of Regular Unemployment. Emergency Unemployment Compensation for workers who have run out of Regular Unemployment and are still unemployed. It provides additional weeks of benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4) Extended Benefits for workers who have run out of both Regular Unemployment and Emergency Unemployment Compensation and are still unemployed. This program provides up to 13 more weeks of benefits after Regular Unemployment benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation have run out.
Maximum Amount of Benefits
The maximum amount of benefits that may be paid to any eligible individual with respect to any benefit year, whether for total or partial unemployment, may not exceed the lesser of 26 times the individual's weekly benefit amount or 33 1/3%, rounded to the nearest dollar, of the individual's total wages paid for insured work during the individual's base period, plus the supplemental weekly benefit for dependents payable under subsection 6.
Minimum Wage Eligibility Criteria
For each eligible individual establishing a benefit year on or after January 1, 1980, the individual has been paid wages equal to or exceeding 2 times the annual average weekly wage for insured work in each of 2 different quarters in the individual's base period and has been paid total wages equal to or exceeding 6 times the annual average weekly wage in the individual's base period for insured work. The annual average weekly wage amount to be used for purposes of this subsection is that which is applicable at the time the individual files a request for determination of insured status.
Why do I need to register?
Through your Maine Job Bank Plus account you will have access to services that let our staff match you with your job search goals, advanced job notification for Veterans, and additional resources including skills certification and training programs. Registering for a Plus account also meets the registration requirements if you are receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.
You can also register through the Maine Job Bank Basic account. The Basic account is available to help you build a resume if you don’t have one or upload and improve your current resume. Either way, your Maine Job Bank Basic account will also match jobs based on your resume.
Note that for the time being, the Maine Job Bank Plus account and the Maine Job Bank Basic account are separate and you will create two accounts. In the near future, we’ll be merging the Basic account into the Plus account but until we can do that we wanted to give the opportunity to build and store a resume online and match your skills and qualifications to openings posted in the Maine Job Bank Basic account.
How do I register?
Click on Maine's Job Bank Plus Account or Go to Maine's Job Bank Basic account based on your needs. Our recommendation is to create a Plus Account to access all services. The Plus Account satisfies the UI requirement to register for work search. Registering with a Basic Account will allow you to simply upload an existing resume or use online tools to easily build a new resume.
What is the difference between Basic and Plus Accounts?
The Basic account offers new features which will enable users to upload and use an existing resume and online tools to easily build a new resume. The Basic account also has resume enhancing tools that suggest ways to improve your resume. The Basic account will provide you with similar job matching features as the Plus account, including notifications of job openings and job referral information. You will be able to match to jobs you have the skills for, but may not have considered applying to.
The Plus account will also allow you to receive automatic email notifications when jobs that match your qualifications and preferences are posted. You will be able to post your resume that can be sent to employers. Veterans who register with a Plus account will receive advanced job notification. A Plus account also meets registration requirements for Unemployment Insurance. The Plus account enables CareerCenter staff to provide you with updated notices of events, such as workshops, seminars and Job Fairs. Registering through a Plus account will provide you with access to other CareerCenter services such as career counseling and skills training.
Why do I have to enter my social security number?
In order to receive federal dollars and keep this service free, we are required to ask for your social security number. It is not made available to employers or the public. To avoid identity theft, state-of-the-art software has been installed to protect your privacy.
Will I be notified of job matches?
You will receive email notifications of matches to your profile (also known as referrals) if you turn the email notification on. You can do this on the "My Home" screen when you are logged in to your Maine Job Bank Plus account.
What does it mean to accept a referral?
When you accept a referral from either you Maine Job Bank Plus or Basic account it means that you are interested in the job and agree to contact the employer to apply for the job. Once you accept a referral you will be given the information that you need to apply for the job. We do this so employers have an idea as to who and how many will be applying for any given job.
Why am I receiving referrals for jobs that I know I am not qualified for?
Please be aware that we have increased the number of job notices sent to job seekers by going to broader occupational categories, which is matched to the categories that you selected in your profile. This allows the job seekers to view a greater number of employment opportunities and make his or her own decision about which jobs to apply for. If you are not qualified for a job that you received as a referral, you can ignore that referral.