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Maine Unemployment Benefit Questions

Updated : June 19th, 2019

How much will I receive?

The dollar amount you are qualified to receive each week is called your weekly benefit amount. It is based on your earnings during a set period prior to losing your job. The figure is calculated by dividing the average of your wages in the 2 highest quarters of your base period by 22. The maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $372.00 (plus $10 per dependent per week up to one half the weekly benefit amount).

Are all earnings reportable each week?

Yes. You must report all earnings from all jobs for the week the work was performed even if you were not paid that week. Your first $25.00 will not affect your unemployment check. Earning greater than $25.00 will be deducted from your benefits.  If you earn more than $5.00 above your weekly benefit amount, you will not be eligible for benefits for that week.

What happens if I am discharged for crime in connection with work?

If you are discharged for conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in connection with your work, you will be disqualified until you have earned $600.00 or eight times your weekly benefit amount in employment “covered” under the unemployment law, whichever is greater.

More Questions?? —-> Read Benefit Q & A Section

  1. I work for an employer that has a lay off (lack of work) period for approximately 6 weeks each spring and fall. Usually, do some part time work during these periods. Have recall date for full time employment. Can I receive work search waiver for each time period?

    1. Katrina,

      If your employment was meant to be “Seasonal”, not sure if you can claim UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. Employment is not seasonal. I work some days during 6 week period on an as needed basis based on business. Returning to full time schedule December.

  2. Getting ready to retire from the military and was wondering if I qualified be for unemployment benefits while I was seeking employment.

    1. Shawn,

      You can be eligible to Claim UI. Please go ahead and speak to the Unemployment Office before the application.

  3. If I start a job 1/28/19 but don’t receive a paycheck for three weeks can I still receive my unemployment weekly compensation?

  4. I filed unemployment on Nov 13 and then system changed on Dec 6. I would do a claim and let me do it for 2weeks alright then all of a sudden says I don’t have claim and there’s a break. I have not gotten any payment since and my file says has an issue. Everytime I call I can not get ahold of anyone to talk to me. Says call volume too much or can’t answer any questions. I went to the career center for help on 1/15/18 and I still have not gotten any calls. Please is there something else I could do? I need help

  5. I’ve been on medical leave since Sept. 8 2016 , I was released in Dec. 22 or so 0f the same year to return to work with a few restrictions for the first 5 days to see how I would do. I was told by the G.M. that he could not meet my restrictions at that time. My doctor extended my medical leave. As the time got closer to the year mark my doctor did not extend my medical leave in time because she was waiting for the P.T. person to set any restriction he felt I needed. When I gave the G.M. the return to work paper he took one look at it and said that he had no opening for part time or full time. at the moment that he would have to talk to H.R. about them. I’ve worked for this company for 16 yrs, the last 4 with sever back pain. I received in the mail a letter stating that since the my medical leave was not extended and filed in time that my job was no longer assured . I am still under Doctors care and maybe facing another back operation. Do I qualify for benefits even though I was unable to work for a full year??

    1. Miriam,

      Hope you get well soon. To qualify for UI benefits, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. If the medical condition is work related, you can be eligible to claim benefits under the Workers Comp scheme.

  6. my significant other just lost his job-he has not had a claim with you for over 5 years. He tries to use the phone service and when he puts in his SS # it says it is invalid-there is nothing wrong with it. He ends up getting into the phone system loop and gets hung up on because it says there are too many calls or something. So what does he do–???? Is there an option to talk to a real human without putting in any numbers? Thank you for any assistance.

  7. I have a friend whose job closed it doors one day when she went to work. She was transferring to a different city same job and now is not in good position. She has 2 little girls 2 and 8 months and a fiance who works full time traveling. She can only work certain hours and jobs cause of availability, if she applied to jobs through out the summer but not every week and made calls upon jobs requests instead of application and most jobs told her not to cause availability doesn’t work for them. If she has a review coming up what happens in her situation if she was banking on the job transfer had the availability planned for last 3 years and now with the girls can only accept certain jobs will she lose benefits?

    1. Well, generally, UI benefits are only extended for involuntary reasons. However, there are exceptions.

      During the review, ask your friend to be fully prepared to support her stance.

  8. My employer may decide to involuntarily terminate me and I am in disagreement with the reasons why. I feel I am being harrassed and discriminated against. The reason I am getting corrective action is for something that I thought was acceptable because it had been allowed to be acceptable in the recent past with other employers. I have been trying to transfer out since Oct and have been unable to find any other employment. I have written to the HR dept and got no response. I am wondering if I will be able to qualify for unemployment should I get terminated.

    1. If you’re able to prove this if questioned later, you should qualify. Keep copies of all vital documents that includes e mail conversations with HR, minutes of meetings held with various stakeholders in your company etc.

      If you are terminated and apply for UI, it may be denied. In that case, you can appeal and ask for an adjudication who will deliver justice.

  9. In Jan of 2013 I exhausted my unemployment benefits. I was told in order to collect from the previous summers earnings I would have to get a job and earn $1,200. It has been one year now, I have not worked. I applied for unemployment just to see for sure how much I would have to earn so I could open a new benefit year. I was notified today that I was eligible to collect. Why am I now able to collect unemployment?

    1. As each quarter passes, a new quarter’s wages are considered. Perhaps when you first called, the wages you refer to could not be considered at that time.

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