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Maine Unemployment Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements in order to become eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Maine.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able, available and actively seeking work
  • Must quit job or get fired for “good cause” related with work
  • Must register for work at Maine CareerCenters’ Job Bank
  • Must participate in reemployment services as directed
  • Must not refuse suitable work if offered

Monetary Eligibility

To be “monetarily eligible” to set up an unemployment claim, you must meet two requirements:

  1. During at least 2 calendar quarters in the base period, you must have been PAID wages that are at least 2 times the annual average weekly wage in Maine. AND
  2. In the whole base period, you must have been PAID wages totaling at least 6 times Maine’s annual average weekly wage.

Eligibility Questions

What can keep me from qualifying for Unemployment?

You may have enough covered wages in your base period and still be denied for other reasons. Some of the reasons for disqualification are listed below.

You may be disqualified if you:

  • were discharged or fired for misconduct
  • voluntarily quit without good cause attributable to the employment
  • are not able and available for full-time work
  • are not a U. S. citizen and not authorized to work in this country
  • have limited the wages, hours, days, or areas of a job you would accept
  • do not report for or satisfactorily participate in reemployment services as directed
  • are self employed
  • are involved in a strike
  • are not looking for work
  • refuse suitable work

What happens if I am laid off from my job?

There is no penalty or reduction in UI benefits if you are laid off. Your employer will be sent a notice to verify that you were laid off.

Unemployment benefits are designed to help those who lost their jobs through reasons beyond their own control.

If you get laid off because the business can’t afford, you are usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were laid off because you weren’t right for the job, then also you may be eligible to collect unemployment.

When you get laid-off, it is not your fault. Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. Once you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

Are there other types of disqualification?

Yes. The law imposes a special “between-terms” disqualification whereby certain college and school employees cannot be paid benefits for any week of unemployment which begins during the period between two successive academic years or terms. Also, professional athletes cannot be paid benefits for weeks of unemployment between two successive sports seasons. You should always file a claim to determine your eligibility if any of these conditions apply to you.

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

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. ive been out of work since january 18th due to covid im cleared to go back to work march 1st can i collect unemployment for those 6 weeks?

  2. I feel uncomfortable about going back to work as my managers continue to bully me and make smart remarks and comments concerning my restrictions due to a work-related injury. And constantly trying to get me to do work beyond my work restrictions. Today I emailed for an Open Door outside of the company and then left work early due to again uncalled for comments in front of other associates and customers. Do I qualify for unemployment?

    • Tina,

      You can be eligible to claim if you leave due to harassment at the workplace. Make sure to keep the supporting documents handy and call the Unemployment Office before quitting.

  3. If I give four weeks’ notice to voluntarily quit employment, and the employer responds by terminating my employment immediately, does that now qualify as a discharge under the law for reasons of obtaining unemployment benefits?

  4. If I worked for a company in Maine Then the branch was closed down, I then relocated to another state (was there for almost 5 years), then relocated back to Maine. I have been here one month and have just been told my position is terminated effective today. Can I still file for unemployment in Maine.

    • Susan,

      If your position was terminated due to involuntary reasons, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find employment.

  5. My position requires extensive driving. I received an OUI (on personal time) and our Company MVR policy prohibits driving for a three year period after the date of suspension. I do not have a Company vehicle but the policy extends to business use of personal vehicles. My unit was not able to accommodate non-driving status for my position. I was offered the opportunity to apply for other non-driving positions and given a month paid leave of absence to apply for positions meeting that criteria and still remain an employee without loss of benefits or time served. I was not able to find a position that met the criteria and did not require relocating. Although my employment with the Company terminated on 5/30 I am still eligible to continue to apply for positions that might arise that are “virtual” or if my ability to relocate for a qualified position changes. Am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits while I keep searching for employment inside or outside of my terminating Company?

    • Lori,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only offered to claimants who’re totally separated from their employment.

  6. Due to having to relocate I had to give a 2 weeks notice. At that time my manager reached out to human resource and ask them to see if I could get a transfer to the location that I was relocated to. In my 2 week written notice i gave them a date that was required per policy and also added that I would remain at my currently location working until a transfer was approved and transferred to the new location. I returned to work on the next schedule work day (which was after the date that was given per my 2 week notice, was allowed to work the entire day then was told I had to leave. I have been talking to HR for a week now to determine if a transfer is going to happen or will I have to be considered as a new hire. I have 5 years with the company and I would lose all benefits if I start as a new hire. Human Resources are doing an internal investigation and it appears there was a miscommunication error on my managers behalf. While the invesiagation is going on I am not receiving any compensation. I will be rehired with the company at a different location but the hiring process can take up to a month. Can i get umemployment benefits during this period. I was willing to stay on at my current location until the new potions was available but was ask to leave.

    • Sandra,

      Effectively, you’re still on the payroll. I am not sure if you qualify under such circumstances. Please call the Unemployment Office for a detailed discussion.

  7. I quit my job in March for medical reasons…I am now drawing workers compensation for that injury…Will I be eligible for unemployment when I receive my medical release to go back to work?

    • June,

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check since UI benefits are only offered to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  8. I am getting written up for calling in an hour early to say I’m going to be late due to me going with my dying grandmother to the er I’m not comfortable working here anymore would I be able to get unemployment until I find a new job

  9. I have been at my new job for 6 weeks. It is way beyond my capabilities and will quit before I get fired. will I be eligible ?

  10. I worked a job for two weeks and was let go because my boss was told I was drinking alcohol the night before, I work day shift, so why should it matter if I had a few drinks at night during my time. Would I qualify for benefits

    • You will not be eligible since it relates to your performance under the influence of alcohol.

  11. I was laid off from my job in April of 2013.I was unemployed the rest of the year and used all my benefits including extension benefits. I started back to work the first week of January 2014 and will be laid off the first week of April 2014. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits again?

  12. If I quit my job as a teacher because there was a complete change in my school’s administration and I knew my course would be targeted for reconstruction in a way that was not ethically acceptable to me, have been actively (10+ per week) sending out applications all over the country for 6 months–will I ever be eligible? Or does the fact I chose to leave forever disqualify me?

    • The basis for considering application for unemployment insurance is that one must be unemployed due to no fault of their own.If you choose to leave for ethical reasons,it may still be challenging.However,there will be exceptions to this clause.
      Please consider contacting the customer service/claims center of the labor dept in Maine for additional details.

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