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File for Unemployment in Maine
To file for unemployment insurance benefits in Maine, you need to create a Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) portal account online or at a local unemployment office. The latter option is a helpful resource if you are unsure of how to file for unemployment insurance and need assistance with the process.
Your MDOL account also allows you to file weekly claims and provides plenty of useful information. When filing for unemployment insurance benefits, take the time to fully explore the site to get a feel for the services it offers.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
Start your unemployment application by creating a new profile and setting up a password and username. For your login information, avoid using your name or simple combinations (like “1,2,3,4) to ensure security. You will also make a PIN during this process that can be used to identify your claim more easily.
Once you are signed in, you will file a new claim by entering the following:
- Personal information, including your full legal name, your current address
- All information about your employers over the last 18 months, including:
- Contact information
- Dates you worked for each
- Wages you earned
- Why you were let go
- Submit your form after double-checking the veracity of each answer
- Register for work
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If you have all of the the proper documents and information available when you file, the process should take no more than half an hour. The process has been streamlined to make it easier to understand and finish. However, if you experience any problems, employees at the unemployment office can help.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
- Department of Labor Portal account
- Social security number
- PIN (created during your initial claim)
- Alien registration number (if not a citizen)
- Employment information (found on your W2)
- Driver's license or state ID number
- The business name and contact information of all your employers over the last 18 months
- Starting and ending dates for each employer, as well as wages earned
- DD-214 for veterans
- SF-8 or SF-50 forms for federal employees
Claim Weekly Benefits
Every week you accept unemployment insurance benefits in Maine, you have to make a weekly claim. This allows the state to be aware of your employment status and continued eligibility. A big part of your weekly claims is indicating the wages you made that week. Depending on the amount of these wages, your benefits will be adjusted.
You must report any wages you earn. Failure to accurately report your wages may be considered fraud and you could lose your benefits, have to pay a fine, and even receive jail time. Follow the process carefully to avoid any fines or imprisonment.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
- Sign in to your unemployment account
- Click on “File A Weekly Unemployment Claim” in your personal profile
- Answer the appropriate questions, including:
- Were you available to work?
- Were you able to work?
- Did you refuse full-time work?
- Did you accept full-time work?
- Were any wages paid to you this week?
- If so, how much?
You can also call 1-800-593-7660 any time after 12:01 a.m. the Sunday morning following the previous week. Input your PIN number (which you made when filing your initial claim), answer the questions, and wait for the confirmation of your claim acceptance.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
Claim denials and discrepancies are handled by the Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Division of Administrative Hearings. This group holds hearings to help sort through confusion regarding your claim and can help you get any money you were wrongly denied.
Conversely, they also work with your employer if they file an appeal against you to deny you previously collected benefits. Think of this process like a trial, in which evidence must be presented, witnesses interviewed, and cases built. Though not strictly necessary, attorneys can help focus your case and make it easier for you to win. However, the name of your attorney (as well as the description of your evidence) must be submitted to the court before the date of the hearing.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
Pick up an appeals form at a local unemployment office or go to your online unemployment profile and find the “File An Appeal” section. Both forms require that you include your contact information, the number of your claim determination, and why you think it should be appealed.
After filing your appeal, it's a good idea to start looking for evidence that supports your claim. It will take up to a week to hear back about your hearing, so until then, start finding people who will testify for you and any type of written evidence supporting your claim.
When you receive your hearing notice, you will be notified of the time and location of the hearing. Make sure to show up on time for your hearing, or a little early, as failure to show up promptly is likely to cause your case to be dismissed.
During the hearing, you and your employer will take turns presenting evidence and interviewing witnesses. After about a week, you should hear back about your case. Successful appeals result in full payment of denied benefits. Unsuccessful appeals can be taken to higher courts, including the circuit court, state courts, and even federal courts.
NOTE: Continue to file your weekly claim during your appeal. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the benefits for those weeks if your appeal is successful.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Maine Department of Labor
Bureau of Unemployment Compensation
Division of Administrative Hearings
45 Commerce Drive
30 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0030
Phone: (207) 621-5001
Fax: (207) 287-5949