Unemployed Mainers Thwarted In Efforts To File Claims With New System

Jan 29, 2018

A new system for filing unemployment claims remains broken, according to some state lawmakers.

State Rep. Ryan Fecteau says he and other elected officials continue to receive complaints about problems with signing into accounts online, and reaching system administrators by phone.

Fecteau says those problems are directly impacting people's financial stability. "The issue now is that folks who should have been receiving a benefit quite a while ago, they aren't receiving a benefit, and therefore haven't been paying bills, because they just can't."

The state implemented the new system for accessing benefits about two months ago, yet the problems persist. And state Sen. Shenna Bellows says they're not caused by individual user error.

"It's a failure of the system itself," Bellows says. "They're both technical challenges but also a customer service challenge, in that when people call the Department of Labor themselves, they don't get answers in a timely way."

Bellows says she and others have asked the Department of Labor to discuss plans to fix the problem and the agency has refused.