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Business and Economy

Legislature Moves To Make It Easier For Mainers To Get Unemployment Checks

Five-thousand Mainers have filed unemployment claims just since Sunday, state labor officials say. Meanwhile, the Maine Legislature has moved to make it quicker and easier for people to get unemployment checks.

One major change involves the requirement that unemployment recipients look for work.

Recipients won't have to look for work as long as their employers plan to return them to their jobs when the crisis passes, and the employees agree to remain available to come back when the employer asks.

In another change, employers won't face higher workers' comp premiums if workers have to be laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing won't change:  The self-employed, who don't pay into the unemployment insurance fund, won't be able to get unemployment payments.