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Maine Establishes Alphabetical System To Deal With Flood Of Unemployment Claims

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public
Lazzari is one of Portland's many restaurants that are shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, Mainers seeking unemployment will need to do so in an alphabetical fashion. That's the day the Maine Depeartment of Labor says those with last names beginning with A through H can call the office for help. Tuesday is reserved for those with names beginning with I through Q, and Wednesday for those last names that begin with R through Z. Thursday and Friday are being left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day.

The department says in a statement that it is taking the step due to "unprecedented numbers" of unemployment calls.  Officials say they hope the method will lead to less phone congestion and shorter wait times.