unemployment claims

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

A half-dozen Republican members of the Maine House of Representatives are calling for a special session of the legislature to deal with spending and other issues related to the pandemic.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Unemployment benefits have been a lifeline for many people who have lost work because of the pandemic. But the huge federal expansion of the unemployment insurance program under the CARES Act has required states to handle massive increases in applications for both regular unemployment and for new benefits offered to workers who had never before qualified.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public File

Thousands of Mainers have reported problems in trying to obtain unemployment. Thousands of other Mainers have had unemployment claims fraudulently filed without their knowledge since late May. The pandemic caused a sudden spike not just in real claims, but in fraud as well.

Maine Public's Jennifer Mitchell talked about these issues with Kim Smith, the deputy commissioner for the Maine Department of Labor.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Gov. Janet Mills has signed an order shifting up to $270 million in federal CARES act money to bolster the state unemployment trust fund. The move assures that benefits paid through the state unemployment system will continue without having to borrow from the federal government.

Nearly 3,000 more Mainers filed first-time claims for unemployment in the week ending June 13, according to Maine’s Labor Department.

Maine’s top financial officials say state revenues are doing better than expected overall, but warn that the loss of revenue is still significant and will pose some serious policy questions for the Governor and the legislature.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

The Maine Department of Labor has identified and cancelled some 2,200 unemployment claims determined to be fraudulent. 

An effort to fill 1000 production and manufacturing jobs in Southern Maine continues amid a time of record unemployment —10.6 percent in the month of April.

Roughly 11,500 Mainers made their first-time claims for unemployment benefits from state and federal assistance programs last week.

A national staffing agency with an office in Scarborough is looking to hire 1,000 people to work on diagnostic test kit production as the state's jobless numbers from the pandemic continue to rise.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Members of the Maine legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee met in person and electronically with Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman Wednesday afternoon in an unusual hearing on the state's response to the surge in unemployment applications. Committee members had dozens of questions about the problems with providing benefits to tens of thousands of Mainers who've lost work as a result of the pandemic.

via Tammie Stone

More than 100,000 Mainers have filed for unemployment since March. That's just one of the many wide-ranging economic effects of COVID-19. The claims have overwhelmed the Department Of Labor in Maine. And while the state has been able to get benefits to more than 70,000 people so far, many are still waiting.

Self-employed and contract workers in Maine will be able to apply for unemployment starting Friday morning at 8 AM, as the state rolls out its anticipated Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Updated April 30, 2020 at 2:31 p.m. ET.

More than 7,400 Mainers filed last week for unemployment benefits.  That's according to new figures released Thursday by Maine's Department of Labor.

Almost 20 thousand Mainers seeking unemployment benefits will soon receive expedited approvals- and denials- in the mail. Additionally, Maine Department of Labor Commissioner, Laura Fortman, says that next week the state will unveil its plan for self-employed and contract workers seeking unemployment because of COVID-19.

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