On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) will begin to implement new flexible unemployment insurance (UI) measures that will benefit both workers and businesses thanks to emergency legislation from Governor Janet Mills that was enacted by the Legislature on Tuesday, March 17. These temporary measures will help relieve the financial burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and medically-necessary quarantine by making unemployment benefits available to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
"If workers do not have access to employer-provided paid time off or leave, this legislation can provide an important partial wage replacement," Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said. This helps not only the individual but allows employers to retain their workforce and stabilize local economies.
Individuals who would otherwise be able and available to work and who maintain contact with their employer may now be eligible for UI. Anyone who has filed for unemployment benefits on or after March 15th will be reviewed under these new temporary measures. The legislation temporarily revises eligibility requirement to provide unemployment coverage in situations not typically covered, such as:
The legislation is not intended to provide sick leave or short-term disability payments. The legislation waives the work search requirement for individuals still connected to their employer and waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits will be available sooner. Important for businesses, any benefits paid under these provisions would not affect the employers experience rating record.
UI claims can be filed online or by phone at https://reemployme.maine.gov or 1-800-593-7660. The MDOL provides unemployment filing free of charge; individuals should never be asked to pay a fee to file a claim.
For more information and resources, visit the Departments COVID-19 page: https://www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/, and follow the Maine Department of Labor on Facebook (@MElabor) and Twitter (@maine_labor).
How to avoid being locked out of your unemployment account…
One of the most common issues reported is being locked out of a benefit account due to failed password attempts. Currently you have two attempts available to enter your password correctly. If you fail to provide the correct password a third consecutive time, your account will be locked and can only be unlocked by an unemployment representative. We recommend that if you have entered your password incorrectly twice that you use the “forgot password” or “forgot username” links provided.
As long as you have activated the email address associated with the account when the account was created, you can click on the “Forgot Password” link underneath the login boxes to have a new temporary password generated and sent to the email address on file. Refer to the section below for instructions on how to activate your email if you have not done so already. You will be able to use this temporary password to log in and will be prompted to set up a new password, personal to you, at that time. For more information, please visit the ReEmployME login information page at https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/remelogin.
How to activate your email address in order to reset your own password…
To reset your own password, you will need to activate the email address associated with your ReEmployME account. Activating your email will also allow you to receive notifications via email when new information is added to your account, such as forms and decisions.
If you have not yet activated your email address, or are not sure if you have, please do the following:
You are now ready to reset your own password should you forget it. Remember to only try entering your password twice, or you will be locked out and require staff assistance to unlock your account!
NOTE: As last resort, if an individual needs to have a password reset (the usual reason for being “locked out” of an account), the best route is to call the CareerCenter staff in Augusta, Bangor, Northern Kennebec Valley, Lewiston CareerCenter, Presque Isle, Portland and Rockland to help with the resetting. For phone numbers, visit www.mainecareercenter.gov.
For more information and frequently asked questions about UI and Covid-19 measures, visit https://www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/.