Labor officials provide unemployment, benefit fraud updates

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:45am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending September 12, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,400 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 1,000 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    These claims represent about 2,300 individuals filing an initial claim.

    About 29,800 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 18,200 weekly certifications filed under PUA. In addition, just over 7,900 weekly certifications were filed for the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and 800 weekly certifications were filed for the state Extended Benefits program. Weekly certifications must be filed by claimants every week in order to continue to receive unemployment benefits.

    Between March 15 and September 12, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $1.5 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The Department has handled approximately 185,800 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 90,400 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. There have been over 2.3 million weekly certifications filed.

    Claims data is preliminary and subject to revision. Claims data can be found here:

    Fraud Update

    The Maine Department of Labor continues its careful review of all claims as it investigates unemployment imposter fraud.

    During the week ending September 5, the Department cancelled about 480 initial claims and 1 weekly certification that were determined to be fraudulent.

    Unemployment imposter fraud is when a person's Personally Identifiable Information, or PII, is stolen and used illegally to apply for unemployment benefits. Maine is one of many U.S. states working in close collaboration with state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies to investigate and prevent it.

    The Department encourages anyone who believes that someone else has used their or their employees personal information to file a fraudulent unemployment application to notify the Department immediately using this form: