Labor officials provide unemployment benefits update

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 9:30am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending May 1, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,400 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 300 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    In total, approximately 1,600 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    About 13,550 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 13,200 weekly certifications filed under PUA.

    In addition, about 17,100 weekly certifications were filed for the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Weekly certifications must be filed by claimants every week in order to continue to receive unemployment benefits.

    Between March 15, 2020 and May 1, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.1 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The Department has handled approximately 255,900 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 111,300 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants. There have been over 3.8 million weekly certifications filed.

    The Maine Department of Labor continues its careful review of all claims, and to evolve its fraud prevention techniques.

    During the week ending May 1, the Department cancelled 342 initial claims and one weekly claim suspected to be fraudulent.