Labor officials provide unemployment update, unveil partial benefit calculator

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 9:30am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending April 17, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,700 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 100 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    In total, approximately 2,000 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    About 14,400 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 13,200 weekly certifications filed under PUA. In addition, about 17,400 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 April 17, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.1 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The Department has handled approximately 252,800 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 110,900 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.

    Partial Unemployment Benefit Calculator

    Did you know that it is possible to accept temporary part-time work without losing all of your unemployment benefits? As long as the claimant continues to meet their responsibilities for receiving benefits, they may be able to earn wages from part-time work and still collect a partial benefit.

    The DOL has a new tool on its website that can help calculate how many hours a week someone could work and still collect partial benefits based on their weekly earnings. The calculator can be found under “Looking for work?” at 

    Fraud Update

    During the week ending April 17, the Department cancelled 1,278 initial claims and three weekly claims suspected to be fraudulent.