Labor officials provide April 1 unemployment benefits update

Thu, 04/01/2021 - 8:30am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending March 27, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,600 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 400 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    In total, approximately 2,400 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    About 14,800 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 13,500 weekly certifications filed under PUA.

    In addition, about 18,700 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 March 27, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The Department has handled approximately 246,900 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 110,300 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants. There have been over 3.6 million weekly certifications filed.

    Fraud Update

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

    During the week ending March 27, the Department cancelled 613 initial claims and one weekly claim suspected to be fraudulent.