Extended Benefits

October 29, 2010 - Notice Regarding Reduction in Extended Unemployment Benefits

Extended Benefits (EB) is a temporary program providing up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, are still unemployed, and have run out of other unemployment benefits.

To qualify for Extended Benefits, you must have first:

You won't be eligible for Extended Benefits if you are are qualified for another benefit year in Maine or in another state, or if you have rights to benefits or an allowance under the Railroad Unemployment Act; Federal laws; or the unemployment laws of Canada.

Important Tip: The Extended Benefits program has different work search and suitable work requirements than other unemployment programs. Please read the frequently asked questions section below for more information or download this information sheet on Extended Benefits.

Who Qualifies?

You may qualify for Extended Benefits if you have lost your job through no fault of your own and have run out of all Regular Unemployment and Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

How Do I Apply?

You do not need to apply. You will automatically receive your first weekly claim form and information on your maximum weekly benefit amount by mail if you qualify under the program.

How Do I File a Weekly Claim For Extended Benefits?

Weekly claims for Extended Benefits can only be submitted on paper - you cannot file your weekly claim by phone or online. The form is different than other claim forms you have used in the past. You will need to fill out a section asking for detailed information on your weekly work search activities. You will receive a new weekly claim form each week. Extra copies of the Extended Benefits Weekly Claim Form can be be downloaded here.

Mail your weekly claim to:
Bureau of Unemployment Compensation
Attn: Special Program Unit
47-EB State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0047

or Fax your weekly claim to: (207) 287-3395

How Much Will I Receive?

Extended Benefits provides up to 20 weeks of benefits after your Regular Unemployment and Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits run out. If you are eligible to receive Extended Benefits, you will receive a notice from the Department of Labor showing the amount of benefits you will potentially be eligible to collect.

How long Will it Take for Me To Receive a Payment?

You will not have to serve a waiting week for Extended Benefits. It may take one to two weeks to process your weekly claim.  Once your claim is reviewed and you are found eligible for that week, your payment will be processed within 1 – 3 days (providing no eligibility issues are pending).

What is Different about the Work Search Requirements for Extended Benefits?

The work search requirements for Extended Benefits include weekly reporting of your work search activities on your weekly claim form. You are required to contact at least four employers a week as part of your work search. Your work search contacts must be made on at least two different days of the week. You are required to apply for and accept any form of suitable work. For more information download the Extended Benefits information sheet on work search requirements and suitable work.

What is Considered Suitable Work?

Suitable work is any job that is within your capabilities, pays more than your weekly benefit amount, and pays more than the State minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

You could lose your Extended Benefits if you:

  • do not accept a referral or fail to apply for a job that was referred to you by the CareerCenter; or
  • fail to accept a written job offer.

You must report any and all offers of work. For more information download the Extended Benefits information sheet on work search requirements and suitable work.

Will employers be charged more because of extra benefits paid out under Extended Benefits?

Most employers will not. The Federal Government pays 100% of the cost of Extended Benefits for the vast majority of workers expected to be covered by the program. If you are an employer that pays unemployment taxes, you will not pay any charges associated with Extended Benefits paid to your former employees.

Some public sector and non-profit employers that are "direct reimbursement" may be charged if a former employee collects Extended Benefits. State, County and Municipal employers may be reimbursed for Extended Benefit charges paid to the Maine Unemployment Trust Fund.