Mainers who do not meet standard unemployment requirements to be able to file under new program this week
Mainers who typically do not meet eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits will be able to apply for a new assistance program starting this Friday.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is a new federal program which expands eligibility for unemployment benefits to certain workers including self-employed, farmers and fishermen, independent contractors, some nonprofit employees, gig workers and others.
"I know that waiting for unemployment benefits has been a challenge for many, but help is on the way," Commissioner Laura Fortman said in a press release issued Tuesday.
All claims will be retroactive to the date a business closed or a job was ended to as far back as March 15, Fortman said.
PUA benefits start at 50 percent of the average weekly state unemployment benefit for those who are self-employed, with the maximum being $445 a week.
Those who file claims under this program will also receive an additional $600 a week through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program.
Those who do not need further review on their claim should start receiving benefits within seven days of filing, Fortman said.