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State unemployment maximum weekly benefit to increase June 1

Those who already have an active unemployment claim will not see a difference in their claim, this is for new claims filed on or after June 1.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Editor’s note: You've probably heard the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means. 

The Maine Department of Labor announced Friday that the maximum weekly benefit amount for the state unemployment program in effect from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, will rise from $445 to $462.

In accordance with MRSA §1191, sub-§2, the maximum weekly benefit amount is set each year as a percentage of the average weekly wage. Maine’s average weekly wage in covered employment increased from $856.79 to $889.34 in 2019, an increase of 3.80 percent. The increase in the average weekly wage leads to a subsequent increase in the maximum weekly benefit amount.

Claimants filing for a new benefit year on June 1 or after will have their weekly benefit amount range between $80 and $462 per week. The current benefit amount, based on the 2018 average weekly wage, ranges from $77 to $445.

Those who already have an active unemployment claim will not see a difference in their claim, this is for new claims filed on or after June 1.

For the purposes of monetary eligibility for state unemployment benefits, the minimum qualifying wage requirements effective from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, are as follows:

1) Quarterly wage requirement in each of two different quarters (two times the annual average weekly wage) is $1,778.68; and

2) Total base period wage requirement (six times the annual average weekly wage) is $5,336.04.

More information on the unemployment insurance program can be found at www.maine.gov/unemployment.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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