AUGUSTA, Maine — Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman announced Wednesday that the administration will provide eligible people who are unemployed due to COVID-19 with a one-time direct relief payment of $600 through the state’s newly-created Pandemic Relief Program (PRP).
The relief payment is meant to help unemployed Mainers who continue to struggle financially and are losing their Federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month unless Congress acts.
This payment includes self-employed, sole proprietors, and other business owners who are unemployed and losing their Federal unemployment benefits.
“Families across Maine are still grappling with the unprecedented economic hardships caused by the pandemic. While this relief payment is not enough to make unemployed Maine people whole, it is our hope it will serve as a lifeline to sustain them during the holidays and until Federal support arrives,” said Governor Mills. “I urge Congress to provide funding to the states so that we can direct relief to the people.”
“We estimate that up to 42,000 Maine people could be eligible for this one-time $600 payment," Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor, said.
Governor Mills authorized the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) to distribute the payment using $25.2 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). The one-time payment, which is not an unemployment benefit, will be distributed to those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19.
They must have either exhausted PUA or PEUC benefits on or after the week ending November 14 or have previously established a COVID-19 related claim, meet the requirements of the program, and have filed certifications for weeks ending December 5, 12, or 19.
The one-time payment will be made by the end of December to the individual’s account or debit card on file with the unemployment program.
Eligibility is based on existing unemployment claim information. There is no need for claimants to call or apply separately for this supplemental benefit. All payments under PRP will be completed by the December 30 deadline as established by the U.S. Treasury for the disbursement of Federal CARES Act Funding.
For more information on the PRP, click here.