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Maine Dept of Labor pausing unemployment benefits for 2 days to investigate fraud

The Department of Labor said initial unemployment claims will still be processed but will return to the 10-14 day processing time for 48 hours.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor has announced they are taking steps to investigate, prevent, and stop fraud as our state is seeing an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims. 

The Department announced it is temporarily pausing benefits for 48 hours this week and reinstating its normal 10-14 day processing time for initial unemployment claims, which was expedited to seven days in response to unprecedented demands of COVID-19, to investigate and prevent fraud and further enhance the security of the unemployment system. 

The department did not specify which two days that will be.

“The Maine Department of Labor takes its responsibility to uphold the integrity of the unemployment program very seriously,” Commissioner Laura Fortman said. “MDOL will continue to work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to investigate and prevent fraud while paying benefits to eligible Maine workers as quickly as possible.”

Maine is partnering with the Federal government to combat fraudulent activity.

The Maine Department of Labor is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maine Attorney General’s Office, Maine State Police, Maine State Treasurer, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, U.S. Secret Service, Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI are working together to investigate and stop the fraudulent unemployment claims. In Maine, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General are spearheading the federal investigative effort.

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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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