Code of Maine Rules
12 - Labor
12 172 - Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission
Chapter 3 - Unemployment Benefits, Intrastate

Universal Citation: 12 ME Code Rules § 3

12 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

172 MAINE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION

Chapter 3: UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, INTRASTATE

SUMMARY: This chapter establishes procedures to be followed in filing for unemployment benefits.

1. Benefits for total unemployment, as to claimants.

A. Claims for total unemployment benefits must be made in accordance with this section and upon forms or by other methods approved by the bureau.

B. Claims for total unemployment benefits will be accepted by the bureau only when filed:

1. Through a telephone claims center of the bureau, either by telephone or by mail in accordance with procedures as approved by the bureau; or

2. At any location authorized by the bureau.

C. No claim shall be valid for any week prior to the week in which a claimant has registered for work with a representative of the bureau except under the circumstances provided for in this section and, in addition, registrations may be deferred for the following classes of claimants:

1. Claimants involved in a mass temporary lay-off;

2. Claimants for partial benefits;

3. Claimants involved in a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;

4. Claimants who have a continuing job attachment with reasonable assurance of resumption of employment.

No claimant shall be denied complete registration upon request.

D. To maintain eligibility for benefits, a claimant must report at the time and place assigned to him for reporting by a representative of the bureau. If a claimant is filing by mail under provisions of subsection (B)(1), the envelope containing the claim card must bear a postmark date not later than fourteen (14) days from the week-ending date of the claim week. A claimant may have an additional seven (7) days to file a claim if the claimant can show good cause for the late filing of that claim.

When a claimant is filing for a week of benefits by mail, the bureau normally provides the claimant a weekly claim card when a benefit check or a message card for a prior week is issued. If no claim is received or postmarked within either the fourteen (14) day period or the additional seven (7) day period allowed for good cause, an initial, additional initial, or reopened claim must be filed to begin a new claim series. Benefits shall not be allowed for the period starting with the week for which the claim card was filed later than fourteen (14) days after the week ending date of that claim, or an additional seven (7) days if good cause was found, and ending with the week immediately preceding the week during which the initial, additional initial or reopened claim was filed.

If the bureau, due to an administrative error, erroneously fails to issue a claim card for a week, a claimant may be permitted to file a claim for that week and subsequent weeks upon issuance of the claim card(s). Such claim cards must be postmarked for return to the bureau within 10 days of the date issued in order to be considered timely. Failure on the claimant's part to file claim cards timely, and thus not receive subsequent claim cards timely, does not constitute an administrative error.

Additionally, a claim card issued to a claimant following the acceptance by the bureau of a prior week's claim as timely shall be considered to be timely if it is received by the bureau, or if the envelope containing the claim card is postmarked, within ten (10) days of the date issued, regardless of the claim week for which the claim card is issued. A claimant's history transcript computer printout shows the most recent weekly claim processed by the bureau. This computer printout will generally be accepted as evidence that a weekly claim was issued to the claimant for a particular week. The bureau shall inform the claimant to notify the bureau promptly if he or she has not received a claim card.

Claimants who are filing a claim for a week of benefits by telephone shall call a telephone number designated for that purpose unless otherwise directed by the Bureau. Weekly claims by telephone or other electronic means shall be made on the days and during the hours designated by the Bureau for the filing of such claims. The filing of a weekly claim by electronic means shall be considered to be timely if it is completed by the close of the claim filing period on the second Friday following the week ending date for which the claim is filed. The claimant may have an additional seven days to file a weekly claim by electronic means if the claimant can show good cause for the failure to file the claim in a timely fashion. If a weekly claim is not made by the end of the additional seven-day period, the claimant will no longer be considered to be "during the period a claimant is receiving benefits," and no claims shall be valid between the week for which the most recent timely claim was filed and when the claimant reactivates the claim. No claim filed by electronic means will be valid unless the claimant receives a confirmation message at the end of the claim filing process. For purposes of this subsection, "electronic means" includes the telephone and other electronic means approved by the Bureau.

Claimants who are filing by mail shall report in person when directed to do so by the bureau, at a date and time specified in a message printed on their mail claim card. If the claimant does not report within ten (10) days of that date, benefits for that week will be denied unless the claimant can show good cause for the failure to report at a date and time specified in a message printed on their mail claim card.

If a claimant has been instructed by means of a message which has been sent to him with his mail claim card or by any other written means to provide information which is necessary to determine his eligibility for benefits, and such information is not provided, either by telephone, or in an envelope that is postmarked, within fourteen (14) days from the date on which the message was mailed to him with his mail claim card or the date on which any other request to provide such information was mailed to him, benefits shall be denied for the week for which the requested information was not provided unless the claimant can show good cause for the failure to provide requested information to the bureau.

E. 1. No benefits will be paid for any week of unemployment unless the claimant has affixed his signature to and answered all questions on the claim form provided by the bureau for the purpose of claiming benefits for the week involved. A Personal Identification Number ("PIN") related to a telephone weekly claim or a claim filed using the Internet will be considered to be a valid electronic signature.

2. If a claim form provided by the bureau for purposes of claiming benefits for a week is not signed or if all questions on the claim form are not answered, the form will not be considered to be a claim for purposes of subsection (A) of this section. However, if the claim­ form or a duplicate is later signed or if the unanswered question or questions are later answered, the original filing date of the claim form will determine the timeliness of the claim for the purpose of Rule 3.1(D).

3. A claimant will be notified, by means of a message which will be sent to him with his mail claim card or by any other written means, that he has an opportunity to sign a duplicate claim card or to answer questions, which were not answered on the claim form. If the claimant does not provide his signature or the answers to the questions within fourteen (14) days from the date on which the message was mailed to him with his mail claim card or the date on which any other written request to provide such signature or answers was mailed to him, benefits shall be denied for the week for which the signature or answers were not provided.

F. Any claimant who obtains work of any kind while filing weekly claims for benefits shall write the name of the employer and amount earned on his weekly claim form. A claimant who is reporting electronically shall report the name of the employer and the amount earned verbally at the designated point in the electronic claim filing procedure.

G. A claimant's week of unemployment and his registration for work shall be deemed to commence on;

1. The Sunday of the calendar week in which he files a claim with a representative of the bureau by telephone;

2. The Sunday of the week in which the envelope containing his initial claim for benefits is postmarked if the claimant last worked during that week;

3. The Sunday of the week prior to the week in which the envelope containing his initial claim is postmarked if the claimant last worked during that prior week. However, if a telephone claims center of the bureau is closed on a Friday which the governor or the commissioner of the Department of Administration and Financial Services or a designee of the state of Maine has determined to be a non work day but is not a regularly scheduled holiday, a claimant may file an initial claim through such telephone claims center of the bureau for that week on the next scheduled work day of such telephone claims center of the bureau.

H. Claimants who are employed part time, but not in such places or establishments or capacities in which they are customarily employed as full-time workers, must register and maintain their eligibility for unemployment benefits in the same manner prescribed for totally unemployed persons.

I. After a claimant has been determined to be eligible for benefits, payments will nevertheless not be allowed for any week of unemployment unless a claim for such week is made by the claimant on his assigned report day. A claimant who has been assigned to report in person by a representative of the bureau must report in person at the time and place assigned to him for reporting except under the following circumstances:

1. A claimant returning to work on or before his assigned report day may file a claim, whether in person or by mail, to complete his claims for his last week or weeks of unemployment, provided he does so within ten (10) days of commencing work;

2. Permit Claims.

a. A claimant who normally seeks work only in Maine must secure permission to seek work outside of Maine, except when a claimant is relocating. The deputy will interview the claimant with regard to the area(s) that he is going to, the length of time that he is going to be away, and what his activities will be. No claim will be allowed for a week that a permission claim has been denied.

b. Permission claims will only be authorized if the claimant is temporarily going to another state to seek work. However, benefits may be allowed if the claimant, due to time constraints, had inadequate opportunity to obtain a permission claim prior to leaving Maine in order to temporarily go to another state to seek work.

c. Additional claims for any period longer than two (2) consecutive weeks filed while the claimant is outside of the state must be filed through the interstate benefit payment plan if the claimant has moved outside of Maine. Benefits shall not be allowed for any period longer than two (2) consecutive weeks for claimants who are sending claim forms from outside of Maine to a telephone claim center unless the claims are filed under the interstate benefit payment plan or by "commuter claimants" as described in Rule 4(1)(A)(2).

3. A claimant who has good cause for his failure to report on his assigned report date and reports to file a claim within fourteen (14) days of such assigned report date.

4. Claimants who are in continued claims status who move to a new location within the state of Maine shall, within seven (7) days of arrival at the new location, notify the bureau in writing, or by telephone in accordance with procedures established by the bureau, of their new address. Claimants who are in continued claims status who move to another state shall contact the agent state office for the purposes of establishing the proper reporting requirements and work registration requirements for their new location.

J. When filing his first claim in a benefit year to establish benefits entitlement, a claimant shall furnish his name, social security account number, and all work history, dates and conditions of job separations, and labor market attachment information required by the bureau. It is not a requirement that a claimant present a card, issued by the Social Security Administration, which includes his social security account number.

K. Requalifying earnings under sections 1193(1), 1193(2), 1193(7), and 1193(7-A), shall include only those earnings earned after the actual date of the disqualifying separation.

L. Benefits paid to an individual shall be deemed to be paid through an office of the bureau where any or all of the requirements relating to the determination of an individual's eligibility for benefits are performed.

2. Benefits for partial unemployment, as to claimants and employers.

A. With respect to a partially unemployed individual whose wages are paid on a weekly basis, a week of partial unemployment shall be deemed to be that calendar week which includes the major part of his regular payroll week, and wages reported for the payroll week shall be considered as earned in such calendar week. Wages of partially unemployed individuals who are paid on other than a weekly basis shall be reported for the calendar week involved.

B. Each employing unit, immediately following the close of a week during which any individual customarily employed full time in its employ worked less than full-time hours and did not earn $5 or more in excess of his weekly benefit amount due to lack of work, or, while not having been affirmatively terminated, performed no services and earned no wages for a period of one calendar week due to lack of work, shall give such individual a claim form properly filled out, and thereafter if no employment is available the employing unit shall issue instructions to the worker for making application for total benefits. If the employing unit is not cognizant of an employee's weekly benefit amount, the claim form should be issued for the first week of less than full-time work in the employee's benefit year in order that a determination of the employee's rights may be made and the employing unit and the employee duly notified. Pending receipt of notice of the employee's benefit rights, the employing unit shall issue the claim form for each week of less than full-time work.

1. Issuance of the claim form to individuals for limited periods of more than one consecutive calendar week of performing no services and earning no wages while not having been affirmatively terminated may be authorized by the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation upon specific request from the employing unit due to temporary shut down of operations at the employing establishment.

C. Whenever an employing unit has workers partially unemployed because of lack of work, it shall make available to such workers .printed notices as to partial benefit rights as provided by the bureau.

D. A claim form issued by an employing unit in accordance with subsection (B), when filed with the bureau shall constitute an individual's notice of partial unemployment and registration for work and his claim for benefits for any past compensable weeks of partial unemployment covered by the claim, provided that such claim shall be filed within 4 weeks from the week covered by such claim; but in no case shall an individual have less than 14 days from the date wages are paid in which to file such claim; provided, however, that a claim form covering a week of no employment and no wages shall be filed by the claimant by mail in accordance with subsection G of Rule 3(1) or at another location authorized by the bureau within 10 days following the end of such week, except that a claimant returning to full-time work may file such claim by mail within 10 days of commencing work.

1. However, failure by a claimant to file a claim for partial benefits, within the time specified in subsection (D), shall not constitute basis for denial of benefits, provided the claimant shows good cause for such failure. Good cause shall also be deemed to exist due to failure on the part of the employing unit to comply with verification or other requirements relating to partial unemployment, to coercion or intimidation exercised by the employing unit to prevent the prompt filing of a claim for partial unemployment, or to failure by the bureau to discharge its responsibilities in connection with partial unemployment.

E. Claims for partial benefits with earning, prepared and certified by employing units, may be made by mail.

1. A claimant partially unemployed, who has not filed a previous claim during his benefit year, must file in accordance with the provisions of section 1(J).

F. To be eligible for partial benefits for any week, a claimant's reduced hours and earnings for such week must have been caused by lack of suitable work with his regular employing unit and in addition, a claimant must have been able to work and available for work during the entire week for which partial benefits are claimed, except as provided in subsection 3 of section 1192, and subsection 3 of section 1193, of the Employment Security Law.

G. The claimant may be required to present for inspection all pay envelopes or other evidence such as check stubs covering earnings from all employers for the week for which a claim is being filed.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 26 M.R.S.A. § 1192

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 3, 1978 (Filed with Sec. of State 10-6-78)

AMENDED:

December 11, 1978 - Ch. 3.02 (B, B1, D2)

October 8, 1979 - Ch. 3.02 (F)

August 10, 1981

November 20, 1984 - Sec.1F, 1 L(2), 1 L(5)

January 29, 1986 - Sec. 1 (F, G, L & O)

March 27, 1987 - Sec. 3.1(G)

March 27, 1987 - Sec. 3.1 (L)(2)

March 27, 1987 - Sec. 3.1(N)

May 30, 2000

NON-SUBSTANTIVE CORRECTIONS:

December 14, 2000

August 29, 2001

March 24, 2002

AMENDED:

March 27, 2004 - filing 2004-92

NON-SUBSTANTIVE CORRECTIONS:

June 17, 2004 - grammar, spelling in 1.G.3 and 2.B

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