Responding to the unprecedented number of unemployment claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine Department of Labor has announced new procedures for those wishing to file for unemployment benefits.

A new alphabetical-by-last-name call-in schedule for Maine people filing for unemployment benefits goes into effect on Monday, April 6th. It is hoped that the new schedule will help reduce phone line congestion.

Starting Monday, April 6th, Maine people seeking to file for unemployment by calling the 800 number with last names beginning with A-H should call on Monday; I-Q on Tuesday; R-Z on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will be left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day or need to call at that time.

Commissioner Laura Fortman said "“While we hope to have 100 more people answering the phone lines by the end of next week, implementing this new system will ease congestion on our phone lines in the meantime. This is an easy way for individuals to take action to improve access for everyone. We are all in this together and we appreciate your help as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

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