Governor Janet Mills announced this week that residents who are still unemployed, due to the pandemic, will get a one-time $600 payment.

The money will come from the state's newly-created Pandemic Relief Program, and is meant to assist unemployed residents, who may be losing their Federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month, unless Congress votes for them to continue.

"While this relief payment is not enough to make unemployed Maine people whole," Governor Mills said in a media release, "it is our hope it will serve as a lifeline to sustain them during the holidays and until Federal support arrives." 

Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman estimates that up to 42,000 Mainers could be eligible for the one-time payment. It will include people who are self-employed, sole proprietors, and other business owners who are unemployed and losing their Federal benefits. The $25.2 million will be distributed from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to those who are unemployed or partially employed due to COVID-19. To be eligible, they must have either exhausted PUA or PEUC benefits on or after the week ending November 14th or have previously established a COVID-19 related claim, meet the requirements of the program, and have filed certifications for weeks ending December 5th, 12th, or 19th.

This payment will be made by the end of the month to each person's account or debit card on file with the unemployment program. Residents don't need to call or apply separately for this supplemental benefit. Find more information about the eligibility requirements on the Maine Department of Labor's website.